Jump to content
Mental Support Community

Confused about Transference


Guest GingerSnap
 Share

Recommended Posts

Guest GingerSnap

I am confused about transference so I looked it up in wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transference and, well, I see many people being in love with their therapists and there is Freud again. I guess I have an issue with the theories of Freud maybe. I have a ton of thoughts on this that I won't share but surely this isn't still being used this much. By gosh, if someone were getting paid to see me, I don't think....but then....it seems to me that if I were a psychotherapist that this would some how violate my principles of being honest with the patient. Oh, I would be a Dr. Phil therapist anyway. But, truly this "transference" to me presents a lot of questions about what is ethical.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm very interested in this...and I've been through it. It's fascinating stuff really. I'm sure I could write pages and pages about it, but anyhow...

Think of the relationship with your therapist as a microcosm of sorts of all of your relationships. How you behave, what you need/want in a relationship what is important to you, what you value...it all plays out in your own very unique way based on past experiences and your feelings about those experiences.

As to your question about it being ethical...obviously such feelings can never be acted on..but they are full of all kinds of information that may be used to improve your relationships and to better understand yourself.

I wanted to edit this to add more of my thoughts about transference. I wonder sometimes if it's weird to actually become excited about such things. :)

I think transference happens all the time. Something happens and you store the events and feelings in your brain and come to expect everything to repeat itself. All unconsciously...

I see pain in someone's eyes or hear it in their voices or sense it in their words and my mind goes back to my mother's pain. The pain I feel from others resonates within me because of something deeper. It's always about something deeper. It's happening in the here and now, but your response and the intensity of your response might have more to do with the past.

What are you confused about, Gingersnap?

Edited by IrmaJean
can't type... 2 finger typist
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest GingerSnap

Irma Jean, thank you. It will never compute for me. I don't believe you teach anyone anything without being completely honest and that is a mental block that will remain with me always. I don't believe in games and playing with people minds. This may work sometimes but could do so much harm to someone who is already fragile and in the wrong hands...... I am glad you are doing well. Cathy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't believe you teach anyone anything without being completely honest and that is a mental block that will remain with me always. I don't believe in games and playing with people minds.

In my particular case, I don't believe my former therapist had any agendas about inducing such a response in me. I think he was present and true to himself within the boundaries of this type of relationship. It just occurred naturally within the safety of the therapeutic space. I felt enough trust in him to explore these feelings within myself. It was a positive thing and something from which I've grown emotionally from having experienced.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest GingerSnap

I just have to say that what made me actually ask about this was that I had heard that often, after a sexual addict (obsessive-compulsive in psychological terms) is in therapy that many question their sexual identity. Then I saw a couple or more cases where the patient was in "love" with their therapist and those that had same sex therapists appeared to be questioning their sexual identity. And, frankly, I don't see making someone fall in love in order to eventually transfer that love to someone else - well, it is not logical to me. It would be easy to represent perfect love for one hour a week and to represent love as such seems wrong. I do think that playing with someone's mind in this way is dangerous and I had no idea this sort of thing went on. I don't understand why just being upfront and honest in therapy rather than playing games is not used. I consider each individual unique and feel that dealing with them in an honest and sincere fashion would be the only way to help them function in the world. This is just my thought on it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And, frankly, I don't see making someone fall in love in order to eventually transfer that love to someone else - well, it is not logical to me.

Hmm...

I know that some analysts (psycho-dynamic) might specialize in encouraging transference reactions within therapy, but I don't believe that is the norm by any means. I think the very nature of the relationship tends to bring these things out. You're in a safe place. You're vulnerable and your needs are being met. Feelings and patterns of relating can make themselves known within the relationship.

I can tell you about my personal experience with this. For me, I take full responsibility for my feelings. I don't believe my former T "made me fall in love" with him. I believe the feelings are a potential that has always existed within me and that he helped me to find these feelings. I believe the environment that he provided for me within the therapeutic space was conducive to the exploration of deep feelings from within myself. He was there supporting me, so naturally that is where I projected my feelings of love...onto him. So it is really about my journey that he was witnessing.

As far as transferring a love felt for a therapist onto others...I might word it a bit differently. It is my love. I couldn't offer it to him in this type of relationship, but I can offer it to others. The idea being to learn what you want, need and desire in a relationship and then to apply that in a more appropriate manner in your relationships outside of the room.

