Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 491935

Shown: posts 94 to 118 of 283. Go back in thread:

 

Great comparison/analysis! Thanks for that! (nm) Tamar

Posted by pegasus on May 19, 2005, at 18:18:48

In reply to Re: The Introduction (In Session), posted by Tamar on May 19, 2005, at 17:41:53

 

Re: The Introduction (In Session)

Posted by Annierose on May 19, 2005, at 18:57:55

In reply to Re: The Introduction (In Session), posted by Tamar on May 19, 2005, at 17:41:53

I am enjoying this discussion very much. I am finishing up my current book before re-reading this one. Everyone's insights are so interesting ... lots of hmmmm and a-ha moments. I will catch up, I promise.

But having read the book last year, I am following along nicely.

 

Approximate relationship

Posted by pegasus on May 21, 2005, at 12:34:56

In reply to The Introduction (In Session), posted by Dinah on May 16, 2005, at 19:29:08

One thing in the intro to this book I'd like to hear what y'all think is about the discussion of the therapist-client relationship being "approximate". She calls it approximate because it is both real (actually happening in the room) and symbolic. Both times I read the book, and just now when I skimmed this chapter again, I didn't really understand that idea. It's important because she talks about it all during the rest of the book. Can anyone help me understand why the relationship is "approximate", and exactly what she means by it being symbolic? I kind of understand, but not really. Is this just a new way of talking about transference?

pegasus

 

Re: Approximate relationship pegasus

Posted by Dinah on May 21, 2005, at 12:48:58

In reply to Approximate relationship, posted by pegasus on May 21, 2005, at 12:34:56

I took it to refer to the boundaries of the relationship. It *feels* as real as any relationship, and in many ways it is. But it can't survive outside the boundaries. It lives in the therapy room only, is supported by the payment of fees. It's unlike any other sort of relationship. Intensely intimate yet limited.

So while it might feel like a friendship or romantic relationship, it's only an approximation? of that??

I think I prefer to think of it as a *different* relationship rather than an approximate one. Because it's every bit as real as other relationships. And all relationships have boundaries. The therapy relationship boundaries are just more clearly defined. But it's because those boundaries are so well defined that the boundaries or rules that apply in other relationships don't apply to the therapeutic relationship.

That was my understanding of it. Perhaps others can sort me out if I'm wrong. :)

 

Re: Approximate relationship

Posted by daisym on May 21, 2005, at 18:59:23

In reply to Re: Approximate relationship pegasus, posted by Dinah on May 21, 2005, at 12:48:58

I think Dinah is right as to how Lott is using this term. It is a concept that is really hard to understand. I think in so many ways we *know* the relationship is real, but it is so unbalanced, and with such formulized boundaries that we have to question "how real is it for THEM?" I think that gets to the heart of it. If anyone asked us, we'd say, "absolutely." I mean, look at how much brain power and time and emotion we invest in thinking about it OUTSIDE the sessions. We aren't thinking so much about ourselves, our past, our inner life, as we are thinking about our sessions, our therapist and our reactions to what happens with them. I don't think couples in marriage counseling (I could be wrong) do this as much because the relationship in the room being worked on is theirs. No so for individual therapy. (Which is a weird name if you think about it because there is nothing individual about it!)

Sorry to ramble. It just struck a nerve with me. I would guess that therapists like the word approximate because it does explain more about how they feel about us.

 

Re: Approximate relationship Dinah

Posted by messadivoce on May 22, 2005, at 0:55:41

In reply to Re: Approximate relationship pegasus, posted by Dinah on May 21, 2005, at 12:48:58

When I read the word "approximate" it really didn't resonate with me. I thought, but my relationship with my T is very specific!! I mean, my T was of psychodynamic orientation so our relationship was obviously the focal point of a lot of sessions. I like Dinah's idea of calling it "different". It's like romance at times, and frienship too, but it's not.

My relationship with my 2nd T was more approximate. Maybe because I didn't get to know her as well, and our relationship didn't have the same intensity that my female-to-male relationship did with my first T. I think it depends on the therapy relationship, that is, how "approximate" it is. A lot of it is up to how close the T will get to the client.

