What type of Transference is this?

LeiaFlower

Learning
I’m trying to understand what type of transference I have with my therapist. My mind keeps telling me she’s like or going to do things a past abuser has done. A lot of my memories are repressed and I only have the covert abusive tendencies (like being made to sleep in the same bed, and limited privacy when getting dressed as well as going to the bathroom in front of us) that they displayed through the account of a relative. The limited memories doesn’t prevent nightmares were I’m being hurt in a way that could’ve happened to me but in the nightmares it’s always my therapist. Recently I keep having intrusive images of abuse (again involving my therapist) again I don’t really know what to do or how to approach when I don’t know what it is. I just don’t want it to be confused as positive transference when I don’t want nor am I aroused by the actions in the nightmares and thoughts.

Side note we were finally going to talk about the nightmares after months of me putting it off only for a family emergency to come up at the last moment causing me to cancel my session.
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
when i did something similar in my own therapy, we called it, "deflection." it was far easier for me to see the therapist as a bad guy than let myself "go there." it fits my own case well. i am a master of deflection. if ya can't beat 'em, change the subject. deflect, deflect, deflect. it's actually a handy tool when i use it mindfully. don't make me listen to another lecture, oh righteous one.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
I had a cycle of experiencing my T as a past abuser. It's negative transference. Also my T said in q couple of sessions it was me re-enacting the past.
I found it very painful and confusing.
If you feel able to talk to your T about it, it will really help.
It didn't help that my T did get drawn into the reenactment and did and said things in ways she normal doesn't, which fueled my perception she was now an abuser. Quite painful.

But: it isn't reality.
So much easier to make our T's be the abusers than the face the reality of the past..
 

LeiaFlower

Learning
I had a cycle of experiencing my T as a past abuser. It's negative transference. Also my T said in q couple of sessions it was me re-enacting the past.
I found it very painful and confusing.
If you feel able to talk to your T about it, it will really help.
It didn't help that my T did get drawn into the reenactment and did and said things in ways she normal doesn't, which fueled my perception she was now an abuser. Quite painful.

But: it isn't reality.
So much easier to make our T's be the abusers than the face the reality of the past..
Yeah a few times she has things that instantly triggered me and early on, before she knew about my history, she sat on a couch with me without warning. She was trying to show me an article and got up to sit next to me. Which sucks is that instead of announcing my uncomfortable feelings I shrunk further into the couch to make myself small and stared fearfully at the floor. Then another time when I was having bad suicidal ideation she someone ended up in the chair right in front of me, instead of her usual chair farthest from me, that also blocked my exit of the door. It didn’t help that she kept saying she wanted to “help me” I know of course she meant to keep me safe from harming myself. But it sounded gross and perverted. Then she said she didn’t I should leave which again triggered me even more. She meant that she didn’t feel safe for me to go home because she thought I was going to hurt myself but still poor choice of words that played a part in starting my nightmares. The crazy thing is we never talked about either situation I’m not for sure if she noticed my fear or what. And I was always scared to bringing it up due to personal trauma of getting in trouble for addressing things I didn’t like.

When the negative transference (using this word because it’s easier to describe it) finally went away she recently invaded my space again by having her hand inches from my thigh then standing directly in front of me when I was sitting in a chair. Btw she was petting the support animal I had in my lap then after I felt uncomfortable I wanted to put her down but was scared she was going to bite me (she of course wasn’t because she’s sweetheart) so my therapist offered to take her from me and her hands extended but again I got scared and didn’t move. With the first instance my trauma brain took over and I said “no” repeatedly because I thought she was trying to touch me. She ended up sitting in the chair instead of crouching in front of me. So I know she heard me but again it wasn’t brought up again.

I know these were all accidents and she didn’t know it will trigger me. But it fed the negative transference that she’s like my abuser being nice but wanting something in return. It also didn’t help that it felt like these issues were swept under the rug and never addressed. Though I guess I should’ve found the courage to address it myself, but I was scared of upsetting her.

It's negative transference.
I always thought negative transference meant that you hated your therapist which is probably why I steered from the word. I don’t hate her it’s usually fear and submissive behavior that usually comes out.

