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Therapy and transference

Discussion in 'Treatment & Therapy' started by erigby, May 13, 2018.

  1. erigby

    erigby Active Member

    Hello all,

    It has been a while since I posted anything on this forum. I realize now it was almost a year ago I posted about a similar issue. My sexual attraction to my therapist has not gone away :/.
    It seems to come in bursts and sputters and I seemed to be doing much better for a time.
    It is becoming so overwhelming though and exhausting. I think about him often. I want to kiss him and love on him and hug him. It is interesting though...I do not want a romantic relationship with him. I do not have some fantasy of leaving my husband and being with him. I love my husband and enjoy being with my husband I don't want to spend my life with anyone else...I just want to make out with my therapist!
    This feels so bizarre. I have male friends I enjoy and appreciate and share my life with but I have never had sexual feelings toward any of them. I don't miss them when they are away. I don't enjoy them as much as I enjoy my therapist either.
    I have tried on-line therapy to help me move past these feelings. I have sort of kind of mentioned them to my therapist. Nothing seems to really make them go away. Of course it makes me sad that I won't ever get to kiss him and hug him the way I want to. I'm afraid he will refer me to someone else if I bring it up again. I have tried for over a year to make these feelings go away.
    I adore him.
    Sadly, it has become so complicated I am beside myself and experiencing all sorts of feelings of rejection and sorrow, abandonment and unworthiness.
    It all seems so ridiculous.
    I find myself getting angry at him for little things. I am less and less appreciative of him. I am resentful. It is so incredibly painful.
    I have asked him on several occasions to help me find a new therapist...he won't help me.
    There are so many out there to choose from.
    I am overwhelmed to think about starting over with someone else.
    Every week for over a year I have seen him and these feelings will not go away!!!

    Any thoughts are appreciated.
    hithere and UnicornSightings like this.
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  3. UnicornSightings

    UnicornSightings Well-Known Member Donated

    You can’t make the thoughts go away with force or will. I’m very sorry! It makes a lot of sense, though, right? Here is someone who cares and accepts you and makes the entire therapy hour all about YOU. YOU get all your needs met in that session from him and get his care so how could you NOT develop feelings?! It’s just what happens, especially if you have earlier development issues. If you didn’t get the love you needed then this relationship will open a portal. And it’s kinda fascinating to explore. It’s fascinating what exactly you fantasize about. Those are good things to mention in therapy and explore, as well as your fear that he will leave you if you talk about this more. It’s very normal what you’re experiencing and is nothing to be ashamed of. The sadness and grief you feel are part of it. Those feelings of rejection, all based off of past experiences. THAT’S why it’s so good to talk about. My own stuff comes with a lot of pain. I try to see what it relates to and bring the focus back on myself and what I’m doing in the moment so it doesn’t become this obsessive thing anymore. Just “here’s another fantasy” and then back to the present. I know it’s really hard. The more you try to push those thoughts away, the stronger they get. If you don’t want to talk about them with your t then maybe write them down when they come up. Look for patterns in your thoughts and feelings and how it relates to the past and allow yourself to grieve. Your t can never fill the role you want in that way, but he can help you understand it more if you want him to. And he can hold the space while you feel that loss.
    AliciaEff, hithere, Julesy and 2 others like this.
  4. EveHarrington

    EveHarrington _______ in progress. Premium Member

    I think when you need therapy in order to deal with therapy, it’s time to move on.

    It’s not his job to find you a new therapist. I think this is something you’ll have to do on your own.
    hithere and erigby like this.
  5. somerandomguy

    somerandomguy Learning how to be myself Premium Member

    If you haven't discussed your feelings with your therapist, you probably should. He's probably dealt with exactly the same issues before with others and will have some ideas on things you can do about it.
    hithere, piratelady and erigby like this.
  6. Justmehere

    Justmehere Defying the odds Moderator Premium Member

    Did he state why?
    hithere likes this.
  7. Still Standing

    Still Standing Well-Known Member

    erigby, Your initial post got me to wondering what transference is all about. I am still new to this therapy stuff and the terms are not always familiar with me. So I did some searching on the internet and came across an article that was very, very helpful in explaining transference, even those of sexual or romantic feelings toward a therapist. I thought you might like to read it and see if it helps to answer your questions and concerns about how you are feeling. The article is called: "A Client's Guide to Transference | Psychology Today". I am sure if you put this into your search engine the article will come up. I am going to print it off for future reference, in case this becomes a concern of mine while in therapy.
    hithere likes this.
  8. hithere

    hithere Active Member

    some therapists feel the ethical need to terminate their client when the client reveals sexual feelings for the therapists. A lot of therapists actually. They aren't really trained in this area and if they don't have "supervision" they will often terminate. Or, perhaps he has sexual feelings for you, too, thus he did not help you transition to another therapist. Most therapist if they feel erotic feelings for the patient will transfer them right away for fear. Maybe if you told the T you have these feelings and you KNOW you will not act on them that you KNOW it will never happen, but can we talk about why I have them. ? Yet you have to do that with knowing you may be terminated. Power. They have all the power don't they! that is infuriating! Concerning this issue (because I do have sexual feelings about people, not just therapists, and my history really explains all of it!) concerning it what I have found useful is not try to stop them but go ahead and let those feelings and thoughts "be" they do start to dissipate at least to a tolerable level. However, you said they have never gone away. Maybe he is feeling that way and you are picking up on it, that's why it hasn't gone away.
    erigby likes this.
  9. erigby

    erigby Active Member

    no...not really...he did say he didn't want to send me to someone who had very different approaches than he did...in other words "I don't want to send you to someone who has no idea what they are doing and undo all of the work we have done." That sort of thing. Which I can appreciate but it makes it very difficult. I have asked numerous times...for my own reasons...I am struggling with my feelings for him. I don't know what else to do. I feel trapped...

    Thank you for the link. I have read this article before. It is very helpful. My T and I haven't really discussed this in depth...though it has come up...I have brought it up...a couple of times. I am exhausted with the transference thing. It has been almost 2 years and if that was it wouldn't it have gone away by now?
  10. Still Standing

    Still Standing Well-Known Member

    Not necessarily. According to that article, it is a process of dealing with and understanding what the core need is in you that you feel this way. I think it really is something that needs to be discussed. It would be a shame that a therapist is fearful of this because I would think it is more common than not in therapy. If sexual attractions, from a client are controlled, why not work through it? If it is the therapist that is reacting with attractions, that would be a different matter.
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