 

Re: Approximate relationship

Posted by pegasus on May 22, 2005, at 1:06:40

In reply to Re: Approximate relationship, posted by daisym on May 21, 2005, at 18:59:23

Well, ok, but what is the relationship approximating? A relationship IRL? That seems to be what Dinah's saying.

I think that's where I get stuck. It seems genuine and complete to me, even with the boundaries, which are part of what makes it rich. And I never thought of it as being approximately anything else. Thinking of it as approximately a friendship, or approximately a parent-child relationship seems unhelpful.

Oh . . . ok, so I'm figuring something out as I type. Maybe she's talking about how we sometimes see the T-client relationship as symbolic of other relationships (via transference). So, it's approximating those other relationships for us? At least in part.

Well, maybe I'm making it more complicated than it really is. Maybe she's just talking about how the relationship has inherent, important limits.

pegasus

 

We'll put it on our list of questions? :) (nm) pegasus

Posted by Dinah on May 22, 2005, at 1:40:44

In reply to Re: Approximate relationship, posted by pegasus on May 22, 2005, at 1:06:40

 

Sorry, what list of Qs? (nm) Dinah

Posted by pegasus on May 22, 2005, at 9:38:14

In reply to We'll put it on our list of questions? :) (nm) pegasus, posted by Dinah on May 22, 2005, at 1:40:44

 

For Deborah Lott, when she's guest expert

Posted by Dinah on May 22, 2005, at 9:42:01

In reply to Sorry, what list of Qs? (nm) Dinah, posted by pegasus on May 22, 2005, at 9:38:14

in late July.

We could start a list of questions.

 

Re: For Deborah Lott, when she's guest expert Dinah

Posted by pegasus on May 22, 2005, at 11:27:25

In reply to For Deborah Lott, when she's guest expert, posted by Dinah on May 22, 2005, at 9:42:01

Oh, Cool! I missed that that was going to happen. I *would* like to ask Ms. Lott about this.

And regarding the approximate relationship thing, I've been thinking, and rereading, and what I now think she's trying to say is that the therapy relationship is *more* than it seems, not *less*. I think "approximate" is probably an unfortunate word for it. I think she's saying that the therapy relationship is real, in the sense that we have actual relationships with our therapists. And in addition to that it's also approximating important relationships from the past that we need to work on. That's the symbolic part. So, I guess I'd rather call it a complex relationship with real and symbolic parts.

Not to beat a dead horse or anything . . .

pegasus

 

Re: For Deborah Lott, when she's guest expert pegasus

Posted by Dinah on May 22, 2005, at 12:00:05

In reply to Re: For Deborah Lott, when she's guest expert Dinah, posted by pegasus on May 22, 2005, at 11:27:25

You may have it there.

So the real relationship would be the real relationship between us, but he's also my therapist/mommy.

 

approximate relationships...pegasus

Posted by gardenergirl on May 22, 2005, at 13:55:39

In reply to Re: For Deborah Lott, when she's guest expert pegasus, posted by Dinah on May 22, 2005, at 12:00:05

I've been struggling with understanding what she means by "approximate", too. Pegasus, I think your explanation makes a lot of sense.


gg

 

Chapter 2. Too many buttons to mention.

Posted by Dinah on May 23, 2005, at 9:43:41

In reply to approximate relationships...pegasus, posted by gardenergirl on May 22, 2005, at 13:55:39

I'll start with the "golden fantasy", just because I wrote below that my major delusional transference was thinking my therapeutic relationship was close to perfect.

I don't think I mean it in the rescue sort of way she's talking about. I do need for him to be in tune with me, at least to a certain extent, within session, or he doesn't *feel* like him, and I get a bit frantic. Like his body was there but he wasn't and that's scary. But I know he's not there for me constantly. I know his family comes first. I have a pretty good idea how he feels about me, and the limits of that. He would never hang out with me if I didn't pay him. We have nothing in common. But he is fond of me within the context of the therapeutic relationship, in that way you have when you're really familiar with someone and accept them.

