Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 542808

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Re: How common is it, really? rabidreader

Posted by 10derHeart on August 18, 2005, at 23:55:18

In reply to Re: How common is it, really? 10derHeart, posted by rabidreader on August 18, 2005, at 14:54:47

HI,

I know you're having a bad time with this termination and your feelings. It hurts so much, I do remember. What an old and tired statement this is....but I swear time will heal it somewhat. It may be a long time, but it will happen. I hope you keep posting here becasue Babble helped me tremendously, especially in the 3 months before I was able to write to him. You have it MUCH tougher than me, I know, without the post-term. contact. It truly sucks :-( Maybe one day, they'll stop teaching T's such one-size-fits-all cr*p about termination. Or worse, glossing over it quickly like it's nothing (HAH!) Seems hopeful, if you read posts from some Babblers in training to be T's now. But there's little consistancy with pdocs, psychologists, SWs, and so on, is what I'm getting. <sigh> Change comes slowly, I suppose.

I was never afraid that my ex-T. would terminate me. Never. What I was afraid of is that I'd keep seeing him (how can you stay away when you're SO attached, love them on several levels, and think about them day and night!!) but he'd sound, act, speak and *feel* differently toward me.

I thought that would have been hell on earth. His gentleness, humor, caring and respect meant so much - everything - to me at that time in my life. And his opinion of me as a woman, as a person - that was a HUGE fear... Projection, mostly, I suppose, made me suspect he would HATE me and be REVOLTED by all these feelings. Well, I was wrong, because he handled the stuff he did know before leaving just beautifully.

It was one the biggest risks in a relationship I think I've ever taken. Hopefully, I've internalized something important from that. I'm still sorting out the meaning and impact with my T. now. I do feel better overall, though, and I know ex-T's choices when I was so broken and vulnerable had a LOT to do with that.

Take care, rr.

 

Re: How common is it, really?

Posted by daisym on August 19, 2005, at 0:38:52

In reply to How common is it, really?, posted by All Done on August 17, 2005, at 2:26:18

I think Dinah is right about those in short term therapy. And I think everyone is right that many people keep their feelings out of the room, and a lot of therapists never ask. I've talked about this a lot with my therapist. I wondered once how these feelings could not get in the way of the therapy if they weren't talked about. He said they might, but lots of times clients just quit because it is too overwhelming. Or many therapists don't work with the feelings but still a lot of therapy gets done.

When I was talking about feeling like a therapy cliche, he did say that this doesn't happen as much as I imagined it did. I don't know whether he meant clients confessing their feelings or having the feelings. I guess I'll have to ask.

I hope if you get clarification you'll share. And if he tells you what to do about these feelings, you'll share that too. I'm still looking for the definition of "working them through." Through what?

 

Re: How common is it, really? Dinah

Posted by All Done on August 19, 2005, at 2:40:16

In reply to Re: How common is it, really? All Done, posted by Dinah on August 17, 2005, at 9:00:05

> Yes, I think most clients do, when you factor in that most clients see their therapists twelve to sixteen sessions and don't have time to let their guard down and get attached.

True. My hair stylist (it always boils down to the hair, doesn't it?) went to therapy for a few months and he said he liked his T, but she helped him and he moved on. He looks at me funny every time he asks if I'm still in therapy and I say yes. (Then again, he seems a little oddly interested in my therapy.)

> But I think those of us with unhealthy attachment styles tend to become attached a lot more intensely and less securely. Which makes sense, since that's probably one of our core issues underlying a lot of problems in our lives.
>
> Not that I'm saying you're one of those. I am. But you've always struck me as someone who has the ability to attach appropriately. Not that I want to jump to conclusions. I know that a lot of people are able to present a very good front.

How do you define appropriately?

I don't think I had a healthy relationship with my mom (who attaches completely inappropriately) and my dad just wasn't around much.

I don't feel like I attach appropriately.