It would be easy to represent perfect love for one hour a week and to represent love as such seems wrong.

I think that if a client sees what is perfect in their mind, they might know better how to attain more in other relationships when they eventually leave the room. I see what you mean, though. Maybe discussing with clients ahead of time the boundaries within this kind of relationship would be helpful. Oddly enough, for me, this relationship helped me to better accept the imperfections in all relationships. While this relationship may show perfection in some ways, it also has limitations just as every relationship does. Learning to appreciate the relationship for what it was and to still cherish it as a beautiful thing despite its limitations really helped me to better accept my life at home.

In saying all of that, I do understand where you are coming from. If a therapist is going to actually encourage transference, I would certainly hope that they are very qualified and adept at handling it in a way that would be most beneficial for the client.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest GingerSnap

Irma Jean: Thank you and I think we both kind of see the same thing and a potential for disaster if handled incorrectly. Gosh, you explain things so well and are always so helpful. Thanks again, Cathy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest ASchwartz

Hi Irmajean and Gingersnap,

Wow Irma, you expressed it perfectly and wonderfully. :D

I have tried to clarify and make easy to understand this "transference thing" and you did it elegantly, clearly, with meaning and emotion.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Allan:)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am confused about transference so I looked it up in wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transference and, well, I see many people being in love with their therapists and there is Freud again. I guess I have an issue with the theories of Freud maybe. I have a ton of thoughts on this that I won't share but surely this isn't still being used this much. By gosh, if someone were getting paid to see me, I don't think....but then....it seems to me that if I were a psychotherapist that this would some how violate my principles of being honest with the patient. Oh, I would be a Dr. Phil therapist anyway. But, truly this "transference" to me presents a lot of questions about what is ethical.

My first response is that from reading Wiki's explanation you didn't get the overwhelming presentation that transference is childhood issues working themselves out.

Where did you read about it being purposefully used? Did it say for which disorders it uses this? Because I recall reading that, but for some reason thought it was to do with BPD and for me, that, to a degree, does make sense. The instability of interpersonal relationships makes sense if you can create a stable one in a safe and consistent environment where the patient has to confront idealisation, de-idealisation, the need/desire to run, etc, etc. I wouldn't want it to done to me, but I could definitely see how it could be beneficial. Especially for people who refuse to accept they even have a problem.

I just have to say that what made me actually ask about this was that I had heard that often, after a sexual addict (obsessive-compulsive in psychological terms) is in therapy that many question their sexual identity. Then I saw a couple or more cases where the patient was in "love" with their therapist and those that had same sex therapists appeared to be questioning their sexual identity. And, frankly, I don't see making someone fall in love in order to eventually transfer that love to someone else - well, it is not logical to me. It would be easy to represent perfect love for one hour a week and to represent love as such seems wrong. I do think that playing with someone's mind in this way is dangerous and I had no idea this sort of thing went on. I don't understand why just being upfront and honest in therapy rather than playing games is not used. I consider each individual unique and feel that dealing with them in an honest and sincere fashion would be the only way to help them function in the world. This is just my thought on it.

I'm sure a lot of therapists are upfront and honest with many clients for the very reason you mentioned, we're all unique. Some people cannot understand some theories upfront. Some people are not insightful or have the ability to follow things they've not experienced and things like that. It's important they go through something before it's discussed.

Those who "fell in love" after being sex addicts, probably came to learn a lot about what one gains from sex and what one gains from feelings of "love". And what it was that gave them those feelings of love, thus allowed them to feel attracted to someone of the opposite gender to what they'd normally be attracted. I think what it is that people are really attracted to, what people desperately want from anyone, everyone, but most of all from someone to love (and who'll love them back) is understanding. I imagine for those who are confusing love and understanding that's probably cleared up for them when they discover the root of why they believe they "love" the person ... what are the things that occur that make them feel so good.

Those things often are feeling heard, feeling validated in your feelings and thoughts or beliefs. The right to have those feelings and thoughts/beliefs. Being accepted as you are. No superficial expectations. Assistance to make changes to help make your life better/easier/more tolerable. An increase in self esteem. A decrease in the severity of the negative things in your life. Empowering tools like assertion. Accepting yourself. Empowering you with words like survivor not victim.

