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Old 12-02-2018, 05:10 PM #31
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Default Re: Has anyone successfully worked through their transference?

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Originally Posted by BudFox View Post
For me the path to resolving an all-consuming therapist entanglement was:

(a) stop using self-defeating and meaningless terms like "transference"
(b) stop buying into industry propaganda about the need to "work thru" something that was conjured up therapy itself
(c) recognize the insanity of the process generally... developing strong feelings of any kind toward a virtual stranger and professional actor
(d) trust myself to sort out what happened

Also, I think just because people can extract a handful of insights or have some pleasant feelings during this process does not make it a good thing, on the whole, nor does it justify that existence of the process.
I agree with this.

I tried to work through “transferences” for many years but my feelings only intensified. I became a full blow therapy addict - complete with compulsive emails, inability to tolerate vacations, constant preoccupation with my therapist, ‘crazy’ responses and reactions, and pretty much total mental deterioration.

The only thing that worked for me was removing the source of my addiction - my therapist. The endless torture stopped but a part of me feels irreparably broken and violated by therapy.
 
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Old 12-02-2018, 05:27 PM #32
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Default Re: Has anyone successfully worked through their transference?

I don't see what could be "worked through" since these feelings are created by therapy itself imo. Every human being on this planet has a hole they need to fill, even the most healthy ones. Therapy seems to often uncover those needs and then magnify them and boom! the client is hooked. I also think some people replace the addiction with a therapist with the addiction of another therapist. They go from one to another chasing the same "high". It took me a while to realize I was in fact addicted to therapy because 1) therapy is never described in this way by mainstream media and 2) I had never been addicted to anything before therapy so it was hard to recognize the effects. When my "supply" was cut off (ie I was terminated) I slowly started to realize what had been happening and the whole thing (therapy) crumbled. I could no longer believe in it and now that the high had worn off I could see the deception and the dishonesty. Therapy holds no interest for me anymore. Ironically I have "worked through it" but not thanks to a therapist, just by myself by questioning the whole thing and by reading stuff.
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Old 12-02-2018, 07:05 PM #33
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Default Re: Has anyone successfully worked through their transference?

"All consuming therapist entanglement" is not the same as transference. Anything that results in a feeling of addiction, of life hinges on contact with the therapist, of desperation both in the presence of and away from a therapist, is not transference work.



You all are describing highly dysfunctional relations that are not a part of functional transference therapy with competent therapists. Apples and oranges. Not all therapists nor all clients are suited to transference work, nor is it applicable to all situations. And no, I'm not interested in a debate about the system as inherently dysfunctional, nor of therapists using "transference" to entrap clients, and will not engage in such baiting as that would be a derailment of the thread.
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Old 12-02-2018, 07:10 PM #34
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Default Re: Has anyone successfully worked through their transference?

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"All consuming therapist entanglement" is not the same as transference. Anything that results in a feeling of addiction, of life hinges on contact with the therapist, of desperation both in the presence of and away from a therapist, is not transference work.



You all are describing highly dysfunctional relations that are not a part of functional transference therapy with competent therapists. Apples and oranges. Not all therapists nor all clients are suited to transference work, nor is it applicable to all situations. And no, I'm not interested in a debate about the system as inherently dysfunctional, nor of therapists using "transference" to entrap clients, and will not engage in such baiting as that would be a derailment of the thread.
I don’t understand this.
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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 12-02-2018, 07:19 PM #35
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Default Re: Has anyone successfully worked through their transference?

Transference originates in the client. It exists or it doesn't because it stems from unmet needs in childhood. A competent therapist cannot "implant" a transference in a client. There are, of course, incompetent/unethical therapists who inflict all sorts of harm. But to call such experiences "transference" is both inaccurate and misleading.



If a client is engaging in therapy, and the process of that therapy results in persistent feelings of desperation, self harm, life altering obsessiveness, etc--worse than before therapy-- then that's either bad therapy, or inappropriate therapy for that client at that time. Transference has nothing to do with it.
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Old 12-02-2018, 07:32 PM #36
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Default Re: Has anyone successfully worked through their transference?

I don't describe my feelings as transference, either. For me the transference happened a long time ago, when T asked if my husband and I wanted to "go deeper" after about 6 mos of successful couple counseling. I said yes because there was part of me that wanted to please him, liked the attention and that sort of thing.