I think I mean it that I know he'll never reject me. He might abandon me by moving (which is a whole different part of this chapter) or retiring or getting sick or dying. But there is nothing I could say or would do that would cause him to reject me. We may and will fight from time to time, and there will be misunderstanding, resentment, annoyance and anger on both our parts. But I know our relationship can withstand it.

I've told him everything that's happened in my life and in the relationship so far, and he's been accepting and has never run off screaming out of the room (one of his favorite, and sometimes annoying, expressions). And we've dicussed enough about things that happen here for me to know there's nothing I *could* say that would make him reject me. If such a thing were to ever happen, I could tell him I loved him romantically, I hated him, I was sexually aroused by him, and he'd be ok with it. Ok enough at least that he wouldn't end the relationship.

I think I mean it's perfect in that he accepts me and feels affection for me and finds me funny often enough to remind me of Daddy.

So that's my idea of a perfect relationship. I dont' know if that qualifies as the golden fantasy she talks about.

 

Re: Chapter 2. Too many buttons to mention. Dinah

Posted by pegasus on May 23, 2005, at 18:13:37

In reply to Chapter 2. Too many buttons to mention., posted by Dinah on May 23, 2005, at 9:43:41

You know, Dinah, that doesn't sound like the golden fantasy to me. It sounds like a very reasonable and realistic therapy relationship. So, maybe your fantasy and reality are the same, lucky you. ;)

For me everything in this chapter strikes true. That's what's so great about this book. It's incredibly validating. In my first major therapy relationship, everything that happened was hugely important, and I had such dependency, and fantasies, etc.

We talked about it later after therapy (via email). He told me that he thought it was so intense relative to my current therapy relationship because it was the first time I'd talked about a lot of secret stuff. So, I'd needed to do a lot of relationship testing before we got into the big secrets. Once I'd done the testing and telling, the relationship was just really important and special.

So, here's a question: why does that happen in one therapy relationship but not in another? The way Ms. Lott describes these intense feelings and fantasies, they're just inevitable because of the therapy scenario. But I've experienced it with some therapists, and not with others. And all the therapists involved seemed warm, empathetic, and skilled. Am I just in a different place wrt my issues with each therapist?

pegasus

 

Re: My copy just arrived :-)

Posted by alexandra_k on May 23, 2005, at 18:18:06

In reply to Re: Chapter 2. Too many buttons to mention. Dinah, posted by pegasus on May 23, 2005, at 18:13:37

I haven't been reading the thread...
But I'll start reading and join in any old day now...
:-)

 

Good! :) The more the merrier. alexandra_k

Posted by Dinah on May 23, 2005, at 19:58:35

In reply to Re: My copy just arrived :-), posted by alexandra_k on May 23, 2005, at 18:18:06

It's actually been sort of quiet.

 

Re: Chapter 2. Too many buttons to mention.

Posted by Dinah on May 23, 2005, at 20:03:32

In reply to Re: Chapter 2. Too many buttons to mention. Dinah, posted by pegasus on May 23, 2005, at 18:13:37

> You know, Dinah, that doesn't sound like the golden fantasy to me. It sounds like a very reasonable and realistic therapy relationship. So, maybe your fantasy and reality are the same, lucky you. ;)

That's what I think. But I wonder what my therapist would say. I wonder that a lot. I wonder if he sees our relationship anywhere near how I see it. You know therapist speak.
>
> For me everything in this chapter strikes true. That's what's so great about this book. It's incredibly validating. In my first major therapy relationship, everything that happened was hugely important, and I had such dependency, and fantasies, etc.

Yes, this is the chapter that hits on soooo many things.
>
> We talked about it later after therapy (via email). He told me that he thought it was so intense relative to my current therapy relationship because it was the first time I'd talked about a lot of secret stuff. So, I'd needed to do a lot of relationship testing before we got into the big secrets. Once I'd done the testing and telling, the relationship was just really important and special.