It didn't help that my T did get drawn into the reenactment and did and said things in ways she normal doesn't, which fueled my perception she was now an abuser. Quite painful.

But: it isn't reality.
So much easier to make our T's be the abusers than the face the reality of the past..
What do you mean by drawn into the reenactment? General question for anyone, but did anyone else have similar experiences with a therapist unknowingly invading personal space?
 

OliveJewel

MyPTSD Pro
My therapist kind of invaded my space . I have positive transference. But I see myself as a manipulative predator when I’m symptomatic. I alternatively also simultaneously see myself as disgusting and repulsive. So when she invaded my space I felt a conflict. I believed I was manipulating her to cross boundaries and that I was also gross. So I wanted her and didn’t want her ( to see me).

Because I believed I was repulsive I kept thick walls. Whenever she invaded my space I believed she was trying to desensitize me to people being vulnerable with me (but that she didn’t realize how dangerous I was). Regardless I ultimately felt her invading my space was helpful (because it reduced the sense of being repulsive).
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
But it fed the negative transference that she’s like my abuser being nice but wanting something in return. It also didn’t help that it felt like these issues were swept under the rug and never addressed. Though I guess I should’ve found the courage to address it myself, but I was scared of upsetting her.
It's really hard to learn to express your thoughts, feelings and needs, particularly if this was dangerous in childhood. But. .....she can't read your mind. And I am sure she would want to know what is triggering for you so that she can work on it with you. Honestly, she won't be upset that you are bringing this up. She'll be really pleased and proud of you. Do you feel able to tell her? Because it's not that she is doing something wrong, but that those behaviours and words are linked in your mind to abusers. It's projection from the past. Not the reality now.
Even if it was her doing something wrong, agood therapist takes responsibility for that.
But this is triggers and being triggered and so much healing can come from this is you feel able to broach it with her.

I always thought negative transference meant that you hated your therapist which is probably why I steered from the word. I don’t hate her it’s usually fear and submissive behavior that usually comes out.
My understanding is that it's negative projection from the past. I had very positive transference with her, until I got stuck in a partir trauma for a few weeks and just spiralled into seeing her as an abuser. And it's gone back to positive transfernce again.

What do you mean by drawn into the reenactment?
What my T explained to me is that my projection was very intense, and she wanted to help me out of it very much, but what happened is that this transference and countertransference took off. In that she sort of picked up and internalised the things I was projecting and inadvertently said things that she wouldn't normally do. A challenging couple of sessions happened ....

But, great thing about all this is that it passes and gets better if you talk about it.
 

Friday

Moderator
I know these were all accidents and she didn’t know it will trigger me. But it fed the negative transference that she’s like my abuser being nice but wanting something in return.
It could also not be any kind of Transference -in the psychodynamic therapy sense- per se, at all. But dealing with a Core Belief (or Core Beliefs), instead.

Like

- “Someone being nice to me wants something in return. DANGER!”
- “Someone moving close to me, is positioning themselves to trap & hurt me.”
- “Help is gross and perverted.”
- “If I let someone be nice to me, I have to give them something/what they want in return >>> It’s my fault if I’m hurt, because I let them be nice, move closer, help me, etc.”
- Et Cetera

Whilst Core Beliefs are often (but not always) made up of (many) Cognitive Distortions? Core Beliefs go waaaaaaaay beyond Distortions, or any kind of fleeting thought, or specific relationships with individuals (but instead will happen with anyone, in any situation, given the “right” pieces being in play)… Core Beliefs are automatic / instinctual / a part of you. They’re something that you/we/I carry with us into every interaction with others, as well as on our own… so they cheerfully get projected onto anyone/anything/anywhere/at any time. Because they’re always with us. Until we start workin on changing them.

-Or?- It could just be a Transference issue.

-Or?- It could be an amalgam of both Core Belief(s) + Transference
 

LeiaFlower

Learning
It's really hard to learn to express your thoughts, feelings and needs, particularly if this was dangerous in childhood. But. .....she can't read your mind. And I am sure she would want to know what is triggering for you so that she can work on it with you. Honestly, she won't be upset that you are bringing this up. She'll be really pleased and proud of you. Do you feel able to tell her? Because it's not that she is doing something wrong, but that those behaviours and words are linked in your mind to abusers. It's projection from the past. Not the reality now.
Even if it was her doing something wrong, agood therapist takes responsibility for that.
But this is triggers and being triggered and so much healing can come from this is you feel able to broach it with her.


