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Old 03-14-2019, 12:18 PM #1
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Default Attraction to T, not transference

New here, just looking for an outlet? Advice? Not sure, but I need to share.

So I'm VERY sexually attracted to my T, and I can't emphasize enough that's it's not transference. I do experience transference with him in other ways, even romantic ways. This attraction is just biological, he's an incredibly attractive man, and I'd feel this way regardless of whether or not he was my T. He knows about this, we've discussed it during quite a few sessions.

My main issue is that I don't really have an outlet for these feelings (he really hasn't suggested anything). I can tell him the general feelings of attraction, but not the specifics - I don't want to cross any boundaries, make him uncomfortable, or make our sessions about my feelings for him. I'm generally a sharer, so when I'm attracted to people in my every day life, I talk about it. If I were this attracted to anyone else right now, I'd be sharing all the details with my T, just to get it off of my chest. But I don't feel like I can do that, or I don't know how. It's like when you have a strong attraction to someone and you want to swoon over them with your friends, if that makes sense.

While I want to talk about it just for the sake of not keeping it bottled up, it also seems to get in the way of my personal life and our sessions. I get distracted in sessions easily and have thought about finding a new T.

Any advice on any of this?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-14-2019, 02:10 PM #2
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Default Re: Attraction to T, not transference

Welcome, ForeverConfused!

You are in the right place!
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Old 03-14-2019, 07:23 PM #3
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Default Re: Attraction to T, not transference

I relate to your post on so many ways. I am very much aware of the difference between what's transference and what's genuinely adult love and attraction with my T.
In terms of the therapy interactions, I do not think I could ask for a T that is better suited for my circumstances and personality.
I came to a point where I decided that the therapy and the healing are much more important to me than anything else in my life. The healing of trauma, relief from the panic, and building trust in myself again all take precedence over everything for me.
I consciously decided that this would be where my focus needs to stay. This has helped tremendously.
Sometimes I think it's the love and attraction that makes me so open to her. I've never been attracted to or felt romantic type of love for any T ever until her. Interestingly, I'm also willing to actually be vulnerable and take risks with her like I've not been able to bring myself to do with past Ts. That perspective makes me feel positive and not so tormented by my feelings as well. We all need different things to get us to a place of openness to heal. Maybe my thing was that I had to fall in love?
You say you have told your T you are attracted and discussed it. What would be your motivation to continue talking about it? I think that's a good question to ask yourself. Are you expecting our hoping for some particular outcome? If you feel that your T is helping you work towards your goals in therapy, maybe that's more important right now.
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Old 03-14-2019, 09:15 PM #4
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Default Re: Attraction to T, not transference

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nemo1934 View Post
I relate to your post on so many ways. I am very much aware of the difference between what's transference and what's genuinely adult love and attraction with my T.
In terms of the therapy interactions, I do not think I could ask for a T that is better suited for my circumstances and personality.
I came to a point where I decided that the therapy and the healing are much more important to me than anything else in my life. The healing of trauma, relief from the panic, and building trust in myself again all take precedence over everything for me.
I consciously decided that this would be where my focus needs to stay. This has helped tremendously.
Sometimes I think it's the love and attraction that makes me so open to her. I've never been attracted to or felt romantic type of love for any T ever until her. Interestingly, I'm also willing to actually be vulnerable and take risks with her like I've not been able to bring myself to do with past Ts. That perspective makes me feel positive and not so tormented by my feelings as well. We all need different things to get us to a place of openness to heal. Maybe my thing was that I had to fall in love?
You say you have told your T you are attracted and discussed it. What would be your motivation to continue talking about it? I think that's a good question to ask yourself. Are you expecting our hoping for some particular outcome? If you feel that your T is helping you work towards your goals in therapy, maybe that's more important right now.
That's a really useful suggestion, Nemo 1934. I'll try to remind myself to prioritize differently. (It definitely helps to have someone else say it, too)

