Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 310426

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Is there an end to Transference and Feelings for T

Posted by CarrotCake on February 7, 2004, at 7:06:50

I have noticed there are many posts on here reflecting my own personal experiences of love and attachment for my T.

In trying to research and understand the role of Transefernce in the counselling process, I have yet to hear a case or establish if it does end.

So my question is... has anyone got to the other side of Transference? Has anyone done this without leaving there 'T'?

I have been seeing my T (first and only) for just over 3 years and for the last six months have grown very strong feelings for her. We are talking about it in our sessions but it isn't really going anywhere.

I need confidence that Transference is on the path to a better place and that I am not going to placing posts on here about it for the next 3 years.

Love to here your thoughts and experiences.
CC

 

Re: Is there an end to Transference and Feelings for T

Posted by lilmsbubbles07 on February 7, 2004, at 8:40:56

In reply to Is there an end to Transference and Feelings for T, posted by CarrotCake on February 7, 2004, at 7:06:50

well i have been dealing with it for almost 2 yrs and i was discharged from my T and it is so painful but i think there are ppl on here that have got to the other side i just cant say i am on the other side because i still do feel lonley and i cry all the time cus i do miss him like crazy let me know how it goes

 

Re: Is there an end to Transference and Feelings for T lilmsbubbles07

Posted by fallsfall on February 7, 2004, at 10:35:43

In reply to Re: Is there an end to Transference and Feelings for T, posted by lilmsbubbles07 on February 7, 2004, at 8:40:56

I have a different type of transference, but with what I experience it might be a little easier to see the process.

When I am in transference, I feel very strongly that my therapist is mad at me, unhappy with what I'm doing, annoyed, frustrated. This sends me into a panic, because part of my issues are that I always have to be "good" - otherwise I am evil and I should die. So I have a lot of incentive to try to stay "good". Sometimes I do or say something that could be not so good, but often when I get the feeling that my therapist is mad I can't see anything that I did that was wrong. So I frantically try to figure out what I did (and I can't), and I frantically try to do "good" things to make up for whatever bad thing it was that I did.

I experienced this with my first therapist. There was 4 or 5 months when I was convinced that she was mad at me (though she would deny being mad). Eventually, it was so painful that I switched therapists (that was a big deal for me - I was very dependent - but it relieved my suicidal desires, so I had to do it.) About 2 months after starting with my new therapist, I knew that I had fallen into the same transference with him. I was sure that he was mad at me and I started frantically trying to figure out how to make it all better. By this time I had learned more about transference, though. One of my biggest clues that it is a transference situation is that my emotions are way out of proportion to the situation at hand. I may have done a small thing (like tell him that I thought he was a jerk), and all of the sudden I'm feeling that he's so mad at me, and it feels like a matter of life and death (literally) to me. My new therapist has been able to help me, though. When we recognize this, we spend a lot of time talking about how I think he is feeling and he tells me how he really is feeling. I do trust that he is telling me the truth. The first time, I think it took 3 sessions for me to stop freaking out (I see him twice a week). But I was amazed that the same feeling I had about my first therapist that wouldn't go away, actually DID go away with my second therapist.

There have been a couple of times since then when I've fallen into that same transference trap, and he has helped me work out of it. Now, when I start to feel that he is mad I try to really look at it and see if there are other possible explanations - like asking him about it in my head, I try to see how else it could be explained. That keeps me from freaking until I can see him. Then we talk about it and I find that it really is OK.

I believe that the "I'm in love with my therapist" transference is similar in nature to my "My therapist is mad at me". Meaning that I think that it can be treated in the same way as mine is. But you HAVE to talk about it. And the longer you wait, the more entrenched the transference becomes and it gets harder and harder to work against. I think that the fact that I knew what transference I was looking for, and that I didn't have a lot of experience with my new therapist (i.e. it wasn't entrenched) allowed it to work so smoothly and cleanly.

