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Old 12-03-2018, 08:51 AM #51
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Default Re: Has anyone successfully worked through their transference?

I agree with TeaVicar

I am not trying to NOT feel the way I do about my T. My feelings aren't considered a problem or obstacle in our therapy - they just are. They are feelings. I cannot change or control them anyways.

The questions I ask myself now to judge whether the therapy relationship is healthy are these:

1. Is my world shrinking or expanding? (Am I losing other relationships for the sake of this relationship? Am I withdrawing from other relationships because of this one?)

2. Am I keeping secrets about this relationship? (Am I afraid to talk about things we say or do? If so, why? Is it because I know ethical boundaries are being crossed? Can determine this from that sense of "others won't understand...")

3. Are there any signs of gaslighting? (Saying one thing, doing another? Does the T tell me things I call him out on are 'just in my head?' Is he consistent in who he is?)

My relationship with C is a far cry from my relationship with S (Ex-T), who I was deeply enmeshed & codependent with. My feelings for C are strong, but I have gained in my other relationships because of my work with him - not lost. I don't keep secrets or feel any sort of "I know this crosses boundaries, but I like feeling special" feelings about C. And, he is super consistent in who he is. That doesn't mean we always connect, but he has never made me feel crazy - he definitely does not tell me things that I experience about our relationship are 'just in my head' like S used to do.

The relationship is benefiting me, expanding my world & my understanding in my other relationships. I see no problem with the strong feelings or transference I feel in this relationship.
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Old 12-03-2018, 09:13 AM #52
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Default Re: Has anyone successfully worked through their transference?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TeaVicar? View Post
. . .

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.
Thanks. It feels very good to see/read you acknowledge that -- it makes me cry! A good thing, for me, I can't usually do that.

A life so ruined! Almost gone! Wish it were. . .

I chased the pipe dream of therapy -- "idealizing transference" some might call it -- but nobody that I saw in therapy helped with that, or noticed it so far as I know.

It so really sucks.
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Old 12-03-2018, 09:27 AM #53
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Default Re: Has anyone successfully worked through their transference?

Who does not get transference the way we seem to? The enmeshed kind? The kind that is all consuming? If a person went into therapy who came from a family with both parents and had their needs met, verbal & pre-verbal, get that kind of transference?

Interesting how a topic like this has the most replies compared to other postings.
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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 12-03-2018, 09:28 AM #54
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Default Re: Has anyone successfully worked through their transference?

Quote:
Originally Posted by here today View Post
Thanks. It feels very good to see/read you acknowledge that -- it makes me cry! A good thing, for me, I can't usually do that.

A life so ruined! Almost gone! Wish it were. . .

I chased the pipe dream of therapy -- "idealizing transference" some might call it -- but nobody that I saw in therapy helped with that, or noticed it so far as I know.

It so really sucks.


Yeah all of 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 12-03-2018, 09:50 AM #55
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Default Re: Has anyone successfully worked through their transference?

This seems to be a frequent topic:
working through transference site:https://forums.psychcentral.com/psychotherapy/
(I think you have to copy and paste that into the search box.)

I've worked through mine, and it could get too intense at times due to childhood trauma. But I'm also very dissociative, which kind of crosses into it or blurs it or distorts it-not sure how to describe.

Both my long term Ts were psychoanalysts; from what I understand, "working through" is specific to psychoanalytic therapy. I always told him all of my feelings that were about him, and he responded with interpretations.

The way we use the terms here, I think just talking about it is working on it. Not sure how different it is, but I know that the therapist's modality has a big influence on how intense transference is (as opposed to merely the client-that I think is a myth). In the past, I've done therapy with nonpsychoanaytic Ts and had little to no transference.

I can see how people could get sucked in, with endless talk about the therapist/feelings surrounding the therapist, taking over the whole therapy. Some see that as attachment work? I see it more structural in it changes how your mind works. This is always an interesting subject to me.
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Old 12-03-2018, 11:07 AM #56
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Default Re: Has anyone successfully worked through their transference?

I work with my transference as part of my therapy. I don't know if I am working through it or not as I'm not exactly sure what that looks like or is like. My guess is that like most therapy stuff, it will be somewhat unique for each person. What has come up recently for me is a few ideas:

- how our internal narratives are created by those that are around us, the earliest coming from our primary care givers. And maybe when we really start to believe (accept) our T's love us, that is when the beginning of our narrative towards loving ourselves start to change.

- it feels like I am creating or recreating the mommy object in my mind. Or whatever it is that we get from our primary care giver as an infant.

Again, I recognize everyone goes to therapy for different things and has different needs from therapy so any generalization made here is not to imply that this is how it will work for or is for anyone else.

