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transference gone wrong

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rvalencia72

Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2018
Messages
8
I have been I therapy for the last 6 years and almost from the beginning felt strong feelings for my therapist (shes female and so am I and no I'm not gay). I recognized it as transference from the beginning but didn't feel safe telling her. Shes noticed it somewhat over the years as shes talked to me before about us not being able to be friends - it was more a blunt statement on her end that we cant be friends to which I assured her I didn't want friendship, which I didnt. My feelings were different but I couldnt Express them. I've finally gotten to the point where I felt I could be open and honest with her about my feelings. At first I told her I felt I needed to stop therapy because I had feelings for her that bothered me and she said ok. Then I asked her if we could work through this issue first because I have major trust issues and she is the only one I trust enough to discuss this with. She said it would be more appropriate for me to see another therapist and gave me some names for referral. I feel so shamed by my feelings now and rejected for being open and honest. I can't follow though with another therapist because now I know I can't be open and honest with them fully without being shamed for how I feel. Where did I go wrong. From what I've read on transference this is something that should be worked out with the therapist but mine dumped me. Now what?
 
Bizzarebitrary

Bizzarebitrary

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 17, 2018
Messages
430
Location
California, US
Hi and welcome. Thanks for sharing something personal about yourself, hopefully we can help a little.

I'm sorry you're feeling rejected, transference is common in a therapeutic relationship. Hopefully you can give yourself a break from the strong emotions that arose from this incident. You're not wrong or bad for feeling as you do.

Your former therapist also deserves a little compassion. You're right that transference can often be worked out between patient and therapist. Yet therapists are still people and maybe this one felt incapable of working with/through the transference due to something personal of her own that had nothing to do with you as an individual.

Or perhaps she felt spending time working on the transference would divert from important work needing immediate attention.

And finally, consider that it may be possible to work out the transference with a different therapist and then return to your former one.

I hope the above will help you cultivate compassion for yourself, you didn't go wrong - and I mean that. I do get why it feels like rejection. I encourage you to continue therapy and perhaps when the root of the transference becomes known it'll help explain why you feel as you do.

May you find some measure of peace from your symptoms and a little comfort knowing you're not alone in your struggles.
 
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rvalencia72

Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2018
Messages
8
Hi and welcome. Thanks for sharing something personal about yourself, hopefully we can help a little.

I'm sorry you're feeling rejected, transference is common in a therapeutic relationship. Hopefully you can give yourself a break from the strong emotions that arose from this incident. You're not wrong or bad for feeling as you do.

Your former therapist also deserves a little compassion. You're right that transference can often be worked out between patient and therapist. Yet therapists are still people and maybe this one felt incapable of working with/through the transference due to something personal of her own that had nothing to do with you as an individual.

Or perhaps she felt spending time working on the transference would divert from important work needing immediate attention.

And finally, consider that it may be possible to work out the transference with a different therapist and then return to your former one.

I hope the above will help you cultivate compassion for yourself, you didn't go wrong - and I mean that. I do get why it feels like rejection. I encourage you to continue therapy and perhaps when the root of the transference becomes known it'll help explain why you feel as you do.

May you find some measure of peace from your symptoms and a little comfort knowing you're not alone in your struggles.
 
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rvalencia72

Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2018
Messages
8
Thank you. Her only reply to me really was that she feels we've gone as far as we can on my therapy which leaves me hanging with this issue. As she is married I know this may have made her feel uncomfortable but if she would have just told me that I would have been ok with it. I just feel like she left me hanging with these feelings and when I told her I felt shame for the way I was feeling she didnt respond which makes me think I should feel shameful.
 
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rvalencia72

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Joined
Dec 21, 2018
Messages
8
I think if she would have just told me the reason she couldnt work thru this with me it would have been ok. Her stating that she felt it appropriate for me to speak to another therapist leads me to believe that my feelings are inappropriate, hence the shame. I would have been ok if she would have said it made her uncomfortable or whatever but her using the wording she used just really left me feeling dirty.
 
Bizzarebitrary

Bizzarebitrary

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 17, 2018
Messages
430
Location
California, US
It is unfortunate that she didn't say more to you on the matter, in particular how common it is and there's no reason to be ashamed. While I know this doesn't apply according to your description, development of sexual and romantic feelings are also common. This fact may help somebody else who is following this conversation.

You have my support and compassion for being left to churn on what she must have felt about it and I get why you might feel the door was just slammed in your face.

When you do find a new therapist, I think it would benefit you to raise this unfortunate event immediately and ask for help finding a healthy way to process your feelings about it. I really don't like how you're left alone with this.
 
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rvalencia72

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Joined
Dec 21, 2018
Messages
8
At this point I can't see me seeing another therapist. I was horribly abused as a child by my mother, sexually assaulted by numerous people including my grandfather so trust is a big issue with me. She showed me how to trust someone for the first time in a long time which is probably why those feelings developed but my trust has been shattered again. I thought being honest was appropriate but with the reaction I've had I no longer feel safe being honest with another therapist about my feelings. Which kind of sucks because my mother just passed away recently which we never fully processed and so I have that grief on top if everything else.
 
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rvalencia72

Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2018
Messages
8
also, my feelings towards her ARE of a sexual nature. I think shes drop dead gorgeous which REALLY bothers me because I'm not gay. I told her if that makes her uncomfortable to let me know and I would be ok stopping therapy because I dont want her discussing something she isn't comfortable discussing.
 
Bizzarebitrary

Bizzarebitrary

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 17, 2018
Messages
430
Location
California, US
Forgive me for the misunderstanding about your feelings towards her. I think you're right that some of those feelings were born of the trust relationship you built and I hope you won't shame yourself for having them.

I imagine it's going to be hard to adjust and this will take time. I hope you can be patient with yourself and with the process. All the good work you've done to be able to trust another person, it's not lost. That work is not left behind in your therapist's office it's inside you and you can take it anywhere.

The fact that you were honest with her about your feelings isn't in any way invalidated by her reaction. Consider how being honest with her required you to be honest with yourself, which can never be unwise. While you're unable to do anything about her reaction it's within your power to do something about your own.

I'm not qualified to give you advice concerning what comes next. I'm also tormented with the pain of living day to day with an illness that nobody can see. I'm reading other people's stories so I feel a little less alone with my own misery and also perhaps a little less broken.

May you find a little peace by doing the same.
 
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rvalencia72

Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2018
Messages
8
thank you for all your advise. you've helped me more than you know. I really appreciate your words
 
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