 

Re: How common is it, really? 10derHeart

Posted by All Done on August 19, 2005, at 2:57:17

In reply to Re: How common is it, really? All Done, posted by 10derHeart on August 18, 2005, at 0:06:44

> I agree with Dinah.
>
> Also, I think maybe there are the people who do see T's long-term, do get intensely attached, but can never tell. Or never quite tell. (I mean...tell their T's, not *tell* that they are that attached! lol)
>
> That was me with my ex-T. Eight months, and I knew I felt all the feelings at about the 3rd month (well, I'd been doing group w/him for 6 months prior, so that contributed, too). But I never revealed this stuff until a month before he moved away. I couldn't. Too scared, upset, bewildered..hadn't quite found Babble yet, ...etc. Took at least all that time to work up the courage to tell him portions of it.
>
> So I think there's that group, too. And it could be a large segment, with all the similar fears about being abandoned because of revealing these attachments I've read here.
>
> Maybe your T. has other clients who feel as you do, but just never had many (or any?) get to the point of speaking so openly about it as you do?
>
> At 16+ years as a pdoc, my ex-T. said a "small handful" of people ever were willing to talk about those feelings about him as their T., with him. Who knows how many that is....he has big hands! ;-) He said I was the first to "plumb the depths" of the whole thing, when I confessed to erotic feelings, parental stuff, driving by his house, thinking I'd die when he moved, and who knows what else, in two letters I gave him. Too bad 90% of the dialog was after temination, by email.
>
> Hmm...I should ask current T. your question. He's very open to talking about the subject. I still get a little nervous, but it's getting better.
>
> Great post :-)

I didn't even think about the group that hesitate to talk about their feelings toward their therapists, but you're right and I bet it's a very large group. It's so hard to share some of these things when you have no idea how your T will react. I guess I spent enough time on the smaller things (and reading Babble) to be comfortable with my assumption that my T would accept whatever I had to say. Still scary, though.

Sometimes I do wonder if I tell my therapist a lot compared to what others share with their therapists.

Sorry your T had to move away, but good for you for sharing everything you could in the short amount of time you had.

 

Re: How common is it, really? daisym

Posted by All Done on August 19, 2005, at 3:03:54

In reply to Re: How common is it, really?, posted by daisym on August 19, 2005, at 0:38:52

> I think Dinah is right about those in short term therapy. And I think everyone is right that many people keep their feelings out of the room, and a lot of therapists never ask. I've talked about this a lot with my therapist. I wondered once how these feelings could not get in the way of the therapy if they weren't talked about. He said they might, but lots of times clients just quit because it is too overwhelming. Or many therapists don't work with the feelings but still a lot of therapy gets done.

I can't even imagine that. If my T didn't work with the feelings I have, I imagine I would be so confused. I would never understand why I was having the feelings and then I would have to quit.

> When I was talking about feeling like a therapy cliche, he did say that this doesn't happen as much as I imagined it did. I don't know whether he meant clients confessing their feelings or having the feelings. I guess I'll have to ask.
>
> I hope if you get clarification you'll share. And if he tells you what to do about these feelings, you'll share that too. I'm still looking for the definition of "working them through." Through what?

I wish he would tell me what to do about these feelings. My guess is, though, that he won't and maybe wouldn't even know what to tell me to do. It's that magic wand again. Where did he put it?

 

Re: (((((rabidreader))))) (nm)

Posted by All Done on August 19, 2005, at 3:05:59

In reply to Re: How common is it, really? 10derHeart, posted by rabidreader on August 18, 2005, at 14:54:47

 

Re: (((((rabidreader))))) All Done

Posted by rabidreader on August 19, 2005, at 14:18:05

In reply to Re: (((((rabidreader))))) (nm), posted by All Done on August 19, 2005, at 3:05:59

Thank you for the hug!!! It helps so much! Hey, and least all of us are trying to understand these feelings and not quitting. We are trying to get healthy and if we have to "get messy" with our T's, then so be it. I wasn't allowed to have messy feelings as a child. It's like not being allowed to make mud pies when you're little. T's have to be willing to get in the sand box and play. I guess that's what "working through" means to me.

 

Re: How common is it, really?

