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Old 03-21-2019, 10:12 AM   #1
Lrad123
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Default Wanting mom-like responses from T

Iím wondering when the transference will stop. In particular, Iím wondering about the strong desire for email responses from my T despite the fact that heís made it clear he wonít reply (but will willingly read) and despite the fact that I can respect this boundary at least on a logical, adult level.

I had an a-ha moment this weekend where I genuinely felt like I was mourning the loss of my mother who is very much alive, just not available to me emotionally. I had a brief moment where I imagined her telling me something unequivocally positive and mom-like and it made me genuinely sad to realize I wonít get that from her because sheís not capable. I cried about it and it even felt cathartic. Later I realized that what I imagined wanting from her (a positive response) was exactly what I have been longing for from my T. This felt like a huge revelation. I would think that this would allow me outgrow that young sort of obsessive desire for email replies from my T. Will that happen eventually? Because despite having this realization, I think I still kind of feel like Iíd like him to respond. I want him to respond in a way that Iíd like my mom to respond. Iím hoping that this experience and realization will help me move past this, but Iím not sure and would welcome any thought.
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Old 03-21-2019, 12:28 PM   #2
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Default Re: Wanting mom-like responses from T

Once I connected up the pain at being rejected by my last T with the unconscious, now conscious, pain of being/feeling of rejected by my female relatives, I have been able, after 2 years and experiences of being non-rejected here and in a support group, to move on somewhat. Being rejected is not the end of the world, maybe, though it had felt like that. Or something. Though I didn't know I felt that way, until I did feel it, because it had been so unbearable, apparently, and hence dissociated.

So, I would guess, yes, wanting those responses from him may continue but the distress at not getting them may be lessened. AND, you may feel better able to tolerate the distress and not feel so much that you have to avoid the appointments, and the pain?

Congrats on the realization and your persistence, including asking for input on here. This kind of stuff really ain't that easy IMO. It will be interesting, I think, how things are for you going forward. Please keep us posted?
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Old 03-21-2019, 01:21 PM   #3
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Default Re: Wanting mom-like responses from T

It does sound like an aha moment about your mother. Not having a mother capable of emotional responding is a difficult way to grow up. But I am not sure (not like I can possibly know better than you, I'm just saying what I think) it's connected to the email.

It seems to me from what you have said that he is very nurturing and supportive, and emotionally available to you in session. If that is true, why isn't the session time enough for you, and how much nurturing really happens by email? (I'm assuming you and your mother didn't communicate by email when you were growing up. I can see wanting to repeatedly nurse at the nipple of the therapist fountain of emotionality and maybe that is what getting an email response does for you, but that seems superficial compared to what is available during an actual session.

For me, transference has been linked to a current deprivation in my own life. Looking at that, and seeing what I could do to get my needs met by my spouse or others in my social network. When I did that, my transference simmered down.
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Old 03-21-2019, 04:58 PM   #4
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Default Re: Wanting mom-like responses from T

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anne2.0 View Post
It does sound like an aha moment about your mother. Not having a mother capable of emotional responding is a difficult way to grow up. But I am not sure (not like I can possibly know better than you, I'm just saying what I think) it's connected to the email.

It seems to me from what you have said that he is very nurturing and supportive, and emotionally available to you in session. If that is true, why isn't the session time enough for you, and how much nurturing really happens by email? (I'm assuming you and your mother didn't communicate by email when you were growing up. I can see wanting to repeatedly nurse at the nipple of the therapist fountain of emotionality and maybe that is what getting an email response does for you, but that seems superficial compared to what is available during an actual session.

For me, transference has been linked to a current deprivation in my own life. Looking at that, and seeing what I could do to get my needs met by my spouse or others in my social network. When I did that, my transference simmered down.
Thanks. Yes, there may be more going on but this feels like a start. I went no contact with my mom about 2 years ago and started seeing my T right after that. In the past few years I have also had some big struggles with my son who has had major anxiety, school avoidance, etc., things that donít show up in the ďparenting handbook.Ē Although somewhat better now, at the time it felt like it hit me like a Mack truck and I have felt pretty sad about not having a supportive mom around when I was having parenting issues. In fact, I felt like I had to shield my son from my mom which was just a huge bummer. All of this, plus my own style of trying to do everything on my own is what prompted me to seek therapy. This past week it just hit me how much Iíve wanted mom-like support in the past few years. Some of it at least feels the same as the types of responses Iíve been craving from my therapist like, ďIím looking forward to seeing you on Wednesday,Ē and, ďI just wanted to let you know that Iím here,Ē and ďThose are all great thoughts.Ē I suppose they sound like cliche therapist one liners, but to me they feel like they symbolize more.

As for why session time isnít enough (vs. emails) I havenít figured that part out yet!
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Old 03-21-2019, 06:44 PM   #5
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Default Re: Wanting mom-like responses from T

I think this is interesting. My mother was not available to me as a child and T and I are looking at that now. My T though doesnít mind being the ďgood enough parentĒ for me even though he doesnít really get parent transference. He has said before that he looks forward to discussing something with me in session, he initiated touch last week because I hadnít gotten it as a child, and I can see him letting me know he was there for me. I guess some of it is that he is a different type of T than most of the others (more like yours) that I have worked with. Personally, I am finding his nurturing to be very healing without creating a huge increase in dependency... well come to think of it, less dependency than the therapists who encouraged the frustration of unmet needs so that I would survive or what ever and heal from being deprived a second time as an adult.
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Old 03-21-2019, 07:23 PM   #6
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Default Re: Wanting mom-like responses from T

It takes a while to work through these issues before the transference goes away. Your T will sometimes represent your mother, sometimes your father....

Something I've noticed over the years is many people don't realize how much impact their parents' way of relating has had on them. and what you are experiencing now is a good deal of how the therapy is supposed to work.

All this is just unfolding in your therapy right now. It's a new phase after building trust in your T, lowering defenses, and navigating the initial resistances. You've redirected your focus from him to you-that's progress right there; a change that represents that the therapy is working.

If I could answer your initial question, I would just give you my perspective that the transference ends when your past no longer has that kind of influence over your behavior, which is a process that happens alongside getting to a place where you are separated from your T and relate to him as an independent person. It's not a quick change by any means.
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