There's a small part of my that wants to talk about it because I want him to reciprocate these feelings, but mostly it's:
1. Because I'm hoping that by telling him everything, putting it all out there, and seeing that he doesn't share those feelings might help me move past it.
2. If I feel like I can't share everything with him, it makes it hard to trust myself when I'm talking to him. It feels like I have to try and filter myself more.
3. I just need to talk to *someone* about it, and he's really the only person I could potentially tell.
4. It's significant enough in my daily life that, if I felt this way about someone else, I'd definitely be talking to my T about it.
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Old 03-15-2019, 06:33 AM #5
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Default Re: Attraction to T, not transference

I think transference is just a fancy word for....feelings..
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Old 03-15-2019, 12:17 PM #6
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Default Re: Attraction to T, not transference

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Originally Posted by ForeverConfused View Post
That's a really useful suggestion, Nemo 1934. I'll try to remind myself to prioritize differently. (It definitely helps to have someone else say it, too)



There's a small part of my that wants to talk about it because I want him to reciprocate these feelings, but mostly it's:

1. Because I'm hoping that by telling him everything, putting it all out there, and seeing that he doesn't share those feelings might help me move past it.

2. If I feel like I can't share everything with him, it makes it hard to trust myself when I'm talking to him. It feels like I have to try and filter myself more.

3. I just need to talk to *someone* about it, and he's really the only person I could potentially tell.

4. It's significant enough in my daily life that, if I felt this way about someone else, I'd definitely be talking to my T about it.
I can certainly relate to all of those as well. It's nice to know I'm not alone, so thanks for your honesty. There is a part of me that feels like it's dishonest on my part to not reveal the totality of my feelings for my T. That's rooted in my fear of it not being acceptable. I also don't want to be kicked out of the room. I also don't want a situation where she might think everything I say or do has some hidden background motives based on my feelings for her. I am very comfortable with the current dynamics of our relationship and feel I'm in a very safe place to be flawed and know I'm accepted. I just don't want to take the chance of changing any of that right now because it took literally years to find.
I think there is value added to the relationship by allowing the tension to remain in place for me that outweighs taking the chance of upsetting the current flow. I can also see where each person must determine what fits for their unique circumstances. I think you should follow your heart on this one. Love is never wasted or bad, and it doesn't need to be reciprocated to be real.
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Old 03-15-2019, 07:52 PM #7
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Default Re: Attraction to T, not transference

I found this helpful. YouTube
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Old 03-16-2019, 03:57 AM #8
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Default Re: Attraction to T, not transference

I think I'm confused about what transference is or means. It sounds like you just have feelings for your therapist and it sounds like it's something you need to come to terms with in order to keep making progress? Do you think that's an accurate way of looking at things. Do you think your feelings for him get in the way of discussing more intimate and important issues?
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Old 03-18-2019, 06:05 PM #9
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Default Re: Attraction to T, not transference

I was in a situation like this. Was a perverse trap. Sharing my feelings resulted in a humiliating and bizarre unrequited love train wreck, and the therapist responded with typical ambiguity and equivocation and condescension. Not sharing the feelings and bottling them up would also have been unhealthy.

I suggest rather than thinking of this in terms of therapy dogma and marketing, use real life as a reference point. Then it starts to look toxic and bizarre to be locked in a non-mutual, dead-end, clinical, quasi-relationship with a paid voyeur who gawks at you while you divulge your feelings for him, building him up in the process, and possibly grinding yourself down in humiliating fashion. Usually this is framed as an obligatory process for working on your "issues" as long as the therapist "handles" your feelings. But this does not hold to up to logical scrutiny. It's much easier to make the case that it's a set up for all sorts of horrible feelings and possibly deep psychological wounding.
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Old 03-18-2019, 07:20 PM #10
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Default Re: Attraction to T, not transference

Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahsweets View Post
I think I'm confused about what transference is or means. It sounds like you just have feelings for your therapist and it sounds like it's something you need to come to terms with in order to keep making progress? Do you think that's an accurate way of looking at things. Do you think your feelings for him get in the way of discussing more intimate and important issues?
Exactly. My feelings aren't a result of or related to the therapy - I'd feel them regardless. I just need to figure out the best way to deal with them because they interfere.

(I found this definition, just to clarify: "Transference is a theoretical phenomenon characterized by unconscious redirection of the feelings a person has about their parents, as one example, on to the therapist. It usually concerns feelings from a primary relationship during childhood.")
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