So, yes, I think there is hope. But you HAVE to talk about it. ALL of it.

 

Re: Is there an end to Transference and Feelings for T fallsfall

Posted by cubic_me on February 7, 2004, at 12:23:03

In reply to Re: Is there an end to Transference and Feelings for T lilmsbubbles07, posted by fallsfall on February 7, 2004, at 10:35:43

I think at the beginning of therapy I experienced a bit of transference (though not sexual), now it has subsided alot. I didn't talk about it with my T, it just seemed to ease off as I got more comfortable with her.

I don't know why it went, or how, but it is sooooo much easier now that I'm not thinking about her as much outside of therapy.

 

Re: Is there an end to Transference and Feelings for T

Posted by lilmsbubbles07 on February 7, 2004, at 12:23:04

In reply to Re: Is there an end to Transference and Feelings for T lilmsbubbles07, posted by fallsfall on February 7, 2004, at 10:35:43

my transfernce is erotic... and it is hard but i do agree with fallsfall u do have to talk about it (all of it ) it will help so much and yah there is help just be honest

 

Re: Is there an end to Transference and Feelings for T

Posted by antigua on February 7, 2004, at 12:54:25

In reply to Re: Is there an end to Transference and Feelings for T, posted by lilmsbubbles07 on February 7, 2004, at 12:23:04

Yes, I think there is an end to this. I am very fond of my T, she has been wonderful to me over the years.

But I think I'm past the transference now. She is more like a role model to me now, and I can see her as a real live person with faults and all. She can annoy me with her habits and I accept that she is a just another person.

My T was my good mother when I needed her and she has taught me how to be one for my own kids (I'm still working on it). I know there will be an end to therapy one day and I'm ready for it. That said, as long as she is still alive I'm sure I can be in contact with her if I need her.

So hang in there. I've been through that pain and have come out the other side and I don't miss it!
antigua

 

Re: Is there an end to Transference and Feelings for T fallsfall

Posted by Karen_kay on February 9, 2004, at 8:07:20

In reply to Re: Is there an end to Transference and Feelings for T lilmsbubbles07, posted by fallsfall on February 7, 2004, at 10:35:43

This post made me think. I used to really want my therapist. I really don't want HIM anymore, I want someone like him, the illusion of someone who will listen to me. So, I'd say I'm not experiencing erotic transference any longer.


On the same note, many times during sessions I would openly say, "You're reaction to this makes me believe you are disappointed in me." He'd get a strange look on his face, because often times he hadn't said a word. It was the fact that I thought of him more of a father than anything else at that time, and saying things that I would assume would make a father disappointed in a daughter, made me believe he was disappointed in me.

Nowadays, I don't have intense feelings towards him really. I kind of "believe" I'm in love with him, but not him as a person, maybe just the whole process of having someone listen to me and validate my feelings, as I've never had that before. So, IMO I think I'm through transference. Maybe I'm wrong? I honestly don't put him on the pedestal I did in the past. I don't claim that he's disappointed in me any longer. I'm not even sure where this was going.... Crap!!! One thing though, I've always told him from step one exactly how I feel about him at every point, and that seems to help. If nothing else, to make sense of what I'm feeling...

 

Re: Is there an end to Transference and Feelings for T Karen_kay

Posted by CarrotCake on February 9, 2004, at 8:43:03

In reply to Re: Is there an end to Transference and Feelings for T fallsfall, posted by Karen_kay on February 9, 2004, at 8:07:20

Thanks for your comments and support.

I first became aware of my Transference when I once saw my T whilst out with friends. I had seen her out before but on this occasion I really felt something. It also struck me that I knew very little about her. We have spoke about this and agreed a way of dealing with the occasions whereby we see each other outside of our sessions.

However this has not helped.

