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Old 12-02-2018, 08:19 PM #41
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Default Re: Has anyone successfully worked through their transference?

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Originally Posted by feralkittymom View Post
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.
The unfortunate reality is that many folks who find themselves negatively bonded are in fact in no position to leave.

I unstuck myself after 8 years of assuming I was working through my issues and said transferences. Especially since my therapist kept pushing me to dig deeper, feel more, grieve, etc. Not being able to differentiate between transference and an unhealthy relationship kept me enmeshed and stuck. Iíve shared in few other threads what my Ďred flagsí are, but itís not like thereís a readily accessible consumer guide to determine whether your therapy relationship is or isnít working. Sadly, even if there was, I was already in too deep to leave for many years. Pandoraís box was opened.

The really sad part is that now my options are either find another therapist in a system I no longer trust, or go it alone. I chose the latter. For now.
 
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Old 12-02-2018, 08:36 PM #42
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Default Re: Has anyone successfully worked through their transference?

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Originally Posted by feralkittymom View Post
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.
This is what I think as well and why I compare many therapy stories shared on this forum to an addiction.

I personally don't think that it is always due to an incompetent therapist and/or unmotivated client when therapy does not turn out useful for someone. I think it is a particular approach to improvement that, if done well, it can be very helpful for some people, but not everyone. Just like a particular psych med or lifestyle choice would work for some but not for others, and can even be harmful in certain cases. I also think that some people are more prone to getting stuck in bad/useless therapy, in what is described as transference, attachment or whatnot, while others do not experience and process somewhat similar needs in a similar way and with the same outcome. It is normal human diversity IMO. I think some of us come here and like top encourage others to go against their internal currents and unstuck and this is sometimes met with negative reactions claiming we don't understand or are dismissive, which is fine with me as there is room for variety here and variety is exactly what can make a forum like this interesting and useful. There is also perfectly enough room for acceptance and pure support of whatever situation.

For me personally "working through" would never be something that is purely mental, remains in therapy, and does not lead to changes or improvement of symptoms in everyday life. This is one reason why I do not believe anyone can truly "work through" issues purely in therapy, whether it is transference, attachment, addiction or anything else. But it is just one opinion.
 
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Old 12-02-2018, 09:51 PM #43
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Default Re: Has anyone successfully worked through their transference?

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Originally Posted by PurpleMirrors View Post
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 Ďnormalí? Perhaps not through the therapy avenue, unless one is lucky enough to find a therapist who is truly exceptional.
Thanks. This is extremely well put. I agree. It's very hard to describe, but I think you have done it well. It needs to be put on a "warning label" for therapy.
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Old 12-02-2018, 10:04 PM #44
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Default Re: Has anyone successfully worked through their transference?

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Originally Posted by Anastasia~ View Post
Just out of curiosity what would it look like for a T to bring up the paternal transference, like what would he say? This sounds horrifying to me, clearly I must not be ready.
I haven't specifically experienced anything I'd call paternal transference, but as an example... If during a session or a series of sessions I mentioned feeling a certain way about him, he might say something like "The way you're describing feeling reminds me of something, and I wonder if you'd agree. Do you think that feeling of confusion is like what you felt when your father..." etc. etc. etc.

The timing is important though, and I think (at least for me) the tentativeness of the interpretation is too. So my therapist would only bring that up if he saw it as the right time for me to hear it and had a reason he thought it would be useful. And if I disagreed, and said no, that experience with my dad was different because... or no, but it actually does remind me of this other thing/relationship... then my therapist would be open to hearing that, whether it eventually turned out that his interpretation was off base, or whether it just wasn't something I was ready to hear at the time.
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Old 12-02-2018, 10:47 PM #45
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Default Re: Has anyone successfully worked through their transference?

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Originally Posted by Anastasia~ View Post
Just out of curiosity what would it look like for a T to bring up the paternal transference, like what would he say? This sounds horrifying to me, clearly I must not be ready.
We just called it transference. And it usually showed up as me saying, "you sounded just like my mother there." Then my t would say, "thats funny, because i was just thinking that you were sounding just like your mother there." I internalized a lot of my parents messages and would use them on myself and other people, instead of speaking in my true voice, as my true self. Even my dad would say, if i asked him a question, "well, my father would tell you blah blah blah." So a lot of not taking responsibility in the genes.
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Old 12-03-2018, 04:09 AM #46
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Default Re: Has anyone successfully worked through their transference?

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Originally Posted by PurpleMirrors View Post
The unfortunate reality is that many folks who find themselves negatively bonded are in fact in no position to leave.

