Transference - how to come through the over side?

TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro
Thanks @grit
I want a *normal* feeling towards my T. Although I have no idea what that feels like? What is that?
When you figure it out....let me know. I had real issues with transference and now I think it just shifting to new T.....and that's not feeling like a winner.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
Thanks @grit

When you figure it out....let me know. I had real issues with transference and now I think it just shifting to new T.....and that's not feeling like a winner.
I think the only way through transference seems to be talking about it with your T? It has really helped me although so awkward and uncomfortable to do initially.
Hope you are doing ok @TruthSeeker
 

TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro
I think the only way through transference seems to be talking about it with your T? It has really helped me although so awkward and uncomfortable to do initially.
Hope you are doing ok @TruthSeeker
This new T, unlike the other one, seems willing to discuss whatever needs to be discussed. My last T was not always present in hard conversations...and this new one is very grounded...it's a very different relationship. Doing pretty good.....kayaking has made a world of difference.....getting out in the sunshine.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
Update on the transference turmoil:

I'm trying to process what on earth happened in therapy today. We spoke a lot about transference and counter transference. She spoke about her caring too much for me last week (inside I jump with absolute joy when she says this) and wanting to take my pain away when I got overwhelmed. And she spoke about the week before backing away from me saying I had missed her (inside I am doing the opposite of jumping for joy).

She wants to know what she represents to me. I have no idea what she represents. We've spoken about her being a parent figure. But I'm not it is that now.
I don't think it is erotic? I don't have sexual feelings for her. But a deep emotion.

What I'm left feeling is this feeling I had when I was younger: that I can seduce her, win her over so that she crosses boundaries with me, and then does something that is unethical and then has to terminate me.
Basically: I will make her do something bad to hurt and abandon me, because I'm bad and this is what I do.

Am I playing out this abuser role thing with her?
I did this over and over and over , sexually, as a young teenager. Is this the dynamic I'm playing out with her?

I'm at a total loss.
All I know is that I have deep feelings for her, and I'm so joyful if she says something similar, but also petrified.

This is so hard.
I'm so confused.
What on earth is a normal, healthy, appropriate relationship with a therapist? I did say to her I didn't know if my feelings were healthy or unhealthy/ appropriate or not. She said it sounded as though my feelings about her are helping me through a really hard time, so it's giving me something positive. Which it is. I feel her kindness and care, and it's making me stay in therapy and address my trauma, when other parts of me want to run away from it all.

I don't know what I'm asking with this post. But sharing my turmoil. If you have any words of wisdom: gratefully received!
 
You don't have to do anything with your feelings for your T.

You just have to feel them for now. And then when you see that your feelings don't leave to anything bad, maybe you can accept them.

You're not making your T feel anything inappropriate. She does care about you. It's good that you're noticing that you want to please her.

That said, you should let her know that you are afraid that you
will make her do something bad to hurt and abandon me, because I'm bad and this is what I do.
That's definitely a great topic for working through with her.
 

TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro
Update on the transference turmoil:

I'm trying to process what on earth happened in therapy today. We spoke a lot about transference and counter transference. She spoke about her caring too much for me last week (inside I jump with absolute joy when she says this) and wanting to take my pain away when I got overwhelmed. And she spoke about the week before backing away from me saying I had missed her (inside I am doing the opposite of jumping for joy).

She wants to know what she represents to me. I have no idea what she represents. We've spoken about her being a parent figure. But I'm not it is that now.
I don't think it is erotic? I don't have sexual feelings for her. But a deep emotion.

What I'm left feeling is this feeling I had when I was younger: that I can seduce her, win her over so that she crosses boundaries with me, and then does something that is unethical and then has to terminate me.
Basically: I will make her do something bad to hurt and abandon me, because I'm bad and this is what I do.

Am I playing out this abuser role thing with her?
I did this over and over and over , sexually, as a young teenager. Is this the dynamic I'm playing out with her?

I'm at a total loss.
All I know is that I have deep feelings for her, and I'm so joyful if she says something similar, but also petrified.

This is so hard.
I'm so confused.
What on earth is a normal, healthy, appropriate relationship with a therapist? I did say to her I didn't know if my feelings were healthy or unhealthy/ appropriate or not. She said it sounded as though my feelings about her are helping me through a really hard time, so it's giving me something positive. Which it is. I feel her kindness and care, and it's making me stay in therapy and address my trauma, when other parts of me want to run away from it all.

I don't know what I'm asking with this post. But sharing my turmoil. If you have any words of wisdom: gratefully received!
My T asked me last week, when the therapy dynamics changed to more serious....and my insiders decided to kind of hi-jack therapy. She asked me if I felt that a part of me was sabotaging therapy. I nodded.....I totally get the I'm bad, no good, and you'll abandon me theme. So this go round, with a new more experienced trauma therapist, (I had the transference with the last one and she refused to talk about it....and her behavior encouraged it). I just wanted to go home with her and have her take care of me....I left that therapist dissatisfied for a number of reasons....the transference felt shameful, I felt needy, and was not going to therapy to feel needy and shameful.