Also it might have been your first experience with that level of intense intimacy. Or you may be subconsciously guarding yourself now.
>
> So, here's a question: why does that happen in one therapy relationship but not in another? The way Ms. Lott describes these intense feelings and fantasies, they're just inevitable because of the therapy scenario. But I've experienced it with some therapists, and not with others. And all the therapists involved seemed warm, empathetic, and skilled. Am I just in a different place wrt my issues with each therapist?
>
> pegasus

I know I've read some books that explore that. They all seemed to have the same style? Because I can clearly see a difference in the mental health providers I've seen, and I can point to the exact qualities that are in this relationship, but not the others. If all other variables are the same, it must have something to do with you...

But maybe they just feel different, or the chemistry is different.

 

above for Pegasus (nm)

Posted by Dinah on May 23, 2005, at 20:05:08

In reply to Re: Chapter 2. Too many buttons to mention., posted by Dinah on May 23, 2005, at 20:03:32

 

Re: Chapter 2. Too many buttons to mention. pegasus

Posted by annierose on May 23, 2005, at 22:14:08

In reply to Re: Chapter 2. Too many buttons to mention. Dinah, posted by pegasus on May 23, 2005, at 18:13:37

Pegasus-

I think it's a combination of the T's orientation, and your combined personality styles and general "connection" that foster (or doesn't) those powerful feelings.

My current T is the one I have had the longest relationship with and hence the strongest feelings. I have seen 2 other therapists and never had developed any of these feelings. But all 3 had totally different theraputic orientations. My current T is psychodynamic and fosters those feelings. I see her 3x per week, and feel sad when I go on vacation or when she goes away. With my other T's, I was never fazed by their absence. Hmmm. It's curious. I just feel that this T is with me. So I miss her when she's not physically here too.

 

Re: Chapter 2.

Posted by pegasus on May 23, 2005, at 23:05:54

In reply to Re: Chapter 2. Too many buttons to mention. pegasus, posted by annierose on May 23, 2005, at 22:14:08

Yeah, it's probably because of differences between their styles and some subconscious holding back on my part. All of my therapists have been psychodynamic (except one CBT), so they haven't been much different. But there are always personality differences, etc. I guess my point is that in the book, she doesn't really explore that at all. Which is fine, because it covers a lot of more important ground.

Ch. 2 says so many important things that I haven't seen discussed anywhere else. In explaining why these fantasies, dependencies, sensitivites develop, she makes such a good case for it being reasonable and expected. So, I find it curious that sometimes it doesn't happen, even when all the ingredients she mentions are there.

pegasus

 

Re: Wow...

Posted by alexandra_k on May 24, 2005, at 16:56:48

In reply to Re: My copy just arrived :-), posted by alexandra_k on May 23, 2005, at 18:18:06

I haven't read the thread yet because I'm trying to get caught up. I am getting through the first chapter though... Wow... It is really good. Now I'm going to be doing minimal work all week :-)

I like her take on things. She ties it together into a narrative - but: don't be fooled that she is just 'telling the womens stories' without being in the grip of a theory herself... There isn't any such thing as an a-theorietic stance.

What I like about her stance is that it seems common-sense, demystifying, and charitable. I like her thoughts on transference etc.

:-)

I think I like it for fairly much the same reasons I'm into Linehan. A non-judgemental stance.

That was interesting about Anna O. I have read a fair bit about her... At least I thought I had... I didn't know about the phantom pregnancy... Don't know how I managed to miss that...

 

Re: Wow...

Posted by alexandra_k on May 24, 2005, at 18:31:56

In reply to Re: Wow..., posted by alexandra_k on May 24, 2005, at 16:56:48

Okay... So I've read the stuff on the first chapter... Though I'll have to think about 'approximation' a bit...

Have been thinking about Bruer...
Was it really a phantom pregnancy?????
She was institutionalised around then...
Just a thought.

I guess the situation would have been pretty terrifying for him as well... I mean, he didn't have anyone to normalise his counter-transference feelings either.