I unstuck myself after 8 years of assuming I was working through my issues and said transferences. Especially since my therapist kept pushing me to dig deeper, feel more, grieve, etc. Not being able to differentiate between transference and an unhealthy relationship kept me enmeshed and stuck. Iíve shared in few other threads what my Ďred flagsí are, but itís not like thereís a readily accessible consumer guide to determine whether your therapy relationship is or isnít working. Sadly, even if there was, I was already in too deep to leave for many years. Pandoraís box was opened.

The really sad part is that now my options are either find another therapist in a system I no longer trust, or go it alone. I chose the latter. For now.
well said! this was my experince too. i was too entangled, addicted too, negatively bonded, unhealthily attached, deeply entrenched,or what what ever you want to call it in the relationship with my ex-T to even fathom leaving or that i could survive life with out him being a part of it. i was completely stuck and the most pathetic thing about it, is i absolutely knew this too. although i didn't have the courage, strength or worthiness to get myself unstuck. it was easier to go along with what others were saying i should be doing in therapy instead of listening to my gut...thinking perhaps all those others on the forums and in the therapy books are right and i must be doing therapy all wrong. so i persevered onward hoping that one day, just maybe i might just 'work through' all this messy transference and the unbearable attachment issues with my T. including finally resolving all the ruptures after repeated ruptures. all the heartache, disappointments, and frustrations. always trying to reassure myself that surely that must be what therapy was suppose to be about. although, the issue with that solution was i was slipping backwards in life, not forwards, like i had signed up for when starting therapy.

all the talk here about 'filling a hole' i reckon was the crux of much of my issues. i had the deepest, darkest, coldest, eternally bottomless pit of despair inside of me that desperately needed filling. my ex-T and all his smooth talk about a 'healing therapeutic relationship' knew exactly how to trigger the ravenous hunger in that pit. but all he was offering me was meager crumbs. and for me, that was ok, because i didn't feel that i deserved any more and those tiny crumbs he did toss me already had me hooked.

eventually, after getting frustrated of only getting fed crumbs, i did successfully move beyond my transference, but there was no 'working through' the transference in the relationship with my T, and not in the traditional sense that most discuss is suppose to happen with a competent T. it was only through focusing on other means outside of my therapy that i was able to do this. my mind learned how to calm the dysregulation and fears with the aid of neurofeedback. i worked internally with my fragmented parts to bring them together to begin working as a unified team. and in the relationship with my supportive husband, i was able to start forming a secure and safe attachment to him (not my T). as a result of all this, my bottomless pit of despair began to shrink and i actually started believing that not only was i worthy of the love from others, but that i was actually worthy of loving myself. the more love i felt towards myself, the more my emptiness filled. i eventually got to the point where i no longer feared being abandoned or alone. i no longer felt lonely. i no longer feared my T leaving me or living life without him. in fact, i no longer feared my T. it was those fears that were fueling my addiction to him and to therapy. when i reached this point, i knew it was time to officially end therapy. i was no longer stuck and in need of an unhealthy attachment. it was an incredibly empowering feeling to experince. i only wish that more people were able to have a similar experince and that is why i continue to share my stories here...to perhaps offer a glimmer of hope that there is a way forward to a more fulfilling life.
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Old 12-03-2018, 04:29 AM #47
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Default Re: Has anyone successfully worked through their transference?

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well said! this was my experince too. i was too entangled, addicted too, negatively bonded, unhealthily attached, deeply entrenched,or what what ever you want to call it in the relationship with my ex-T to even fathom leaving or that i could survive life with out him being a part of it. i was completely stuck and the most pathetic thing about it, is i absolutely knew this too. although i didn't have the courage, strength or worthiness to get myself unstuck. it was easier to go along with what others were saying i should be doing in therapy instead of listening to my gut...thinking perhaps all those others on the forums and in the therapy books are right and i must be doing therapy all wrong. so i persevered onward hoping that one day, just maybe i might just 'work through' all this messy transference and the unbearable attachment issues with my T. including finally resolving all the ruptures after repeated ruptures. all the heartache, disappointments, and frustrations. always trying to reassure myself that surely that must be what therapy was suppose to be about. although, the issue with that solution was i was slipping backwards in life, not forwards, like i had signed up for when starting therapy.

all the talk here about 'filling a hole' i reckon was the crux of much of my issues. i had the deepest, darkest, coldest, eternally bottomless pit of despair inside of me that desperately needed filling. my ex-T and all his smooth talk about a 'healing therapeutic relationship' knew exactly how to trigger the ravenous hunger in that pit. but all he was offering me was meager crumbs. and for me, that was ok, because i didn't feel that i deserved any more and those tiny crumbs he did toss me already had me hooked.