I do not want to loose the feelings I have and withdraw as I believe that would be counter-productive to our sessions. Therefore I would like to know how my T feels about the relationship and agree a healthy framework to focus on. The problem is that my T has never been very open with her feelings and don't know how she feels about me or our sessions. Failing this the only alternative is for me to stop our sessions as each week this situation continues is proving to be harder and harder.

 

Re: Is there an end to Transference and Feelings for T CarrotCake

Posted by Karen_kay on February 9, 2004, at 11:32:04

In reply to Re: Is there an end to Transference and Feelings for T Karen_kay, posted by CarrotCake on February 9, 2004, at 8:43:03

Well, the thing is that T are usually rather reserved in getting their own feelings involved during sessions, IMO, and I could be very wrong :) But, I think that bringing her own feelings (am I right aobut your therapist being a her??) into the session also revolves the session around her, which is counter productive to your healing. In my case, I talk aobut my therapist, Bubba all the time. But I have MAJOR trust issues. If that's the case with you, there may be little harm in bringing soem of her feelings into the session.

Now, to explain my jabber :)

If you want to know how she feels aobut you, ask!!! There is no harm in that... But, you may want to look at why you want to know.. Do you have a pattern of relying on others to prove your own self worth? (so very sorry if this hits as a bit harsh, I'm still a bit hypomanic at this point. But know, I do not in any way mean for this post to come across that way! PROMISE!!!)

The goal is to have a healthy attachment to your therapist. I'm still working on being a bit more needy, or at least admitting it to him. I keep him at arm's length for a reason.

You can still keep feelings for your therapist, but they don't have to be quite as damagining or as intense. They may not seem damaging now, but IMO (again, this is only my opinion) once you realize that your therapist can not be your friend, lover,mother father, ect it hurts and it hurts really bad. Once you get these feelings out in the open, your therapist can help you work through them. It didn't take much work on my part, it just naturally happpened as I kept discussing and cussing it :)

Ask your therapist how she feels about you. I kept pressing the matter asking Bubba if
I was his favorite client and he kept saying no,t hat the children he sees where and then finally one day he let it slip out that I was indeed one of his favorite clients. So,t hey don't always give you exactly what you want. It's more important to find out why you want it....

Does any of this make sense????

 

Re: Is there an end to Transference and Feelings for T CarrotCake

Posted by Dinah on February 9, 2004, at 11:46:07

In reply to Re: Is there an end to Transference and Feelings for T Karen_kay, posted by CarrotCake on February 9, 2004, at 8:43:03

Karen is right. Before you decide to quit, talk it over with your therapist. It really isn't at all uncommon, and if she's a competent professional she'll react with compassion and grace.

 

Re: Is there an end to Transference and Feelings for T Karen_kay

Posted by CarrotCake on February 10, 2004, at 5:09:32

In reply to Re: Is there an end to Transference and Feelings for T CarrotCake, posted by Karen_kay on February 9, 2004, at 11:32:04

You have hit on some good points there.

In respect of wether I rely on others to prove my own self worth? I would generally say no, but something isn't right about the relationship with my T (yes she is a she) that has the same characteristics of some previous relationships. I am keen to work through this and establishing what was missing in both the past relationships and with the current relatinonship with T that makes me feel this way. You could be right.

The immediate issue with my T is trust. I need to trust my T and have respect for her. I used to, however I now see conflicting messages from within our professional meetings which are also being confused further by her behaviour when we do happen to bump into each other socially (She has trouble dealing with this, we have discussed this in the past and she is trying. How hard is it to smile, say hello, discuss the weather and news for 2 mins and then wish me a nice night?).

You could say 'why should I care how she feels?' In the real world, If I feel love for someone, I do something about it. That could lead to a loving relationship or, as is this case with my T, it won't. In the real world, I would normally distance myself from the person for whom I feel love that is not reciprocated and those feelings with slowly disappear. I can't distance myself from my T other than by leaving or to withdraw (but then I am still faced with seeing someone I have feelings for every week). Therefore my view of a workable approach is to get it all out into the open. Her feelings and mine. Get it on the table and agree what is good for the sessions and what is not. The good can be the framework upon which trust and the sessions can be based. The bad needs to be worked through and understood as the topic of the sessions.