My understanding is that it's negative projection from the past. I had very positive transference with her, until I got stuck in a partir trauma for a few weeks and just spiralled into seeing her as an abuser. And it's gone back to positive transfernce again.


What my T explained to me is that my projection was very intense, and she wanted to help me out of it very much, but what happened is that this transference and countertransference took off. In that she sort of picked up and internalised the things I was projecting and inadvertently said things that she wouldn't normally do. A challenging couple of sessions happened ....

But, great thing about all this is that it passes and gets better if you talk about it.
Thank you for saying this. I struggle a lot with assuming other people knows what I’m feeling with subtle cues, though with compassionate I realize it’s a coping mechanism from not knowing when the person I’m talking to is trust worthy. But being straightforward with my triggers is the best approach. It’s just hard not to project when it comes to expressing my feelings because in the past it usually resulted in a bad reaction. Despite knowing her for over a year, and knowing this is not the case with her; in the back of my mind the fear of being yelled at or shamed for my feelings is always there, creeping up.

Thinking about it more, and hearing multiple perspectives helped me realize I was living in the past with thinking that the invasion was cues to grooming in order to harm me. But it isn’t reality. And I guess it isn’t normal, there’s probably a better word, to react to small invasions with submissive behavior or quiet protests. Trauma brain is annoying. Even more so when you don’t fully know or understand your trauma. Then you just feel like an imposter, being dramatic and faking fear.

I always heard about countertransference, never want to experience it from what I hear. And I’m sorry you guys both had tough sessions because of. Yours with her counter and hers with the transfer. I’m sure it happens to the best therapist and like you mentioned, if they’re a good therapist (which I’m sure both of them are, mines and yours) they’ll be okay if problems are addressed.

It could also not be any kind of Transference -in the psychodynamic therapy sense- per se, at all. But dealing with a Core Belief (or Core Beliefs), instead.

Like

- “Someone being nice to me wants something in return. DANGER!”
- “Someone moving close to me, is positioning themselves to trap & hurt me.”
- “Help is gross and perverted.”
- “If I let someone be nice to me, I have to give them something/what they want in return >>> It’s my fault if I’m hurt, because I let them be nice, move closer, help me, etc.”
- Et Cetera

Whilst Core Beliefs are often (but not always) made up of (many) Cognitive Distortions? Core Beliefs go waaaaaaaay beyond Distortions, or any kind of fleeting thought, or specific relationships with individuals (but instead will happen with anyone, in any situation, given the “right” pieces being in play)… Core Beliefs are automatic / instinctual / a part of you. They’re something that you/we/I carry with us into every interaction with others, as well as on our own… so they cheerfully get projected onto anyone/anything/anywhere/at any time. Because they’re always with us. Until we start workin on changing them.

-Or?- It could just be a Transference issue.

-Or?- It could be an amalgam of both Core Belief(s) + Transference
Yeah, I feel like with core beliefs they show up more so in nightmares which I’ve also had and have been having. Many with my therapist but even recently with a close friend. The “If I let someone be nice to me, I have to give them something/what they want in return” hit close to home. Even though I never express it nor does it come out blatantly, it’s still there in the back in my mind. That I “owe” others a part of myself because of their undeserving kindness. And if I do in turn feed in to what they want in return it usually follows the shame of “It’s my fault they hurt me, because I let them be nice, get closer, help me, etc.” Slippery slope therapy creates but I guess it’s worth if eventually I’m supposed to get better.
 
P

Paula

I trust my T as far as I can throw him which is what I told him in my last session. His response was that the other therapt I had when I was hospitalized emotionally threatened me to get compliance out of me. It was a horrible e perience. Even after all 3 yrs. I still have not to all,and I told him that a yr ago. He wants in,but I resist him so he has to fet ariund me differently. Being point blank makes me want to run S far as I can,even after all this time. I feel sorry for him to have to deal with me. But he does make me laugh,as I do him. Its strange connection,between us.
 
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