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How is it helpful to have romantic/sexual feelings for your therapist? - Page 3

post #41 of 53
Hi, there! Posts have been removed that discussed member behavior, quoted other threads, etc or referenced posts that did. I apologize for the thread gutting, but it was necessary for this thread's return. I apologize for the loss of continuity.

A spin-off occurs when a topic is brought up in another thread that a member feels is worthy of its very own discussion. Please see an explanation of how to effectively spin-off here. In this case, a topic was spun off for better understanding of a mental health topic to not derail another thread, and that's fine Spin-offs, however, are not to be used to discuss member behavior or to quote members from other threads or discuss the actions of another member, diagnose or criticize another thread or member. The User Agreement requires that we:

Quote:
8. Do not post or start a thread to discuss member behavior or statements of members made in other threads
Please keep the topic of this thread focused on transference and your personal experience, opinions, etc. rather than about another thread or member other than yourself. Further discussion of member behavior will result in this thread's removal so thanks for your cooperation. Please PM me with any concerns
post #42 of 53
Right on! Thanks for bringing it back! The conspiracy theorist laying deep inside was ready to call conspiracy!
post #43 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by georgia View Post
Hi, there! Posts have been removed that discussed member behavior, quoted other threads, etc or referenced posts that did. I apologize for the thread gutting, but it was necessary for this thread's return. I apologize for the loss of continuity. ...
Thank you, thank you, thank you. THANK YOU!!!!! :
post #44 of 53
Well, IMO, transference can only happen when someone is not stable, so the firefighter reference is only valid in cases of mental instability. For instance, for most people, it would be: fire/call for help/rescue/thank you/the end. But for people like my MIL, it would be fire/call for help/thank you/I need you now/what can I do to put you into my life now/I think I'll find a way to see you again/you're my hero....etc.... rinse and repeat..( firefighters, neighbors, boyfriends, DIL's.....)
post #45 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mountaingirl79 View Post
Well, IMO, transference can only happen when someone is not stable, so the firefighter reference is only valid in cases of mental instability. For instance, for most people, it would be: fire/call for help/rescue/thank you/the end. But for people like my MIL, it would be fire/call for help/thank you/I need you now/what can I do to put you into my life now/I think I'll find a way to see you again/you're my hero....etc.... rinse and repeat..( firefighters, neighbors, boyfriends, DIL's.....)
As this discussion has taken place, it seems to me that transference is kind of like "projecting." Like if your husband is mad at his boss and then takes it out on you when he comes home. That would be like he is "transferring" the emotions directed at his boss to you and then you can either recognize that he is transferring and help him work through his frustration or just mirror it back to him and get mad at him for being mad at you.

In the case of the crush on the therapist, a person could be transferring feelings that they had for their husband when they first met or feelings from a past relationship where they felt really secure. Then if the therapist picks up on that (or is told that by the client) he/she can help the client to understand why they feel so safe and protected in therapy and especially why they do *not* feel so safe and protected with their partner.

This is just my take on it. It seems like this topic has about as many different opinions as could be had. Some people say it is not neccessary but it just happens sometimes. Some people say it is completely neccessary. Some people think it was only a part of therapy in the past, but is completely irrelevent today and can actually interfere with therapy. I think they're all right! Because therapy is such an individualized process.
post #46 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mountaingirl79 View Post
Well, IMO, transference can only happen when someone is not stable, so the firefighter reference is only valid in cases of mental instability. For instance, for most people, it would be: fire/call for help/rescue/thank you/the end. But for people like my MIL, it would be fire/call for help/thank you/I need you now/what can I do to put you into my life now/I think I'll find a way to see you again/you're my hero....etc.... rinse and repeat..(firefighters, neighbors, boyfriends, DIL's.....)
For those just tuning in, there was considerable discussion in the beginning about what transference is as it pertains to therapy and OliveJewel posted a description at post #4 for readers; however, I will put the link here, too, for anyone just tuning in: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transference

Hi, Mountaingirl79,
I appreciate your view. Transference (like projection (but not the same)), mentioned by OliveJewel (above)) can happen inside or outside of therapy because we are humans. The astutely trained therapist can identify transference and manage it without ever using the word "transference" to the client. Your "IMO" above does indicate (to me) that you are among the few who understand the analogous fire-firefighter question (with parts a. and b.) presented by poster Carley, who was trying to apply a specific point about a specific situation, now removed. MG79, as you point out above, choice a. is by far the better choice. For those ppl who are in therapy or not, in a state of transference (or projection) and don't recognize it, or recognize it and ignore it, there can be all kinds of havoc in their relationships that affect those around them to the point of destroying those relationships, as such, instability. (I wish my magic wand was working!)
post #47 of 53
So what about counter-transference? Say the patient discloses their feelings for the therapist and he responds by admitting his own "special" feelings... Is this helpful to anyone? (Hypothetical situation, of course. )
post #48 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by secretcrush1 View Post
So what about counter-transference? Say the patient discloses their feelings for the therapist and he responds by admitting his own "special" feelings... Is this helpful to anyone? (Hypothetical situation, of course. )
When are you going to get this straight? No one is allowed to have feelings for anyone! : (Hypothetically speaking, of course!
post #49 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by OliveJewel View Post
When are you going to get this straight? No one is allowed to have feelings for anyone! : (Hypothetically speaking, of course!


Self-disclosure from a medical professional crosses professional boundaries & is unethical when the disclosure indicates feelings of "love," "attraction" or sexual desire. These feelings are personal, not professional, and the disclosure of them is excessive, hence unethical, and distinguishes the role of the professional as having a personal relationship with the patient.