Posted by FlyingKangaroo on August 20, 2005, at 20:02:36

In reply to How common is it, really?, posted by All Done on August 17, 2005, at 2:26:18

I just told my T tonight ( by email) that this whole attachment and transference thing was too much for me to handle alone and he had not done anything to help me work through it. I know he will be mad and i have put myself at risk of being terminated. But really, how much worse could it be if he did terminate me? I am so damn wrapped up in him that i fail to believe that he is incompetent when it comes to handling transference and attachment. I have been paying him twice a week just to be near him and i havent been trying to solve the real problems. I guess he's my male hooker :) and i still cant wait to see him again.

.


 

Re: How common is it, really? FlyingKangaroo

Posted by annierose on August 20, 2005, at 20:41:42

In reply to Re: How common is it, really?, posted by FlyingKangaroo on August 20, 2005, at 20:02:36

If he is your male hooker, then I think he owes you more than an explanation .... (grin)

 

Re: How common is it, really? annierose

Posted by FlyingKangaroo on August 20, 2005, at 21:26:52

In reply to Re: How common is it, really? FlyingKangaroo, posted by annierose on August 20, 2005, at 20:41:42

He does owe me his body doesnt he? :]

 

Re: How common is it, really? All Done

Posted by alexandra_k on August 20, 2005, at 21:55:20

In reply to How common is it, really?, posted by All Done on August 17, 2005, at 2:26:18

I think its pretty common. But less common is actually talking about it. I've had loads of CBT. Loads of time limited stuff. And you still get transference, though possibly not as intense. In fact... I don't think it is as intense - though I guess that can be moderated if they remind you of someone in particular or something like that.

I worry a bit that I'm not really attaching to my current t.
In fact... I still have difficulty of thinking of her as my current t.
I forget all about her at times and moan about how 'nobody' will work with me etc etc.
But there she is... working with me.
:-(

Not sure whats up there.
:-(
Dunno what that means
:-(

 

Re: (((((rabidreader))))) rabidreader

Posted by All Done on August 24, 2005, at 1:18:34

In reply to Re: (((((rabidreader))))) All Done, posted by rabidreader on August 19, 2005, at 14:18:05

I like your explanation of what "working through" means to you. Do you have a new T to work with?

 

Re: (((((FlyingKangaroo)))))

Posted by All Done on August 24, 2005, at 1:24:40

In reply to Re: How common is it, really?, posted by FlyingKangaroo on August 20, 2005, at 20:02:36

> I just told my T tonight ( by email) that this whole attachment and transference thing was too much for me to handle alone and he had not done anything to help me work through it. I know he will be mad and i have put myself at risk of being terminated. But really, how much worse could it be if he did terminate me? I am so damn wrapped up in him that i fail to believe that he is incompetent when it comes to handling transference and attachment. I have been paying him twice a week just to be near him and i havent been trying to solve the real problems. I guess he's my male hooker :) and i still cant wait to see him again.
>

Sorry it's been so tough for you, FlyingKangaroo. Have you gotten a response from your T, yet? (Sorry if I missed one of your posts.)

 

Re: How common is it, really? alexandra_k

Posted by All Done on August 24, 2005, at 1:36:26

In reply to Re: How common is it, really? All Done, posted by alexandra_k on August 20, 2005, at 21:55:20

> I think its pretty common. But less common is actually talking about it.

Yeah. After reading the responses here, I told my T I wasn't wondering how much this happens anymore, but I wonder how often his clients tell him this is happening. I swear he kind of nodded his head as if to say that was the better question.

> I've had loads of CBT. Loads of time limited stuff. And you still get transference, though possibly not as intense. In fact... I don't think it is as intense - though I guess that can be moderated if they remind you of someone in particular or something like that.
>
> I worry a bit that I'm not really attaching to my current t.
> In fact... I still have difficulty of thinking of her as my current t.
> I forget all about her at times and moan about how 'nobody' will work with me etc etc.
> But there she is... working with me.
> :-(
>
> Not sure whats up there.
> :-(
> Dunno what that means
> :-(

(((alexandra))), it takes time. Don't ask me how much because I have no clue, but I know it takes time.

 

Re: How common is it, really? All Done

Posted by alexandra_k on August 24, 2005, at 1:42:33

In reply to Re: How common is it, really? alexandra_k, posted by All Done on August 24, 2005, at 1:36:26

> (((alexandra))), it takes time. Don't ask me how much because I have no clue, but I know it takes time.