Does that make sense, or am I barking up the wrong tree. I see this as an oppotunity to have a reality check about what is happening within the sessions.

As you mentioned, you are keeping your T at arms length and slowly you will establish a healthy relationship. I suppose I have gone about it the wrong way, fallen head over heals and now need to withdraw without loosing the relationship totally.

My feelings do hurt. A lot. Especially after the social meeting by accident. I am finding it hard to get from one week to the next. I have never called her between sessions (other than to rearrange) and don't want to start now. I am becoming dependant (if not already) and I am certain I will not give in on myself and contact her outside our planned meetings. Don't get me wrong, I want to.

Thanks for your comments. Its good to know that someone else has been through a similar experience and can rationally talk about in the past tense. I hope you get that 'healthy relationship' with bubba. When you say you are working on being a bit more needy, is bubba the one trying to draw that out of you? Does bubba feel you are not communicating like you used to? Was your way to deal with feelings for bubba to withdraw?

 

Re: Is there an end to Transference and Feelings for T CarrotCake

Posted by Karen_kay on February 11, 2004, at 13:16:24

In reply to Re: Is there an end to Transference and Feelings for T Karen_kay, posted by CarrotCake on February 10, 2004, at 5:09:32

Well, I've always been very vague with Bubba. Vague as in giving him details about things. I just don't want to get too close to him. My last session was a disaster! I am hypomanic right now, and I was describing my symptoms too him and he agreed. So, he knew I wasn't in the "right state of mind" so to speak. And I asked how his marriage was going and he said he'd rather not say (Good Bubba!!!) and I asked why not. He said, "Beacuse I have foot in mouth syndrome." (Good Bubba!!) I told him I wanted to break up his marriage so that we could "play therapy" forever. Basically, so that I could have a relationship where someone always listens to me and accepts me. And he kept saying, "But I have NO emotinal attachment to you!" God! That hurt! I know he doens't have any type of feeling at all for me and that he could care less about me, but he doesn;t have to come right out and say it! Then, I told him that I don't like to be told NO, as in being told that I can't have him to "play therapy" forever. So, he said that I have to start getting busy and thinking about my father for an hour every day or his supervisor is oging to switch me to another therapist, who is better for "long term" clients. Basically, I have another man in my life giving me ultimatums and ordering me around. Also, he's forcing memories.

He said that he can't explain to his supervisor that he wants to keep me as a client because I like him and he likes me. I have to show more improvement....

I'm not in love with my therapist. I'm in love with the illusion that there may be a man out there who accepts me for who I am and listens to me. I once saw part of the real Bubba and I didn't like that. That's why I told him we would have to always "play therapy" that he couldn't be the real him.

I think the thing you have to realize is that the person sitting in the room with you is only showing one side. You don't see her angry or really frustrated. You only see the "therapist" Does that make sense. The therapist is like an actor or a role of sorts. IMO, of course. And it's hard to distinguish that person from the real prson you may see on the street or the real person you would be living with if you were together. You wouldn't get the "therapist" role. You'd get the whole package.

My way to deal with the feelings I had for Bubba was to play games, as I normally do. I'd hide things that I didn't want to talk about, things that would make me look bad. I'd try to put myself in a good light. But, as I did that, I also lightened up a bit. And I started to trust him more, as he played along. But, at the end of my last session, I finally told Bubba the reason I do some of the things I do is because I honestly don't think I could catch a man like him, I don't think Icould do any better than my current boyfriend. And he asked why I didn't sy that earlier. I said, "Beacuase I thought you could read my mind." And I honestly thought that was true. I'm so fascinated with therapists. I thought he coudl read my mind. I thought he knew that's what I was doing. I'm beginning to see him in a different light now. I guess he doesn't know why I play the games I do. Maybe he's not as good as I thought he was. Maybe he really can't save me. Maybe he really is just human. That sucks :(