eventually, after getting frustrated of only getting fed crumbs, i did successfully move beyond my transference, but there was no 'working through' the transference in the relationship with my T, and not in the traditional sense that most discuss is suppose to happen with a competent T. it was only through focusing on other means outside of my therapy that i was able to do this. my mind learned how to calm the dysregulation and fears with the aid of neurofeedback. i worked internally with my fragmented parts to bring them together to begin working as a unified team. and in the relationship with my supportive husband, i was able to start forming a secure and safe attachment to him (not my T). as a result of all this, my bottomless pit of despair began to shrink and i actually started believing that not only was i worthy of the love from others, but that i was actually worthy of loving myself. the more love i felt towards myself, the more my emptiness filled. i eventually got to the point where i no longer feared being abandoned or alone. i no longer felt lonely. i no longer feared my T leaving me or living life without him. in fact, i no longer feared my T. it was those fears that were fueling my addiction to him and to therapy. when i reached this point, i knew it was time to officially end therapy. i was no longer stuck and in need of an unhealthy attachment. it was an incredibly empowering feeling to experince. i only wish that more people were able to have a similar experince and that is why i continue to share my stories here...to perhaps offer a glimmer of hope that there is a way forward to a more fulfilling life.
Well said.

This was very similar to my own experience. The unfortunate part is that my being stuck cost me 8 years of time and session fees - not to mention the lost years of feeling horrible between sessions.

When I left I was in such a deteriorated state that it took months to work up to feeling like the world didnít end. I canít say I feel any better than when I started, minus gaining the knowledge to never ever allow anyone else to do this to me again.
 
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Old 12-03-2018, 04:38 AM #48
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Default Re: Has anyone successfully worked through their transference?

Do therapist know and understand this is all happening? I am very enmeshed to my therapist and I spent the weekend trying to comfort that small child part that was in such despair. I have therapy today at 3pm. I did send him an email last night that I felt it was not the modality that he is using to help me with my issued but it was the relationship and the thought of leaving therapy brings back all the symptoms that brought me to therapy to begin with.

It is not normal to be thinking about your therapist every moment of the day. That is how my weekend went and I need it to stop. How can therapist think that is healthy?

Right now I just feel I can not leave therapy. If I was a healthy functioning adult I would not have gone into therapy to begin with. Since therapy with him I stopped being bulimic, I do not self harm and I do not think about killing myself on a daily basis. When I think about leaving therapy all those feelings seem to flood right back in. So I do not know anymore.
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When a childís emotional needs are not met and a child is repeatedly hurt and abused, this deeply and profoundly affects the childís 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 12-03-2018, 06:28 AM #49
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Default Re: Has anyone successfully worked through their transference?

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Do therapist know and understand this is all happening? I am very enmeshed to my therapist and I spent the weekend trying to comfort that small child part that was in such despair. I have therapy today at 3pm. I did send him an email last night that I felt it was not the modality that he is using to help me with my issued but it was the relationship and the thought of leaving therapy brings back all the symptoms that brought me to therapy to begin with.

It is not normal to be thinking about your therapist every moment of the day. That is how my weekend went and I need it to stop. How can therapist think that is healthy?

Right now I just feel I can not leave therapy. If I was a healthy functioning adult I would not have gone into therapy to begin with. Since therapy with him I stopped being bulimic, I do not self harm and I do not think about killing myself on a daily basis. When I think about leaving therapy all those feelings seem to flood right back in. So I do not know anymore.
My therapist had no idea what she was doing to me (and possibly many other clients).

Iím fairly certain she believed I was being histrionic when I complained about side-effects. And also took no responsibility and was careless with her responses.

I truly believe that unless someone has Ďbeen hereí they arenít able to appreciate how excruciating, humiliating, hopeless and anxiety provoking an attachment like this can be.

I will say, if there are improvements as a whole (ie discontinuing harmful thoughts and behaviors) it might be worth holding on. That was not the case for me.

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Old 12-03-2018, 08:21 AM #50
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Default Re: Has anyone successfully worked through their transference?

I've got to the point where I no longer feel that 'working through' it is the answer, because it suggests that the feelings I have for him are an obstacle or a problem, that need to be resolved. What if the intense feelings are part of the therapy itself and what if I can use them to progress? I have experienced a shift in my thinking and feeling more recently and what has helped me move forward slightly is:
a) allowing myself to feel the feelings (especially the pain), rather than try to understand them or analyse them.
b) look at the hole/emptiness and experience it's presence as an adult, in some ways accepting it as part of me.
c) make a conscious effort to move myself forward, because there is a part of me that wants to stay in the dysfunctional attachment.

Strong feelings of love and attachment come up a lot in therapy and yet, it doesn't feel as though therapists or the therapy system are able to adequately help the process. I get the impression, that most therapists are winging it, and it's the clients who suffer.
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