Posted by: D | 2010-04-30

Re 1252

Forgive the debate but I guess the obsessing is part of the disturbance (it is also very much something I do anyway - get stuck in analysis paralysis quite often)?

I guess I have got to the stage where I am ready to let go of my anger because it only covers up the deeper feeling of loss. I truely believe that he had very deep feelings (has all love has not got a transference element?), it was a gradual connection, a very intellectual one (without sounding arrogant) and a very intuitive one. I played passive aggressive as I was angry at him for hiding behind my vulnerability (low self esteem), attacked his feelings and he panicked and denied everything. Yes he was out of his depth, yes he should have referred me when he realised he had feelings but I believe he felt that his feelings would/could be a corrective emotional experience for me - as he said " he could not be declarative but he could be authentic" . To an extent I did internalise some of that affirmation, for the first time ever I was able to express anger, I fought for myself (SASOP peer review) and acknowledged that I was indeed lovable - something I have never done in the past. Yes he buggered up but he is human and I guess in acknowledging that I am able to retain that which I did internalise. So in venturing that it may have been more than just transference, my new therapist is recognising the self-belief that I did get out of the relationship (despite the left brain chatter) and is encouraging me to build on it. If I dismiss him in anger, I give away my power - I need to hold onto that and in some ways he will always have a place in my heart. Thank you for putting up with all my off loading. D

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Our expert says:
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Ugh ! I wrote such a brilliant and long reply, and then the system burped and lost the whole thing ! Let me try again.
No, I disagree that there is an element of transference in ordinary love. Transference arises in a the highly artificial situation of psychotherapy and especially in psychoanalysis, and out of the structural intimacy involved. Only the therapist is socially allowed to pry so deeply into your emotional and other intimacies, just as only a surgeon is allowed to legitimately cut you open with a knife.
And there are technical and ethical boundaries well recognized to protect the patient from either the naive and foolish abuse of the situation by a poorly trained therapist as may be the situation here, or from the deliberate and predatory abuse of the situation by an irresponsible therapist, using the power imbalance, the structure of the situation, and hi knowledge, to his benefit and not yours.
Also, I reject the naive conept of a "corrective emotional experience" - there is no good evidence that anything beneficial in that form exists, and it is too often an excuse used by predators.
You may well feel a sense of loss, but you di NOT lose any genuine relaionship - you lost your fantasies of what you thought might have been a genuine relationship, and you lost your fantasies of a powerful and knowledgeable therapist who turned out to be lacking and vulnerable and irresponsible. That's a real loss, but not the same as you may be assuming.
Apart from the fac that over so many decades there is NO good evidence that psychoanalysis or treatments based on it are beneficial or effective, with your excessive talent for intelectualizing and obsessing, any such method is exactly what you do NOT need. YOu could apply that skill through CBT, far more practically and fruitfully, withou getting lost in the intellectual game-playing of analysts.
Remember he was PAID to have a elationship with you, though it was supposed to be an entirely therapeutic and beneficial one.
There are significant similarities between the analytic relationship and that wih a prostitute or gigolo. And one should no more allow oneself to mistake the analytic relationship for real love, than one should mistake the comforting affection and attention of a skilled gigolo for real affection, let alone love.
You were not required to tell the difference or to recognize what was going wrong - but he was.
Yes, he is human, and not expected to be superhuman, but he IS expected to be human plus - to act according to a more detailed set of knowledge and guidelines than a guy you just met in the supermarket queue, or a guy without special training, but someone who actually charged you on the assumption that he had specil skills and knowledge.
Your growing sense of self-belief and self-confidence does indeed deserve to be nurtured, but must be recognized as due to your own pre-existin inner strengths, and they were NOT in any way a gift from this inadequate therapist.
Your anger is an expression of your power, not something that gives it away. it has probably fulfilled its purpose now, and yes it is wise for you to move on. He deserves to be dismissed, and has been extremely lucky that the Council was so peculiarly kind to him, in a way they would not be towards a surgeon who operated unskillfully and caused damage irresponsibly. Remember, there is only the difference of one space between Therapist and The Rapist - and professional ethics and guidelines and techniques are supposed to keep the transaction entirely on the herapeutic side.

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