 

mind reading

Posted by shortelise on February 11, 2004, at 16:38:14

In reply to Re: Is there an end to Transference and Feelings for T CarrotCake, posted by Karen_kay on February 11, 2004, at 13:16:24

This is so funny - I thought my therapist could sort of read my mind too. I used a shorthand where I didn't go too deeply into feelings and thought he could divine the rest. I was wrong, but it took a while to figure it out. I have to tell him how I feel and whyor he doesn't know. It's that simple, and I feel foolish for having thought otherwise.
Shorte

 

Re: Is there an end to Transference and Feelings for T Karen_kay

Posted by Dinah on February 13, 2004, at 19:07:13

In reply to Re: Is there an end to Transference and Feelings for T CarrotCake, posted by Karen_kay on February 11, 2004, at 13:16:24

Awww, KK.

I hope you don't mind if you say that I am both pleased with Bubba for his boundary setting in some ways, and extremely displeased with him for his lack of empathy. Boy, if it isn't one thing it's another. :(

Maybe since he's realized (perhaps with some supervisory help) that he crossed the boundaries more than his colleages would approve, he's now erring (and erring badly) in the other direction.

I can't imagine what earthly therapeutic goal telling you that he feels no emotional connection to you can serve. Especially since it's so clearly untrue. (And it is clearly untrue, you know.) Perhaps he means a certain type of emotional connection, not any emotional connection at all.

My therapist always told me that he cared about me, even when I "felt" he didn't like me very much. When I'd quit periodically, he'd tell me how much he had enjoyed our time together and that he cared for me. And I would answer "Well *I* don't care a bit about *you*, or *I* have no emotional connection to *you*. It was rude of me, and it's doubly rude on the other side of the couch.

I told him lately that I wasn't sure he wasn't lying when he told me he felt an emotional connection because he could hardly tell a client he had *no* emotional connection. And he answered that no, he would never say that, but he might say he was having difficulty in feeling an emotional connection, and maybe he and the client could try to figure out why that might be so that they could get past it.

The ultimatum stinks. Can you ask him if you can speak to his supervisor directly to tell him all the good things that therapy *has* brought you. And why you're not ready to force memories. Why an hour a day? Why not half an hour or three hours? Sigh. My therapist once asked what I would do if he gave me an ultimatum. I told him I'd lie through my teeth with no guilt at all because a promise given under duress was not binding. He said he figured that would be my answer, and never issued the ultimatum.

I guess you're now experiencing the downside of inexperience. :(

 

Re: Is there an end to Transference and Feelings for T Karen_kay

Posted by CarrotCake on February 16, 2004, at 7:05:11

In reply to Re: Is there an end to Transference and Feelings for T CarrotCake, posted by Karen_kay on February 11, 2004, at 13:16:24

I agree with your point that I am only seeing the Therapist and not the person as a whole. But that shouldn't be a problem with the right relational context, should it?

Your way is to maintain a distance from bubba. Not to get too close to him? Do you find that your sessions are as productive?

When I first noticed my feelings I talked about them, but what I wanted was for my T to tell me how she felt. I had no context for the relationship, only questions.

I saw my T last week and mentioned my strong feelings for her, my lack of trust in her and the sessions as a whole. We worked through it and I feel great. She does not feel the same! She cares etc, etc, and I believe her. By her saying she does not have strong feelings for me is quite empowering. This, underpinned with what I see as our joint commitment to our sessions means that the relationship is stronger and set into a firmer context.

You can have friends, lovers or a T, and you would generally try not mix them up as things may get messy. Each relationship is different and I think the challange is to see the value of each and use the good bits of each. I get lots of value out of my T and I just need to keep a focus on that. My friends are great as well but within a different scope of my life. Together life has lots of flavours. I just need to appreciate and listen to all of them and not just T.

