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Posted by: D | 2010/05/01

Re 1254

Debate cont: My response would be that in expressing anger (in some ways I think the SASOP peer review process (ie being judged by his own peers) was for him a more painful experience (being the highly ESTEEMED psychiatrist that he is)than HPCSA) and then forgiveness, I am taking some responsibility and refusing to be a victim. Having suffered severe depression in my past, I have all too often struggled with feelings of helplessness and been very good at playing the victim role. I cannot claim to have been a total victim in this relationship (despite a history of CSA) –  I recognized his physical feelings, we both realized that we were crossing boundaries –  I trusted him to maintain physical boundaries which he did. I would agree that love that grows in an unequal power relationship is more likely to emphasize the regressive parental transferences. However viewing it as purely transference from a resistance point of view (rather than as an expression of the positive transference and the patient’ s search for a new transformational object) would tend to negate the growth point of transference and its hopes for the future. Would not attempts to see the transference as an unreal or inauthentic type of love, deprive the transference of its vitality and transformational opportunities? Surely all forms of love have an element of repetition in them (how often do we end up marrying our ‘ fathers’  or ‘ mothers’ )?

I am curious that you reject the psychoanalytic concept of the unconscious, yet you are emphatic as to the existence of pure transference in the psychotherapeutic relationship?

I found his feelings very flattering and particularly uplifting –  there were times where I could go home and hug my children (I struggled to do this in the past), feeling I had more to give them. I felt physically and emotionally affirmed. However intuitively I sensed his discomfort with his own feelings (I have no doubt that a childhood preoccupied with trying to sense my mother’ s needs had a lot to do with the fine tuning of this attribute) –  and ended up taking responsibility for them and this is where he was so at fault, for not recognizing this. In the end I honed in on his weak spot and attacked him (very insincerely) for his feelings –  he panicked and the rest is history. Reading your response, I am finally beginning to understand why he did. Yes, many of the idealising projections fell away when he acted as he did in the end –  I took back my own sensitivity, etc (and he definitely became uglier!), yet I still care for him very deeply –  fantasy perhaps but my new therapist does not seem to think so. I don’ t feel abused or victimized. I never saw him as all-powerful or omniscient (and he was certainly no blank slate!) –  intuitively I recognized his own vulnerability in his discomfort. I saw his inexperience play out time and again, I recognized that he too had experienced significant loss in his life (I am quite sure that he also found my feelings very affirming) which resonated with me. But I hung in there because I enjoyed the intimacy, the connection and the “ love” . Yes he is accountable but I can honestly say, I never expected him to be human plus –  I can’ t relate to people like that –  it is not authentic.

I have to chuckle at the irony in that in some respects I am now defending him (and in so doing defending a transformational experience in myself). Yes, the roots of the inner strength may lie within but it is this relationship as stressful and traumatic as it was that has been the growth point. Idealistic/naï ve perhaps but real nonetheless. I apologise for the essay and please don’ t think I am obsessing –  just really enjoy the debate and thank you very sincerely for the outlet. Thank you in particular for being so in favour of the rights of the patient - after my experinces with SASOP it is very refreshing!!!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

You have been a very astute pupil in larning the jargon and excuses of the psychoanalytic process - and som of its wild claims for which there is absolutely NO good reliable evidence, despite so many decades of its pratice. There is NO good evidence that transference is vital and transofmative. Analysts who enjoy creating such situations say it is so. Those of us who prefer scioentific evidence rather than ex cathedra pontifications, don't accept that.
I think you have misunderstood me in some important respects ( there is still amazingly little evidence for the existence of a "subconscious") but I on't want to get into a lengthy debate or tutorial. Transference is not love, nor vice versa
And you seem to be saying that whatever transference is, one has to gift to it an assumption of being holy genuine love, to give it in turn the power to be transformational.
That you found some aspcts of the experience agreeable, flattering and up[lifting - well, most people respond to the attentions of a seducer in the same way. That doesn't make seduction something which should necessarily be valued ( or paid for !)
That your new therapist is apparently so understanding and forgiving of her transgressive volleague is his/her own choice ; and it he/she is also, as it sounds, basically analytical, she / he is also re-affirming the mythology of analysis and the anallytic trades union.
If he had experienced loss in his life, let alone found your affections afirming, too, then all the more definitivel he was cheating. Therapy is for YOU, and to charge you ( yes, I do harp on that, as Freud would have ) for becoming helpful and comforting for him, he was again transgressing.
That you have apparently managed to grow and gain from even this abusive relationship does not in any way confirm the theory under which you were both labouring, but is a tribute to inner strangths you already had, which you brought into the situation, and which could have been tapped and activated more honestly ( and rapidly ) by more scientifically based therapies.
There's no need to defend whatever degree of transformation you have achieved, but don't asume it was due to what happened. It has been observed that when a clinic for severely regressed schizophrenic patients was devastated by an earthquakwe, even severely regresssed and non-verbal people mustered the strength to not only escape unharmed themselves, but to help opthers to do so. This is impressive and encouraging to all of us, but doesn't mean that earthqakes as such as to be recommended as therapeutic.

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Our users say:
Posted by: D | 2010/05/02

I''m not an advocate of psychoanalysis, just increasingly sure of what I went through and I would agree that the strength lay within - sometimes it just takes a traumatic experience and the pain that went with it to break open the bud that was ready to bloom?

I reallly appreciate your support. If you are at all interested, I have provided my e-mail address - will forward the 10-page application and e-mail annexures - makes for interesting reading.
Otherwise thanks for everything!

Reply to D
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/05/02

You have been a very astute pupil in larning the jargon and excuses of the psychoanalytic process - and som of its wild claims for which there is absolutely NO good reliable evidence, despite so many decades of its pratice. There is NO good evidence that transference is vital and transofmative. Analysts who enjoy creating such situations say it is so. Those of us who prefer scioentific evidence rather than ex cathedra pontifications, don't accept that.
I think you have misunderstood me in some important respects ( there is still amazingly little evidence for the existence of a "subconscious") but I on't want to get into a lengthy debate or tutorial. Transference is not love, nor vice versa
And you seem to be saying that whatever transference is, one has to gift to it an assumption of being holy genuine love, to give it in turn the power to be transformational.
That you found some aspcts of the experience agreeable, flattering and up[lifting - well, most people respond to the attentions of a seducer in the same way. That doesn't make seduction something which should necessarily be valued ( or paid for !)
That your new therapist is apparently so understanding and forgiving of her transgressive volleague is his/her own choice ; and it he/she is also, as it sounds, basically analytical, she / he is also re-affirming the mythology of analysis and the anallytic trades union.
If he had experienced loss in his life, let alone found your affections afirming, too, then all the more definitivel he was cheating. Therapy is for YOU, and to charge you ( yes, I do harp on that, as Freud would have ) for becoming helpful and comforting for him, he was again transgressing.
That you have apparently managed to grow and gain from even this abusive relationship does not in any way confirm the theory under which you were both labouring, but is a tribute to inner strangths you already had, which you brought into the situation, and which could have been tapped and activated more honestly ( and rapidly ) by more scientifically based therapies.
There's no need to defend whatever degree of transformation you have achieved, but don't asume it was due to what happened. It has been observed that when a clinic for severely regressed schizophrenic patients was devastated by an earthquakwe, even severely regresssed and non-verbal people mustered the strength to not only escape unharmed themselves, but to help opthers to do so. This is impressive and encouraging to all of us, but doesn't mean that earthqakes as such as to be recommended as therapeutic.

Reply to cybershrink

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