Thank you.
Its actually sorted now. I managed to kind of broach the topic by talking in general terms about not feeling things I think I should be... And she said that maybe I get scaired and then feel numb. And that works for me :-)

And now I feel a lot better.

Amazing how that works sometimes :-)

 

Re: (((((rabidreader)))))

Posted by rabidreader on August 24, 2005, at 13:39:09

In reply to Re: (((((rabidreader))))) rabidreader, posted by All Done on August 24, 2005, at 1:18:34

Thank you for the hug, All Done. Yes, I am going to a new T. It feels a little like school when you have a substitute teacher, but I hope this will pass. She is really nice and didn't try to explain my old T's actions...just let me pour out my feelings (many of them critical).

 

Re: (((((FlyingKangaroo))))) All Done

Posted by FlyingKangaroo on August 24, 2005, at 21:08:27

In reply to Re: (((((FlyingKangaroo))))), posted by All Done on August 24, 2005, at 1:24:40

He never did reply to my email but i saw him last night and we spent the whole session on transferance (again). He said (again) "its normal, it's o.k, it will eventually subside (again) and blah, blah, blah (again).
So i said "while it's o.k for you it's not so o.k for me so you better get that magic wand out and cast a negative transferance spell on me so that i can hate you and quit.
He said i must talk about it more.
I said what else is there to say?
Ive told him that i want him and he's told me that aint gonna happen.
Question: If he and i repeat those words 27,000 times in 45 minutes will i not want him anymore? Or will it become "ethical" to act on it?
I think I've forgotten why i started seeing him in the first place. Is it like when you go to the doctor because of an ingrown toe nail and the doctor whacks you on the head with a phone book and asks if the toe nail still hurts?
???

 

Re: How common is it, really?

Posted by Blossom on August 24, 2005, at 21:43:34

In reply to How common is it, really?, posted by All Done on August 17, 2005, at 2:26:18

Here's a perspective:

I think therapists know it happens all the time because it happens to them all the time too. That's something my own therapist told me. I think I already shared this story, but to summarize, one day, pretty much out of the blue, and not really related to anything we were talking about, he said, "Blossom, if you ever do counselling, you need to be very careful, because you will meet bright, articulate people who will push your buttons. You need to know your own needs and weaknesses or you could get yourself into a lot of trouble. I personally often find myself becoming attracted to depressed women between 40 and 55 years old."

So there you have it. It happens to them probably as often as it happens to us. I thought later that this statement was a virtual admission of his attraction to me (by the way, I have never admitted any sexual attraction to him, although I have shown and told him that I love him, and I think he knows that I would never, ever act on his attraction anyway).

But generally, I think that good therapists make a point of never admitting this to us clients, so we don't really think of the countertransference as happening as much as it probably does. They probably have better coping mechanisms to deal with the feelings than most of us do, 'cause they've been through this so often. But it's kinda fun to think about your T fantasizing about you, isn't it?

Blossom

 

Re: How common is it, really? Blossom

Posted by rabidreader on August 26, 2005, at 14:49:32

In reply to Re: How common is it, really?, posted by Blossom on August 24, 2005, at 21:43:34

Interesting thought, Blossom. I kind of feel a bit sorry for T's, because it seems to be such a taboo subject for them to speak of, as well as it is for us to speak to them about it. My new T told me that there is just no training done about tranference/countertransference, so in the provacy of the office, they are pretty much left to fend for themselves.

This does not stop me from wishing that my T would have said what your T did--that he was attracted often and maybe was attracted to me. I still miss him and love him very much.

 

Re: (((((FlyingKangaroo))))) FlyingKangaroo

Posted by rabidreader on August 26, 2005, at 14:59:22

In reply to Re: (((((FlyingKangaroo))))) All Done, posted by FlyingKangaroo on August 24, 2005, at 21:08:27

Oh, honey, you made me smile, and that's hard to do these days. When I was in love with my T (still am in love, but he's gone), I lost sight of my original intent in therapy also--which was recovery, my own goals, my own future. Right now, even though he left the state last week, I still think more about him than about my own self. It is hard to get back on track while in the grip of tranference, or indeed any romantic love emotion. The phone book whacking your head is the only thing you can see and feel.

