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Question
Posted by: D | 2010/04/30

Transference/love

Dear CS I refer to my ex-psychotherapist who has been suspended and referred to a senior therapist appointed by SASOP for his own in depth therapy. Despite everything I have been through (and the trauma was huge and the hurt is still very prevalent), I still have very deep feelings for him. My new psychologist has read the lever-arch file full of e-mails between us (she called them intellectual foreplay) and feels that he " fell in love with me"  as did I with him. She is not totally convinced that the feelings from either of us were strictly speaking transference. Given that even old Freud struggled to distinguish between transference and love, could she have a point? D

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

I suppose part of the problem is that there is no formally recognized training required, nor any recognized qualifications, before you call yourself a Psychotherapist or start practising as one.
As for whatever happened between you, it's hard to be certain from outside. I suppose there's some small possibility that it was genuine love, but it is far more likely to have been transference and counter-transference - in the hothouse and intense relationship of psychotherapy it is well recognized that such strong feelings often arise, between people who had they simply met in real life, would never have formed such feelings for each other.
And the crucial and serious fault of your therapist, is that this is so very well known, especially among psychotherapists, that he should have anticipated it, recognized it, and dealt with it in one of several well-recognized ways.
SO I wonder with what purpose your new therapist is trying to reject the idea that this was transference etc. Whatever it was, it was grossly unprofessional and inexpert on his side, and it was disturbning for you, and the disturbance still needs to be dealt with.

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Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/04/30

I suppose part of the problem is that there is no formally recognized training required, nor any recognized qualifications, before you call yourself a Psychotherapist or start practising as one.
As for whatever happened between you, it's hard to be certain from outside. I suppose there's some small possibility that it was genuine love, but it is far more likely to have been transference and counter-transference - in the hothouse and intense relationship of psychotherapy it is well recognized that such strong feelings often arise, between people who had they simply met in real life, would never have formed such feelings for each other.
And the crucial and serious fault of your therapist, is that this is so very well known, especially among psychotherapists, that he should have anticipated it, recognized it, and dealt with it in one of several well-recognized ways.
SO I wonder with what purpose your new therapist is trying to reject the idea that this was transference etc. Whatever it was, it was grossly unprofessional and inexpert on his side, and it was disturbning for you, and the disturbance still needs to be dealt with.

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