Transference in therapy

pepecat

pepecat

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#1
So all the literature / people say transference is a good, positive, normal thing as part of therapy. My therapist says the same. I can kinda see that it is, but what no one tells you is how bloody awful it makes you feel.
All those unresolved feelings / emotions / whatever from when you were a kid, all opened up again to be worked through with someone who can't be a parent to you, wont ever be - and that's ok - it's not their job, and frankly it would just be....well....weird. So what happens while all this is going on ? You feel like crap and have to sit with all this stuff in between sessions.... 50 minutes a week is nothing.
Bloody hell.........
 
keepsafe

keepsafe

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#2
Hi Pepecat,

you are right 50 minutes a week is nothing and then to be left with all the raw emotions is terrible. You have to find your own way to deal with these emotions, be it your own coping mechanisms or ones suggested to you by the therapist. By no means its easy, I still suffer with the raw emotions too and I have been out of therapy for nearly a year and a half. I do have my own coping mechanisms but sometimes do not have the ability to use them.

You must stay strong and believe, by no means therapy is the end of it all - I think its a life long battle and we all get it wrong a lot of the time.

Please stay safe and well
KS
xxxxx
 
starryeyed222

starryeyed222

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#3
i completely understand where your coming from....i took two weeks off work to give myself a break and to give myself time to really work on coping mechanisms and helping myself and unfortunately that has coincided with 2 weeks of no therapy as my therapist is unable to work these two weeks. Last session was a really tough one and i left with feeling proud of what i'd achieved (a very alien feeling) and overwhelmed with negative thoughts at the same time...since then my time off has gone downhill and i dont have a therapy session til the 23rd now and thats going to be the start of a really tough lot of therapy sessions (even more tough than the others as looking at self hatred) so im not looking forward to that.

50 mins really is not enough, my sessions nearly always overrun and we have to 'save' something for the following week usually too. They should be like an hour and a half or something or twice a week would be better maybe.
 
catkin

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#4
Think I can relate, altho not in therapy atm but have been doing some work with cpn that has induced huge destructive rage that I can't get rid of. I know it's related to other stuff/people but am so angry with her! Think it's destroyed that relationship. It does feeel devastating, wish I knew a way of dealing with it.
 
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Rose19602

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#5
This therapy business isn't easy is it.
Sometimes I wonder if understanding "why" is enough. It's the "how to cope from now onwards" bit that is so hard. What do you do with the feelings of hurt, guilt, shame, regret etc?
In really difficult situations where childhood was hell and destroyed you, I can't imagine how you manage that bit. Find an inner core of strength I suppose and gradually re-build your self-esteem?
I'm not sure what you mean by "transference" Pepecat. Would you explain in terms of what happens in therapy?
Maybe I haven't got to that bit yet.
All I would say is that therapy seems to go in peaks and troughs, and no there never is enough time - particularly if you are an older participant.
In past attempts at therapy when they asked me to give them an idea of the problems, my response was always, " Well, how long have you got?".......
x
 
mrlaurel

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#6
So You feel like crap and have to sit with all this stuff in between sessions.... 50 minutes a week is nothing.
Bloody hell.........
I am getting one session once every three weeks, its good and helps but I need more, I think around twice a week would be much better for me, no chance, seeing him every week isn't a option as he's so busy.


stan
 
pepecat

pepecat

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#8
I'm not sure what you mean by "transference" Pepecat. Would you explain in terms of what happens in therapy?
As far as i understand it (which probably isn't all that far!) transference is kinda the redirecting of emotions etc from childhood towards someone else. Hopefully in a therapy setting, the emotions get a chance to be worked out / resolved properly in a safe place, when they might not have been when we were kids, which is probably why we ended up in therapy in the first place! Basically it's sort of 'playing out' (though i don't mean that term lightly at all) emotions etc that we experienced in childhood, in a safe place where no one will tell us off for being angry or upset or scared or whatever. It means we can experience and then work through those emotions and stuff can get mended.

I suppose it's like if you didn't feel particularly loved or understood by a parent (often a mother, how typical....!!) then than need to be loved and understood and 'parented' goes unmet and you have this longing for that. In therapy then, you can start to see the therapist as a sort of parent figure, in that you feel understood by them and safe with them. So you 'transfer' your feelings for a parent figure to your therapist.
Apparently it's all perfectly normal in certain types of therapy, including the one i'm doing. And it is something that should be brought up and talked about, cos working through it is an important part of things as well. My therapist has been totally unsurprised by it all with me - it's a recognised part of the process of therapy. Some therapists (usually inexperienced ones) don't handle a client's transferring stuff all that well, but most have been trained in how to deal with it and are aware of it and how it works. I suppose if you're working with people who are distressed, vulnerable, lonely, scared etc, and you offer them a safe place and listen to them and don't judge / criticise, then it's no wonder clients start seeing you as a special person in their lives.
 
pepecat

pepecat

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#9
This therapy business isn't easy is it.
Sometimes I wonder if understanding "why" is enough. It's the "how to cope from now onwards" bit that is so hard. What do you do with the feelings of hurt, guilt, shame, regret etc?
Yes, that is totally the hard bit. I remember saying to my therapist a few weeks back that i felt all edgy and angry and i didn't know what to do with that, and she said 'why do you need to do anything with it?'.
Her point was that if you're feeling happy you don't question it and wonder what to do with it, so why should you with 'negative' emtions. I see what she means, and i suppose it is about learning to feel and live with less pleasant emotions. I don't know how to do that yet though......
 
catkin

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#10
I think your description of transference pepecat is spot on Pepecat. But surely we can't live feeling so so full of rage without doing something with that feeling? don't think it's been dealt with at all well in my case this time and it's pretty damaging.
 
pepecat

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#12
No, i don't think we can live permanently angry or sad or anxious - i guess we don't live permanently happy either, so it works both ways.