I have a feeling that these are the things I will need to address/overcome in order to "work through" the transference. That said, my T is completely ok if a part of me always sees her as mommy and will welcome it whenever my mind goes there. So I am not so sure that working through the transference means eliminating it completely since transference is a natural human experience. I'm not exactly sure what it will mean to have worked through it.
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Old 12-03-2018, 11:20 AM #57
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Default Re: Has anyone successfully worked through their transference?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MoxieDoxie View Post
Who does not get transference the way we seem to? The enmeshed kind? The kind that is all consuming? If a person went into therapy who came from a family with both parents and had their needs met, verbal & pre-verbal, get that kind of transference?

Interesting how a topic like this has the most replies compared to other postings.
I came from a home where most of my parental needs were met, so I didn't experience the kind of enmeshed transference many speak of here. I agree with what someone mentioned that the term "transference" gets overused and misused a great deal. I go with the definition meaning a transfer of emotions onto someone (in this case the therapist) that originate in perhaps unresolved issues tied to someone in a person's own history. I don't personally think all feelings for a therapist are necessarily transference, and much of what gets discussed here seems less about actual transference and more about poor boundaries, unprofessional behavior of therapists, etc. that cause their own damage and strong emotions.

The term "transference" never came up in any of the therapy; however, there were times we did discuss my emotional reactions to events or people that were clearly tied to my history with individuals that I was replaying, on current events and relationships. I'm sure therapists, in their mind, were calling it transference or projection, but they weren't the types to use therapist-speak much. And we worked specifically on why I was reacting so strongly to those situations/people and how my reactions were often tied directly to those old tapes and histories and traumas from the past. Transference doesn't only occur in therapist/client situations. Mine didn't, but I'm fairly certain I experienced it in personal relationships. My husband's transference was definitely focused on our own relationship; he didn't have those transference feelings/situations with our therapist though.

So yes, even those who had stable familial relationships can have to deal with transference as the result of other traumatic or dysfunctional relationships in their lives; it doesn't have to necessarily be a family of origin issue. People can become harmed by a variety of people and events in their histories, not just by their family history. And that harm can show up in transference within personal relationships.

Last edited by ArtleyWilkins; 12-03-2018 at 11:51 AM.
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Old 12-03-2018, 11:59 AM #58
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Default Re: Has anyone successfully worked through their transference?

Here's the psychoanalytic method described in a simple way:

Quote:
Working through the transference entails that:

a) the therapist observes and monitors the patient's defensive pattern in the here-and-now vis-ŕ-vis the boundaries and the therapist (DT);

b) she helps the patient to focus on these patterns, to experience and express fully the underlying feelings and emotions (XT);

c) she helps the patient to link them with the same emotions, patterns of defensive behaviour and responses in his past and current relationships (DAX/TCP);

d) she helps the patient to change those maladaptive patterns in the here-and-now as well as out there (D/TC).
transference_regression_working_through

I don't think this speaks to everything that happens, but at least it is in black and white.
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Old 12-03-2018, 01:08 PM #59
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Default Re: Has anyone successfully worked through their transference?

I’ve read all the comments on this thread with interest and it seems that a lot of them fall into 2 different types-those who espouse the “technical” description of ‘transference” as being rooted in the past and being played out repeatedly throughout life and those who recognise within themselves that they are in some way “addicted” to the therapist/therapeutic construct- it gives them a high at the time and terrible lows fairly soon after session has finished resulting in often wild /desperate attempts to recreate the high between sessions through often inappropriate/unnecessary email contact which adds more layers to the “addiction” eg checked to see if responded/analysis of response /wish I hadn’t emailed/why no response etc needing to devote next session to these issues-this level of pain and need surely is not maternal/paternal transference?.- erotic maybe - genuinely wanting to have a real relationship with the therapist maybe but if it consumes your waking (sometimes dreaming) life and I’ve been there- it’s an obsession or addiction -I knew that and it’s horrendously painful when you realise this and even worse when you realise that you have to pull yourself out of the situation-no amount of discussing the relationship,acting out,faking that you’re ok etc will solve it
It’s the most insidious and damaging experience of my life and although I’ve had no contact for a few months and am moving forward in other areas of my life I’m still indulging in obsessional thoughts/stories/fantasies about the bl..dy man-i hate what the relationship created but I can’t hate the man- very very scary and not somewhere I ever wish to go again-I don’t believe that “transference “ is anything like as common as it’s purported to be if it even exists-it’s a construct that suits the profession
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Old 12-03-2018, 01:30 PM #60
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Default Re: Has anyone successfully worked through their transference?

Maybe a distinction can be made between what PurpleMirrors called "negative bonding" (is that a kind of enmeshment?) and what the psychoanalysts (the original "blank slate" therapists) called transference. And, yes, I agree that the profession currently can and probably does use the term transference in ways that suit them.
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