And that list really does go on and on. When someone who you feel can finish your sentence, who you feel can tell if you are lying, who understands you like no-one else before them and who genuinely gives a damn helps you to gain the things I listed above I would say it would not be an un-natural thing to confuse un-matched appreciation for love if you were a sex addict. Heck, it wouldn't be too uncommon to really feel it.

I mean to be understood is the main thing we all want to find in a partner isn't it? I mean you may think physical attraction is the most important, but looks fade, sex lessens, lots of other things change - but if you understand each other you have a strong foundation for a long and caring relationship. That is something they help you to learn. And I don't think that's a bad thing for a sex-addict to learn. I think it's a fantastic thing for them to learn.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest GingerSnap

Thanks seaj. I had limited experience which means what I have read particularly in relation to sexual addiction and what I have seen within the forums that I have visited and heard spouses say they were called into therapy and made to feel like the enemy while the therapist sided constantly with the paying spouse. Also did some research on approaches to narcissism which I disagree with too. If I were going to do this therapy I would be up front with everyone and make sure they understood this was like play acting as in let's pretend. Within two visits my husband's counselor was replacing me and now he was his best friend and the one that cared about him and was I bitter, you bet! I am sure this therapist was just not good and as in any profession, some are good and some are not but the power that a therapist has with using "therapies", well, Freud and I would not have become good friends for darn sure. Thanks for responding

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest ASchwartz

Hi Ginger,

It is always important to find a good therapist. What is meant by a good therapist? This is someone who: is well trained, fully licensed, is open and honest about their credentials, has been in practice for a long time, you feel good about, is not judgmental, will answer your questions and comments if you feel angry or upset, does not take sides, etc.

A therapist should never, ever, ever, ever take sides.

What do you think?

Allan:)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest GingerSnap

A. Swartz: I have noticed that the advice is always given that if someone gets a therapist and doesn't like them, fire them and get someone else. The other thing is that a therapist specializing in a certain type of therapy for whatever is perceived as the only way to go. Real world wakeup call here: That is easier said then done. Many work places have the Employee Assistance Program which generally allows 3 visits. Most insurance providers have a network of allowable people you can see and often, these people aren't even in the town where you live making it necessary to take off work (in the slave labor areas this is not done and sick leave is a concept that they are not aware of and with a low wage even if they let you off, you can't afford it), with VA Healthcare, if you are lucky someone comes to your town once a month in the afternoon meaning it cost 4 hours of vacation time and in the sticks you don't have much vacation time either and those special type therapists can be hours away in the sticks making an entire day of the visit. I'm not hostile, just wanted to say that for a long time. Also, as you may remember, I believe in the Dr. Phil approach and my homemade "get your head out of your butt" therapy - I am thinking of writing a book on it or at least a long article, hey, e-book! More serious than not on that. I understand the need for mental health but I just question a lot of the techniques and theories. I have only been looking at psychology for about 8 months and don't know anyone involved in such, well, other than Dr. Phil and you all would probably question whether or not he counts. My science teacher in college liked that I questioned the laws of physics and chemistry. I challenge everything and everyone. Yes, living and/or working with me has to be fun!:) Cathy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

GingerSnap I think it's great to challenge things.

I'm that type of person. I strive to understand everything (so challenge many things) and my mind never stops, which is something even my therapist would like me to learn to do (give my mind a break some times). But it's just my nature to want to see things from all perspectives (so play devil's advocate if you will) so I can feel as well informed as I can when deciding where I stand on anything.

I like to have my opinions and the ability to back them up, but I find these days that takes more and more effort as there's just so much information out there to challenge anything you learn. You become a living sponge just to be able to be confident in your own opinions, while being respectful of others.

I think living or working with you does sound like fun indeed - but then we sound a bit like 2 peas from a pod. And I must say I admire what you're doing. I'm blessed with amazing health care really (in a country that thinks its not sufficient and trying to make it even better) and also with having had private health from the day I was born. On top of which the Government gave me a psychologist for free, which is the one thing I couldn't afford.

I read what so many of you write and feel so badly for you guys that you don't have the options of therapy or even finding really good help; the sort of thing that's made quite easy for me, and also allows me to be rather picky if I wish to be. It's amazing to me that so many of you guys have either no help or no choice if you do get it; it doesn't lend itself to the concept of therapy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...