Does your cpn know you're angry? You seem to be aware that it's not directed specifically at her but it's at other people / things. Guess she's the one you feel safe enough with to let it out? Maybe if you tell her it's not directed at her it might help?
 
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Rose19602

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#13
Hi Pepecat,
Excuse my lack of technical skills, I don't know how to do the quote thing! So:

Re: post 1 - My therapist is male and (unfortunately) good looking, kind and charming!! I've managed to detach myself from his physical charms but I am becoming increasingly dependant on him. I find myself deferring all decisions to him and asking for his reassurance. I had no idea it was happening until recently he told me that he needed to switch from listening and going through everything to some actual "therapy".
He's started talking about dealing with my issues, moving forward and getting well, and I'm not sure I want this therapy to end. He's become my security blanket. I'm worried that I won't cope without him.
Hadn't expected that....
Re: Post 2 - Yes I dredged up a feeling - maybe it's guilt, and I couldn't shake a feeling of unease for a good couple of weeks afterwards. What ever it is, it doesn't sit easily with me, I feel judged and vulnerable and I'm still unsure of what it is.
I'm not sure I want to learn to live with it. I don't even understand it.
x
 
catkin

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#14
No, i don't think we can live permanently angry or sad or anxious - i guess we don't live permanently happy either, so it works both ways.

Does your cpn know you're angry? You seem to be aware that it's not directed specifically at her but it's at other people / things. Guess she's the one you feel safe enough with to let it out? Maybe if you tell her it's not directed at her it might help?
Thanks, I will try and tell her it's not her it's the past. Am sorry didn't want to derail your thread x
 
pepecat

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#15
I'm not sure I want this therapy to end. He's become my security blanket. I'm worried that I won't cope without him.
Hadn't expected that....
Oh am right there with you.... I don't want to let go either. But she knows that. And that, too, is apparently normal.
 
R

Rose19602

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#16
You know this long term psychotherapy is making me realise how inadequate therapy I was offered in the past really was. I am totally floored by the impact of this and the discoveries about myself.
At the beginning of therapy when we talked about core beliefs and my therapist suggested, " I am vulnerable" as one of mine, I scoffed at him and told him that he could not be more wrong. Ten months later I'm feeling wiped out by vulnerability. How do they know that right at the beginning, when you don't even realise yourself?
Also Pepecat, can you tell me, have you got to the stage where you feel totally humbled and almost empty, at rock bottom almost? I felt like that a week or so ago, and I was told by someone else they felt like that half way through therapy too. The only thing I can liken it to, is that point in alcoholism or addiction where you cannot sink any lower (not that I've experienced that) and you realise what you really are, what you've been doing and that you really need to change.
Or is it just me?
x
x
 
pepecat

pepecat

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#17
At the beginning of therapy when we talked about core beliefs and my therapist suggested, " I am vulnerable" as one of mine, I scoffed at him and told him that he could not be more wrong. Ten months later I'm feeling wiped out by vulnerability. How do they know that right at the beginning, when you don't even realise yourself?
It's weird isn't it?! I think, if it's an experienced therapist you have, that they have probably seen it all before, so have a fairly good idea of what's going on. That's not to say that people's experiences are trivial or mundane, cos they're not at all, but i wonder, in the whole scope of humanity, if people are actually all that different after all. I imagine it's fairly similar stuff that affect us, once you get down to it. Of course people are all different and it all manifests itself in different ways but i reckon there's probably quite a small list of things that can constitute the heart of most people's issues.

My therapist left me feeling like i'd been emotionally xrayed by her on more than one occasion. It freaked me out rather a lot, but she said that in a sense she had to see to the core of things fairly quickly in order to make an assessment as to whether to take me on in the first place, and then to get a handle of what was going on. We did go more slowly once we started proper, but it was very disconcerting how easily they see through all the (so called) good defences we put up.

Also Pepecat, can you tell me, have you got to the stage where you feel totally humbled and almost empty, at rock bottom almost? I felt like that a week or so ago, and I was told by someone else they felt like that half way through therapy too. The only thing I can liken it to, is that point in alcoholism or addiction where you cannot sink any lower (not that I've experienced that) and you realise what you really are, what you've been doing and that you really need to change.
Or is it just me?
I don't know.......in answer to your question, i mean. I think i realised i needed to change before i started therapy. I felt rock bottom when i was ill, and i've never felt that bad since. I've felt bad, but in a different way, in therapy. I think....in therapy, that you gradually get to the point where you don't care what the therapist thinks any more - you know you won't be judged or criticised - and you can just let it all come out (so to speak). I guess that could be similar to being at rock bottom and totally humbled; i imagine it would be the same sort of feelings.
 
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Rose19602

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#18
I agree with you about the list of issues affecting people - it probably is quite small. The core beliefs thing that we started with comes down to a list of pretty basic human instincts which are linked to being loved, safe and looked after I think. I found that a really hard starting point.

In terms of the rock bottom feeling, I think it may have been the point when I realised that my defences were hiding low self esteem and I was "laid bare" without them. I also realised how empty my life had become and how little there was left when the anxiety issues were stripped away and I had to stand back. Big truths are very hard and totally gutting. Maybe that's what I mean by reaching rock bottom.
Hopefully, you haven't had to face anything that disabling.
x
 
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Rose19602

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#20
Ok, I'm obviously taking myself too seriously.
Do you want me to come and eat apple pie Billy and to stop being an introspective nightmare?
x