Unfortunately we said yes. That was a bad decision on our parts as it has played out. Each of us had some deep stuff that we were coping with fairly well. The deeper stuff was opening a Pandora's Box. The feelings I have struggled with/still sometime struggle with are intense and painful.
T hasn't bailed on me, continues to be supportive and do his best. I see a second T who is experienced and has specific training with the stuff I struggle with. It is better, most of the time.

I think that a clean break might have been a good idea, but almost 11 years into this, I'm not going to do that. At least not today.

The other thing that I would add is that I think that people who are doing well in therapy don't seem to be on this forum. I do know lots of people who have found therapy helpful and I have had the experience of it being helpful over the years. But the deep, painful dependence on T is not, IMO (or in the opinion of other providers) transference. It is dependence and attachment.
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Old 12-02-2018, 07:35 PM #37
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Default Re: Has anyone successfully worked through their transference?

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Originally Posted by feralkittymom View Post
Transference originates in the client. It exists or it doesn't because it stems from unmet needs in childhood. A competent therapist cannot "implant" a transference in a client. There are, of course, incompetent/unethical therapists who inflict all sorts of harm. But to call such experiences "transference" is both inaccurate and misleading.



If a client is engaging in therapy, and the process of that therapy results in persistent feelings of desperation, self harm, life altering obsessiveness, etc--worse than before therapy-- then that's either bad therapy, or inappropriate therapy for that client at that time. Transference has nothing to do with it.
I’m not too concerned about labels.

Bad, inappropriate, etc are all relative, and meaningless when one finds themselves ‘in it’ with very little hope of getting out without serious damage. Until one has suffered through it, it is impossible to convey to someone who hasn’t.

I think many clients are unable to find the line between ‘transference’ that needs to be worked through, and a harmful situation. At what line should a person leave therapy? It seems to me from reading this board that there are not a small number of people recovering or trying to work their way out of extremely challenging situations. Often they are encouraged to ‘talk it out’, ‘work through the hard stuff’, etc. I don’t really know what the right answer is.
 
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Old 12-02-2018, 07:48 PM #38
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Default Re: Has anyone successfully worked through their transference?

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"You all are describing highly dysfunctional relations that are not a part of functional transference therapy with competent therapists.
I want to comment specifically to this part. Many of us have highly dysfunctional relationships with therapists because we had highly dysfunctional relationships with parents or no relationships with parents. Many of us carry that through to other relationships in our lives or have figured out how to navigate life despite. I was under the impression that replaying these dynamics with our therapist and having corrective experiences is what therapy was all about? Deep healing?

Particularly when therapists advertently or inadvertently try to provoke a parental or authoritative role, it seems to me that dysfunction resulting from a dysfunctional past is inevitable. Is there no help for those that keep forming dysfunctional relationships if such a thing is apparently not ‘normal’? Perhaps not through the therapy avenue, unless one is lucky enough to find a therapist who is truly exceptional.
 
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Old 12-02-2018, 08:03 PM #39
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Default Re: Has anyone successfully worked through their transference?

I actually don't hear much advice on this forum about "working out" issues in the presence of alarmingly negative symptoms. What I see more of is posters who are negatively bonded to Ts they should walk away from, but are too deep in desperation to do so. Assuming no one can understand a situation unless they've experienced it is just another way of staying stuck.



I guess I don't think of terminology as "labels." I think words are important because otherwise there's no chance of shared meaning.
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Old 12-02-2018, 08:12 PM #40
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Default Re: Has anyone successfully worked through their transference?

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I want to comment specifically to this part. Many of us have highly dysfunctional relationships with therapists because we had highly dysfunctional relationships with parents or no relationships with parents. Many of us carry that through to other relationships in our lives or have figured out how to navigate life despite. I was under the impression that replaying these dynamics with our therapist and having corrective experiences is what therapy was all about? Deep healing?

Particularly when therapists advertently or inadvertently try to provoke a parental or authoritative role, it seems to me that dysfunction resulting from a dysfunctional past is inevitable. Is there no help for those that keep forming dysfunctional relationships if such a thing is apparently not ‘normal’? Perhaps not through the therapy avenue, unless one is lucky enough to find a therapist who is truly exceptional.

This is exactly the point of therapy. Working out the dysfunctions your life brings to therapy, with a competent therapist, is how therapy can work. A competent therapist doesn't provoke in most cases (there are modalities like Gestalt that are more confronting) . But that storminess isn't the same as dysfunctional therapy. When the therapy itself is causing more problems than it's solving, something is wrong. When the therapy itself is introducing new conflicts, something is wrong. It's not usually so obvious in a single session sort of way, but in an over time sort of way.
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