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Old 12-09-2018, 07:05 AM #131
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Default Re: Has anyone successfully worked through their transference?

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Originally Posted by SalingerEsme View Post
. . .I get confused, but I do realize I project fear from early childhood on my T, which makes him sad- cycle.
Hope you can deal with and understand your fear from your experiences with this therapist, and can accept that his sadness is his sadness. Do you all talk about that at all? That his response is his response and -- hopefully -- it's OK?
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Old 12-09-2018, 12:09 PM #132
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My post had morphed into a whole new animal.
Yeahbut one of the best threads evah.
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Old 12-09-2018, 12:36 PM #133
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Default Re: Has anyone successfully worked through their transference?

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so i guess the real crux of my thinking in my prior post was wondering when a client remains in therapy long term, how much of that is of the clients own free will or how much is it influenced and maintained by the therapist triggering and perhaps feeding that fear which keeps the client 'stuck' in long term therapy?
I would say that one of the long term benefits of my long term therapy is I don't really feel afraid of anything anymore, including leaving therapy or leaving my therapist. And I think for a long time I was stuck in my life decisions in ways that were anxiety or fear based, which I think is a typical historical influence of severe childhood trauma. But my decision to remain in therapy for nearly a decade, with no plans to end soon, is very deliberately made based on a growth perspective rather than a need to get over any kind of fear, therapy related or not. Maybe it's just my therapist and maybe it is his own strengths model of clients, but it would just be very atypical for him to trigger any kind of fear that I cannot handle either what I've had to handle in life during the time I've seen him or that I cannot handle the difficult issues I've brought to therapy. When I've taken a break or quit altogether, he is confident in my decision to do so and yet welcomes me back when I return.

I can't explain how or when or why therapy has helped me deal rationally with my many fears, both relational and existential, and it's not like I have dealt with them always in a direct manner, but I know the primary benefit has been that I can recognize, articulate, examine, and respond to the fears that used to run my life. As a consequence, I handle my high stress and high stakes work easier and better than I ever have, parent my child in a more supportive way (and he's less fearful too), and generally feel more calm and content on a regular basis. These are huge benefits for me, and as I've opened up to the fears I bring to therapy, my long term therapist has been able to help me negotiate these more quickly and consistently and effectively. He can point out when he's "heard a version of this story before", remind me of how I've dealt with this before, or otherwise give me information tailored to me so I can hear it.

Maybe this doesn't make sense to anyone if you haven't experienced the perhaps unique benefits of long term therapy, or maybe if therapy has been without, as mine has, some sort of constant or frequent rupture, or where transference or difficulties with the therapy relationship are primary. I don't think there is anything my therapist or I myself have done to prevent ruptures-- when they've occurred, like transference, they have been short lived and resolve easily. Now, compared to earlier, I can respond in the moment when something he says strikes me the wrong way (or maybe the next session). Just like a long term friendship or other intimate relationship, I think he knows me better and I know him better and it's easier to dive into the real issues and not get hung up on the stuff that is not about what brought me to therapy. Like most people with my history, I have attachment issues and I think those have been resolved along the way and aided by being in therapy for so long, at least as is indicated by a general improvement in my interpersonal life, deeper friendships and more satisfying ones. I continue to see improvements in many aspects of my life that I think are attributable to therapy.

I don't agree that successful therapy means you no longer need or want therapy. That can certainly be the case for some and maybe even most therapy. Just because you're in long term therapy and don't have that goal, doesn't mean-- as you seem to presume-- that there is a problem with the person or the therapy. It is easy for me to understand how someone continued in therapy long term and how they can benefit from it. For some issues there is no end point in "cured" or "healed." And even if someone benefits simply from having extra support beyond their social network, that seems just fine to me. It's between them and their T and their pocketbook, and to assume there is a dependency there. I renew my book membership every month but that hardly means I am addicted to reading and reading new books. For me, sessions are not a rehash but involve new content and explorations and are the closest thing I can imagine to something that is good for me (reading, learning) that I continue to do and get better at it. I'm a better reader now than I was decades ago, partly because of my "experience" reading as well as the content/knowledge I've accumulated. Same is true for my therapy experience.
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Old 12-09-2018, 01:14 PM #134
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Default Re: Has anyone successfully worked through their transference?

I have been in therapy for 17 years 2 year break in between. I do not feel it has become a addiction for me, it's to maintain my emotional health. I do not believe my therapist is going to keep me longer then nessacery. Also we not set of end date as long as im making progress and I feel therapy is helping he will continue to see me. I used to think i would be done ages ago. I don't think there is any thing wrong with me continuing going to therapy if i am benifiting from it.
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Old 12-09-2018, 01:31 PM #135
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Default Re: Has anyone successfully worked through their transference?

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I have been in therapy for 17 years 2 year break in between. I do not feel it has become a addiction for me, it's to maintain my emotional health. .
Right.....I feel I am emotionally more stable when I have someone to talk to about what went on during the week and any issues. Maybe it is a crutch. Do not tell me to go find someone in real life to talk to because it is not the same. You do not have to hold space for the therapist feelings and then listen and help them with their issues like you would if it was a friend.
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When a child’s emotional needs are not met and a child is repeatedly hurt and abused, this deeply and profoundly affects the child’s development. Wanting those unmet childhood needs in adulthood. Looking for safety, protection, being cherished and loved can often be normal unmet needs in childhood, and the survivor searches for these in other adults. This can be where survivors search for mother and father figures. Transference issues in counseling can occur and this is normal for childhood abuse survivors.
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Old 12-09-2018, 01:46 PM #136
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I personally don't see too much overall imbalance in terms of therapy believers and antagonists on this forum and there are many people who don't seem to identify with poles or have just one steady type of opinion (I would place myself in the latter "agnostic" category). There are posts and threads for/focusing on the more extreme opinions, as well as threads like this one with a mix of everything. I like hearing all the different experiences and opinions as long as they do not turn into remarkable defensiveness and passive aggression, but even the latter are useful for the people who post them in some way, I guess. I think it is perfectly fair and valid to advocate what has or has not worked for someone and also to raise what someone perceives as systemic patterns and issues.

This whole transference topic is also something that naturally attracts the diversity given that it's not fool-proof, hardcore science and the concepts are quite obscure as well. I personally believe in the phenomenon of transference, just think it is often oversimplified and put in a few common boxes, and I do despise therapists or therapies that look at every interaction and feeling as transference.
 
Old 12-09-2018, 07:37 PM #137
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Default Re: Has anyone successfully worked through their transference?

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Originally Posted by Xynesthesia View Post
I think it is perfectly fair and valid to advocate what has or has not worked for someone and also to raise what someone perceives as systemic patterns and issues.
I've experienced the therapy system as sort of a giant dysfunctional family, where it's not ok to talk about systemic issues and patterns. Lot of secrecy, lot of denial.

Anyone reading this forum (or other forums, blogs) can plainly see that: therapy can be addictive, therapy harms a significant number of people, the positive effects tend to be palliative and tapering or stopping creates problems, and transference/attachment scenarios tend to trap people.
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