So now I am left with a T who knows how I feel and we can now work together on understanding those feelings. I now hope that the T relationship, and I, will be stronger as a result.

My question for you is what I said earlier.... are you getting out of Therapy what you want? Or is holding back from your T hindering the process?


CC

 

Re: Is there an end to Transference and Feelings for T

Posted by Karen_kay on February 17, 2004, at 12:27:11

In reply to Re: Is there an end to Transference and Feelings for T Karen_kay, posted by CarrotCake on February 16, 2004, at 7:05:11

> I agree with your point that I am only seeing the Therapist and not the person as a whole. But that shouldn't be a problem with the right relational context, should it?

**Well, in a perfect world, it wouldn't be a problem. But, since you go in once a week (??) and tell this person intimate secrets about yourself, you almost define what the therapist is to you, right? I mean, you have an idealized version of your therapist in your head and then out of nowhere *POOF* you see her in a social setting. This could potentially destroy that illusion that you had of her.

Take for instance me (as an example, hope you don't mind)... I had a version of Bubba in my head, what I wanted him to be, adn what he was in the office. So, I idealized him to the point that I honestly thought that version of him is all there is to him. How great would that be? A person who listens all the time, never loses their temper, never gets angry, and is only there to help me.... However, I saw a picture of his wife and was disappointed. That started to break tht illussion down. Then, he became very angry with me when I told him. See, I started to see other sides of him that I didn't want to see.. The real him. The bubba that lies, the bubba that loses his temper, ect.. Not that I dislike him, but I am beginning to ralize that he is a complete person, not just the person there to serve my needs.... See...

So, it shouldn't be a problem, depending on how the client takes it. And how the therapist responds to the situation. They should be aware that we do have certain ideas about what they are, and those ideas are usually self-involved... Sorry that was so long,I'll try to make the rest shorter...


> Your way is to maintain a distance from bubba. Not to get too close to him? Do you find that your sessions are as productive?


**No, my sessions aren't nearly as productive as they could be. I focus alot on him, where I should be focusing on me. But, I have a very hard time trusting men. And I am very good at distraction adn avoidance. That's one of my big problems..


>
> I saw my T last week and mentioned my strong feelings for her, my lack of trust in her and the sessions as a whole. We worked through it and I feel great. She does not feel the same! She cares etc, etc, and I believe her. By her saying she does not have strong feelings for me is quite empowering. This, underpinned with what I see as our joint commitment to our sessions means that the relationship is stronger and set into a firmer context.

**It is so great that you feel wonderful upon hearing that. I would be hurt to hear that someone does not have feelings for me. I strive to make everyone love me. I strive to make evreyone proud of me. I want to be the best student, the best client, the favorite EVERYTHING. But, in the past, when I have feelings for someone, like a boss, ect.. If they reveal that they have feelings for me, I run.. I want a father, not a lover.

> You can have friends, lovers or a T, and you would generally try not mix them up as things may get messy. Each relationship is different and I think the challange is to see the value of each and use the good bits of each. I get lots of value out of my T and I just need to keep a focus on that. My friends are great as well but within a different scope of my life. Together life has lots of flavours. I just need to appreciate and listen to all of them and not just T.

**I agree completely!!! But, sometimes it's hard to get those feelings straight in your head when a therapist acts like a friend, or a father, ect.... It's jsut hard when you want something and you're used to getting it...


> So now I am left with a T who knows how I feel and we can now work together on understanding those feelings. I now hope that the T relationship, and I, will be stronger as a result.

**I'm sure it will be stronger!! I applaud you!

> My question for you is what I said earlier.... are you getting out of Therapy what you want? Or is holding back from your T hindering the process?

**I'm slowly making progress. That can't be denied. But, holding back is what I do best. I can't help it...


>
> CC
>


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