I think what your T says, though, is right. Talk some more about it. And I mean get graphic if you have to--talk about the sexual fantasies, the daddy fantasies, whatever--I wish I had done that with my T months ago, instead of keeping all the images and thoughts and feelings inside out of fear, shame, and pride. With my new T (a female colleague of his), I am telling it like it is. It is VERY hard and very uncomfortable but it is working on the ingrown toenail, so to speak, and leaving the phone book behind.

 

Re: :-) (nm) alexandra_k

Posted by All Done on August 27, 2005, at 23:02:30

In reply to Re: How common is it, really? All Done, posted by alexandra_k on August 24, 2005, at 1:42:33

 

Re: (((((rabidreader)))))

Posted by All Done on August 27, 2005, at 23:04:45

In reply to Re: (((((rabidreader))))), posted by rabidreader on August 24, 2005, at 13:39:09

> Thank you for the hug, All Done. Yes, I am going to a new T. It feels a little like school when you have a substitute teacher, but I hope this will pass. She is really nice and didn't try to explain my old T's actions...just let me pour out my feelings (many of them critical).

She sounds like one of those substitute teachers you wish you had for the entire school year.

:-)

 

Re: (((((FlyingKangaroo)))))

Posted by All Done on August 27, 2005, at 23:08:34

In reply to Re: (((((FlyingKangaroo))))) All Done, posted by FlyingKangaroo on August 24, 2005, at 21:08:27

> He said i must talk about it more.
> I said what else is there to say?
> Ive told him that i want him and he's told me that aint gonna happen.
> Question: If he and i repeat those words 27,000 times in 45 minutes will i not want him anymore? Or will it become "ethical" to act on it?

Well, I have found that talking about it takes a lot of the intensity away. The thing is, we don't just talk about what I'm feeling, we try to find the reasons behind the feelings.

For me though, when the intensity goes away, I feel a huge loss. Seems I can't win. :(

 

Re: How common is it, really? Blossom

Posted by All Done on August 27, 2005, at 23:25:23

In reply to Re: How common is it, really?, posted by Blossom on August 24, 2005, at 21:43:34

> Here's a perspective:
>
> I think therapists know it happens all the time because it happens to them all the time too. That's something my own therapist told me. I think I already shared this story, but to summarize, one day, pretty much out of the blue, and not really related to anything we were talking about, he said, "Blossom, if you ever do counselling, you need to be very careful, because you will meet bright, articulate people who will push your buttons. You need to know your own needs and weaknesses or you could get yourself into a lot of trouble. I personally often find myself becoming attracted to depressed women between 40 and 55 years old."
>
> So there you have it. It happens to them probably as often as it happens to us. I thought later that this statement was a virtual admission of his attraction to me (by the way, I have never admitted any sexual attraction to him, although I have shown and told him that I love him, and I think he knows that I would never, ever act on his attraction anyway).
>
> But generally, I think that good therapists make a point of never admitting this to us clients, so we don't really think of the countertransference as happening as much as it probably does. They probably have better coping mechanisms to deal with the feelings than most of us do, 'cause they've been through this so often. But it's kinda fun to think about your T fantasizing about you, isn't it?
>
> Blossom


Hi, Blossom!

That's definitely an interesting perspective. I imagine many therapists have to go through their own therapy while training and might experience it there as well.

I guess I've never given countertransference much thought because so much of what I experience is because my therapist is a pretty blank slate. He, on the other hand, knows so much about me and can base his feelings on "reality".

It is quite interesting to think about, though. :)

Laurie

 

Re: How common is it, really? All Done

Posted by terrics on August 30, 2005, at 9:22:13

In reply to How common is it, really?, posted by All Done on August 17, 2005, at 2:26:18

It is so good to hear that counter-transference really exists. Do think you can tell when feelings are reciprocated? Has anyone felt (gut feeling) that their T. has a counter-transference for them? terrics


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