I know that therapists are supposed to be able to put their needs / desires aside in order to do therapy properly... I know that they know that. But I'm sure that they get some situations (when people want to go deeper) and / or some clients where they are unsure whether they CAN do that. Even though they know they should - they are human after all...

Hmm...

Was the 'approximation' stuff about an approximation of love, an approximation of a relationship with friends or a lover or parents?
(Sorry if I'm missing the point there)

The template idea sounds to me a lot like schemata (schemas).

I like it how she doesn't have transference based solely on the past - it is also an artifact of the present interrelation.

And the nature of therapy...
The nature of therapy...

I like her dilemmas
The power imbalance
The dilemmas of paying for caring etc etc
They do make it hard.

I have been thinking about what she was saying about therapy with respect to Babble as well...

Not just with respect to us being like the coffee group but...

Well...

This place IS my therapy.
So I guess this kind of makes you guys my therapists in a sense...
Not that you have a professional obligation to me or anything like that...
But it is an approximation of a therapy relationship in the sense that I bring stuff here that most people would take to their therapist.

So how much is Babble (when viewed as an approximation of therapy) subject to the same dilemmas, and how much is it not????????

Hmm....

There isn't just ONE person like therapy - because here there are many Babblers.
I don't pay anything for caring
But I do think the caring I receive (or at least the extent of it etc) is dependent on the caring I give
(But that is more an approximation to real world relationships than MONEY which is an issue in therapy)

And transference...

Whats up with that here???

I have found that I do get particularly attached to particular posters.
And I have had Babblemails which indicate I'm not the only one.

Interesting...

 

Re: Approximate relationships

Posted by alexandra_k on May 24, 2005, at 18:44:17

In reply to Re: Wow..., posted by alexandra_k on May 24, 2005, at 18:31:56

I think...
I think the notion is that when people say they have a relationship with someone they are usually talking about the following sorts of things:

- partner / lover
- children
- parents
- family
- friends

These are the people that we tend to have strong ties to and strong feelings for.

But strong feelings arise in therapy...

So... What sort of relationship is that.

It isn't friendship (though it might seem like your therapist is your best friend - there are important differences - so therapy is an approximation of friendship)

It isn't that the therapist is your parent (though it might seem like it etc.)

And so on...

And one thing... One thing that is different is reciprocity. That is inherantly lacking in a therapy relationship (but not on Babble...)

I think she wants to say that the feelings are real - but also wants to acknowledge some of the important differences between these RL relationships and a therapy relationship.

My understanding of the symbolic nature...

Is that the therapist kind of becomes a symbol for 'humanity' and how everyone will relate to you if you do / disclose certain things... You tell your t your 'deepest darkest fears / secrets' and how your t handles that becomes the limits on how much other people will be able to accept you.

I mean, if your therapist can't accept you in all your glory, then who can???

But I think there is more to it than that...

The schemas you use as a lens through which to see your t mean that you see your t as a symbol as well. A symbol is something that REPRESENTS something else. A t can represent your child (whether you actually have any or not) your parent your lover etc.

Everyone... everyone in RL that you could potentially have a relationship with and everyone who you have had a relationship with.

But I am taking pseudoephedrine for my cold... and so maybe I'm talking out of my *ss...

:-)

 

Re: Approximate relationships

Posted by Annierose on May 24, 2005, at 21:39:34

In reply to Re: Approximate relationships, posted by alexandra_k on May 24, 2005, at 18:44:17

That's makes perfect sense ... good cold medication or not. Hope you feel better soon!!


Go forward in thread:


Show another thread

URL of post in thread:


Psycho-Babble Psychology | Extras | FAQ


[dr. bob] Dr. Bob is Robert Hsiung, MD, bob@dr-bob.org

Script revised: February 4, 2008
URL: http://www.dr-bob.org/cgi-bin/pb/mget.pl
Copyright 2006-17 Robert Hsiung.
Owned and operated by Dr. Bob LLC and not the University of Chicago.