So, with this newer therapist, I had decided to avoid becoming close via "out of session communication." I set my boundaries and I stick with them. I think expectations have a lot to do with triggering. The more the therapist gives in in the area of communication, the more cared about I felt.........and the sooner I'd expect her to respond to text/email, etc.....especially when trauma was going on and I didn't feel safe. The waiting for a response seemed unbearable.....but that's because I had an expectation of what she "should do" to make me happy on her non-working time. (Reality....T's get paid by the hour so I shouldn't have any expectations unless it's an emergency, and then.....and only then, can I hope she'll contact me back if I'm having one).

So, with my newer therapist, I set my own boundaries and stick with it. No texting/facetime with the T, no phone calls unless it is super emergent (like a real safety emergency where when she asks, is this an emergency I could honestly answer yes), and no more than 1 self-initiated email in a week no longer than one page if I was having a problem with therapy....or my insiders weren't feeling safe, and causing me grave issues at home like getting no sleep and interferring medically (for me can lead to health problems) . All the communication is an email telling her necessary information that would help her help me, and I need to change tactics, and how she could help me better next session OR that I had a schedule change/time change, or felt sick and symptoms seemed similar to Covid and thought I should skip that week.

I decided email was the least personal, and more formal method of communication that would allow communication and keep proper distance in a "purchased relationship." In reality, this is a paid relationship, we will never be friends with our T and never go out for coffee. So being cared about is a wonderful feeling......but keep your head on......it's not happening and the T can't allow that relationship to develop the way you project it in your head. Been there, done that.....only caused me added conflict. With email only approach.....I am merely conveying information and don't expect a response, but I know T will print the email and ask about it in the next session...if there is anything she feels needs discussing. Maybe if you put yourself in the driver's seat instead of expecting your T to manage it all, and figured out what boundaries you need to feel okay walking in the office, what kind of communication do you need/vs want, and what will help reduce the transference.....Just a thought....taking control of my part, the expectations and communication, was helpful for me.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
Thanks @somerandomguy and @TruthSeeker
I really appreciate your replies. I feel like I can't do them justice. I've been re-reading them, and all the replies on here, really carefully.
It's hard to explain, but this transference feels like it is "everything". Everything about me, how I responded to my trauma, a result of my trauma, me before trauma, the whole of me. I don't know if I'm over egging it, but it feels massive.
Which is making me pick it apart with a fine tooth comb and dissect your replies to find the answers!
It really helps to hear your views about it. So thank you.

I've decided I need to tell her why I picked her, because I think there is some form of erotic/sexual transference, as that is how I feel 'comfortable' (but also very much not comfortable) in relating to people. I understand my worth, and the dynamics, through them seeing me sexually. (or at least this younger part of me does, and it is this that plays out?).

So I think I picked her and set up this dynamic to play out. I picked her for her sexuality (not that she has told me it, but she explicitly says she works with LGBTQ clients and my 'gaydar' tells me she is), her age (around about my age or slightly older, again I am making assumptions), and her look (short hair, kind, open, friendly feel about her). The reason I picked her was far more about who I decided she was rather than the mode of therapy she offered (but obviously I checked she she specialises in trauma, csa etc), but mainly it was the 'feel' of her.
 
That's good that you want to tell her about your transference. Don't be surprised if she doesn't want to overdiscuss it, however. Transference is a good thing to talk about, but not at the expense of sidetracking other things.

(Can you tell I'm learning about transference in class right now? Because I am.)

Transference is a normal, expected, and even healing part of therapy. But it's just a single aspect of a whole person. It can feel huge - like you said it feels like "everything." But part of therapy is trying to learn that it's really not. This is going to require you to sit with your feelings and get more comfortable with them. You can do it! You're feeling them, which is the first step!
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
Thanks @somerandomguy . I'd be really interested in what you learn about transference if you wanted to share more.

I've been thinking a lot about it and *I think* I'm getting a bit of critical distance from the feelings to try and work out what's going on. I (or a little me part) was being too focused on being excited about what her feelings for me were and just wanting to think about the relationship, rather than working on: why. But I think I can work on the 'why' now.
And think it is a parental transference. And think the erotic seduction type thing is just little me ramping up games I play as trying to draw her in as my mummy didn't make her be my mummy. So the other ability I have (in little me's mind) is getting people to behave sexually abusively with me, so that's little me ramping up the game to get her to see me as the special one and get that attention from her. Obviously I have absolutely no desire for this to really happen, which is why I think I have been confused.
But it's all just a game little me is playing to get her to be my replacement parent?

I think. Something like that anyways.
Thinking like this, is helping me reduce the anxiety that she will terminate me. Because it's making me see that I won't and can't make her cross boundaries and make her terminate me. It's just a game in my head I'm playing out, rather than a 'real' thing.

I think?
 
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That is some really good insight! Great work!

Remember, your feelings are your feelings. Your feelings are just there. It's how you react to them and what you do with them that's important.

I went through a similar process you're going through when I had erotic transference with my T. And I realized I felt the way I did because she was a safe place for those feelings that I felt really didn't have a safe place to go IRL. When I told this to my T, she congratulated me on successfully therapizing myself. So I offer you the same congratulations!
 
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