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Question
Posted by: Liz | 2010/01/30

Countertransference

I am a 40 year old female in therapy with a 40 year old male. The issues that I have had to deal with are amongst others a history of CSA. I have feelings of attraction for my therapist and have hinted as much. Of late his face has been going very red and he looks uncomforable. When I asked him about his discomfort he replied that he often thought about these feelings, had metabolized them. He insisted that it was his stuff and that to be declarative of his feelings would affect the safety between us. He said that I had to trust him to manage himself and the space and that I had to trust him " not to act out his feelings" .
I suspect that he also has physical feelings for me and am not too sure how I feel about this despite being attracted to him. Is it possible that I am projecting these feelings ie because I have physical feelings, I am reading this into his behaviour and explanations? I always thought one projected what was unconscious but I am definitely aware of my feelings.
Thanking you in advance.
Liz

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Hello L,
Setting aside my evidence-based conviction that analytically modelled therapy is over-expensive and under-effective, and especially unhelpful ( though always convincing the client that it's highly valuable ) in cases of CSA and trauma -
But experiences of what they would call transference and counter-transference occur in all forms of therapy ( and indeed in many forms of power-diferential relationships, such as at work, where they are rarely if ever recognized as such ).
But I thought that in their analytic training, they were taught to deal with the transference and counter-transference openly in therapy, not just to sit behind the couch or desk and blush ! That's more what I would call Under-The-Counter-Transference !
His remarks, as you quote them, make it unmistakably clear that he IS experiencing counter-transference feelings, so leaving them in the shadows, not quite acknowledged and not discussed, seems unfortunate.
If you were simply imagining or projecting these possinle feelings of his, his reaction would be incomprehensible and utterly unhelpful.
These days, opnly archaeo-paleo-analytts and Carte Blanche believe in the unconscious

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3
Our users say:
Posted by: Liz | 2010/02/02

Further to my e-mail re countertransference - 30/1/10.
I have confronted him and he he has denied having any feelings - he feels there has been a " misunderstanding" . He denied everything but then again in the same breath said he could not be declarative about his feelings even now.

I took an overdose and the relationship has now been terminated. he is a well known psychiatrist. I am now questioning my sanity - I am definitely not delusional (thanks to the confirmation of the new psychiatrist) but perhaps I have projected all of this although I quoted his comments and reaction verbatim to you. Help?

Reply to Liz
Posted by: Liz | 2010/01/30

What should he do - terminate? We have also been maintaining an sms and e-mail relationship outside of therapy, is this unethical?

Reply to Liz
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/01/30

Hello L,
Setting aside my evidence-based conviction that analytically modelled therapy is over-expensive and under-effective, and especially unhelpful ( though always convincing the client that it's highly valuable ) in cases of CSA and trauma -
But experiences of what they would call transference and counter-transference occur in all forms of therapy ( and indeed in many forms of power-diferential relationships, such as at work, where they are rarely if ever recognized as such ).
But I thought that in their analytic training, they were taught to deal with the transference and counter-transference openly in therapy, not just to sit behind the couch or desk and blush ! That's more what I would call Under-The-Counter-Transference !
His remarks, as you quote them, make it unmistakably clear that he IS experiencing counter-transference feelings, so leaving them in the shadows, not quite acknowledged and not discussed, seems unfortunate.
If you were simply imagining or projecting these possinle feelings of his, his reaction would be incomprehensible and utterly unhelpful.
These days, opnly archaeo-paleo-analytts and Carte Blanche believe in the unconscious

Reply to cybershrink

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