Further, self-disclosure of "special feelings" towards a patient who is emotionally vulnerable (say she was in a "bad" marriage and considering leaving her husband, emotionally unregulated or hyposexual) would be a definite step over ethical and legal boundaries.

One good way to tell if it's unethical or helpful is to ask yourself these questions:

1) Did the therapist's admission of "special feelings" change your view of his role as a professional service provider into something more? Does it make you feel special?

2) Do you feel you can disclose this scenario to someone else? Do you feel your therapist could disclose the scenario to the American Psychological Assocation Ethics Commitee? American Medical Association Ethics Comittee?

How would you feel if the therapist did disclose the scenario to the aforementioned?

3) Does the scenario change the focus of your therapy? Are you distracted from your reasons for being in therapy?

4) Would you consider this scenario appropriate or helpful if it was between you and your gynocologist? Your daughter and her pediatrician? You husband and his therapist?

Think about it.
post #50 of 53
I removed posts that were either UAVs or quoting them.
post #51 of 53
Please remember:

Quote:
The opinions offered at Mothering.com and MotheringDotCommunity are for informational purposes only and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking care because of something you have read here. Discussion should focus on requests for information, personal experience and support rather than requests for a diagnosis, prognosis or personalized treatment plan that could be construed as medical advice.
And please start a separate thread if you'd like to discuss a different topic other than transference (see post #41 for spin-off guidelines) or if you'd like to discuss your personal circumstances to gain insight and information. It's going to really help keep this thread on the board and within the UA. Please PM me with any further questions rather than posting to this thread. Thanks!
post #52 of 53
Here is how I understand transference, sexual, platonic, or otherwise:

Insofar as the patient/client is the same person in the therapy room as she or he is outside of it, it is natural that patterns of relating will in a sense "replicate" themselves with the therapist. Things about the therapist that are similar to the important people (or "objects") in the patient/client's past or current life will elicit a particular response in the patient/client. Difficulties in relating "out there" will inevitably happen with the therapist, and very often the therapist will feel a particular pressure or urge to respond or meet the patient with the complementary set of feelings or behaviors. This is where a therapist's training comes in. It's his or her job to understand, identify, and illuminate these phenomena in ways that can be helpful. If these are identified and worked through between the therapist and patient, then the patient has an experiential base from which to go forth and create better relationships in his or her life.

A sexual countertransference is helpful on many different levels, depending upon what the presenting issue is. If an individual is experiencing sexual feelings for the therapist, it's an opportunity to explore how he or she is functioning in this fundamental part of his or her life. Often, the ability to feel or express sexual feelings for the therapist is a sign of deep trust and connectedness, a sign that the patient is able and willing, perhaps for the first time, to allow herself to be so vulnerable. How the therapist handles the sexual transference is, in turn, a measure of his or her caliber as a clinician. It is one of the hardest situations a clinician can find herself in.

In many ways, the therapeutic relationship is, or should be, a sort of safe experimental space, a "lab" of sorts, where an individual can explore the ways in which his or her ways of relating are or are not working.

As a clinician, I love watching "In Treatment" (some of my colleagues hate it), and constantly find myself saying, "Gosh, he gets more done in a single highly idealized sessions than most of us get through in months." I also find myself saying, "If my patients talked or emoted the way Paul Weston's patient's did, my job would be easy, indeed!" One of the hardest things to learn to sit with as a therapist are the long, heavy silences. Anger, open hostility, and even sexual transference at least give you something to work with, something to grab on to.
post #53 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vishapmama View Post
Here is how I understand transference, sexual, platonic, or otherwise:

Insofar as the patient/client is the same person in the therapy room as she or he is outside of it, it is natural that patterns of relating will in a sense "replicate" themselves with the therapist. Things about the therapist that are similar to the important people (or "objects") in the patient/client's past or current life will elicit a particular response in the patient/client. Difficulties in relating "out there" will inevitably happen with the therapist, and very often the therapist will feel a particular pressure or urge to respond or meet the patient with the complementary set of feelings or behaviors. This is where a therapist's training comes in. It's his or her job to understand, identify, and illuminate these phenomena in ways that can be helpful. If these are identified and worked through between the therapist and patient, then the patient has an experiential base from which to go forth and create better relationships in his or her life.

A sexual countertransference is helpful on many different levels, depending upon what the presenting issue is. If an individual is experiencing sexual feelings for the therapist, it's an opportunity to explore how he or she is functioning in this fundamental part of his or her life. Often, the ability to feel or express sexual feelings for the therapist is a sign of deep trust and connectedness, a sign that the patient is able and willing, perhaps for the first time, to allow herself to be so vulnerable. How the therapist handles the sexual transference is, in turn, a measure of his or her caliber as a clinician. It is one of the hardest situations a clinician can find herself in.

In many ways, the therapeutic relationship is, or should be, a sort of safe experimental space, a "lab" of sorts, where an individual can explore the ways in which his or her ways of relating are or are not working.

As a clinician, I love watching "In Treatment" (some of my colleagues hate it), and constantly find myself saying, "Gosh, he gets more done in a single highly idealized sessions than most of us get through in months." I also find myself saying, "If my patients talked or emoted the way Paul Weston's patient's did, my job would be easy, indeed!" One of the hardest things to learn to sit with as a therapist are the long, heavy silences. Anger, open hostility, and even sexual transference at least give you something to work with, something to grab on to.
Vishapmama, that was beautifully articulated! Makes me wish I could go back in time with my therapy and really get down to the nitty gritty. Oh well! I really like the part where you talked about how working through the transference issues gives the client an experiential base from which to draw from. That makes so much sense!
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