Psych Central

Go Back   Forums at Psych Central > Treatments and Self-Care Strategies > Psychotherapy > Romantic Feelings Toward My Therapist



advertisement
Reply
Thread Tools Display Modes
Unread 12-29-2010, 09:27 AM   #1
Member
Wawrzyn has no updates.
 
Member Since: Dec 2010
Posts: 26
3 yr Member
Default Is it possible to not experience transference and still fall in love with your T?

The reading I've done on the subject seems to indicate that whenever a patient "falls in love" with his or her therapist it is a sign of transference and an indicative that something was missing in the patient's childhood.

I don't doubt that's true in many cases, but are there cases where patients legitimately fall in love with their therapists just as they would have fallen in love with any other loving, caring human being?
Wawrzyn is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 12-29-2010, 05:15 PM   #2
Anonymous39281
Guest
Anonymous39281 has no updates. Edit
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Is it possible to not experience transference and still fall in love with your T?

this is an interesting question. i don't think i know enough about this to be able to answer it adequately but there are others here who probably do. one thing though is the nature of the T relationship. it isn't equal from the get-go. there is a power imbalance because only the client is being vulnerable and sharing their innermost thoughts and feelings. of course the relationship is meant to be that way in order to help the client heal, but it does set up a different sort of dynamic than one would find in a regular romantic relationship. because of that you aren't really seeing T in the totality of who they are. so, the person you are falling in love with is a lot of what you imagine they must be rather than who they really are. your feelings are still real and valid though. maybe you are falling in love with a small part of T that you are allowed to see but if you saw the rest of the person you wouldn't necessarily feel the same.
  Reply With Quote
"Thanks for this!" says:
Unread 12-29-2010, 10:16 PM   #3
Member
Wawrzyn has no updates.
 
Member Since: Dec 2010
Posts: 26
3 yr Member
Default Re: Is it possible to not experience transference and still fall in love with your T?

bloom3, everything you wrote makes perfect sense, with the exception of this part:

Quote:
Originally Posted by bloom3 View Post
there is a power imbalance because only the client is being vulnerable and sharing their innermost thoughts and feelings.
Sure there is an imbalance and sure only the patient is sharing his thoughts and feelings, but can you please give me an example of an instance when the "power imbalance" and "vulnerability" on the part of the patient would negatively affect a personal relationship with the therapist?

I would imagine that if the therapist and the patient decided to have a personal relationship once the therapy is over, the playing field would gradually even out and the therapist would eventually share his or her thoughts and feelings with the patient. If it turns out that there is no chemistry between the 'real' therapist and the former patient, it means that the relationship did not work, and the patient and the therapist part ways.

It doesn't seem to me like the relationship is necessarily heading for disaster just because one side did not open up early enough. It's also kind of obvious, I think, that the image that a professional presents while doing his or her job is not necessarily an accurate reflection of who they are in real life, though I'd wager that in most cases it's probably not too far-off.

Given that I am not the type of person who tends to open up and share his thoughts and feelings with people, I would argue that I am in a better position to do well in a relationship with the therapist now that the opening up phase, which would likely not have occurred otherwise, is taken care of.

Last edited by Wawrzyn; 12-29-2010 at 10:40 PM.
Wawrzyn is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 12-29-2010, 10:27 PM   #4
Grand Member
 
Brightheart's Avatar
Brightheart is feeling very serene and content.
 
Member Since: Dec 2008
Posts: 921
My Mood:

5 yr Member
28 hugs
given
PC PoohBah!
Default Re: Is it possible to not experience transference and still fall in love with your T?

It puts the therapist in a position of power over a client. The roles of the relationship are set and defined. This would be challenging to adjust to even after therapy ended. Most people we meet do not know our innermost pains and certainly wouldn't start out knowing them when we knew nothing of theirs. A friendship would be very challenging, I would imagine, though perhaps not impossible. A romantic relationship would likely not be healthy for a client with a former therapist...even many years down the road...Just my personal thoughts on the matter.
Brightheart is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 12-29-2010, 10:29 PM   #5
Anonymous32887
Guest
Anonymous32887 has no updates. Edit
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Is it possible to not experience transference and still fall in love with your T?

Wawrzyn, I think when I "fell in love" with my therapist...I was really "falling in love" with me, the person I became when I was with T.

Is it possible to fall in love with T without transference? I don't have an answer for you but I can offer this. Once my former T and I were having a discussion, when the therapeutic frame broke. He became emotional (bottom lip quivering) which caught us both off guard. It shook us both up and I am not sure either, of us, ever recovered.

I think it is possible to fall in love with someone without knowing about their life outside of the therapy office. Therapy CAN be messy sometimes, and the real "work" comes in how you respond and handle those experiences, and sadly, also those limitations.
  Reply With Quote
Unread 12-30-2010, 04:51 AM   #6
Anonymous39281
Guest
Anonymous39281 has no updates. Edit
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Is it possible to not experience transference and still fall in love with your T?

w, this article helps explain why there is a power imbalance with the client and T even once the therapy has ended which it addresses at the end of the article: Client-Therapist Sex in the Regressive Therapies.

like brightheart has said, it's about the roles. the T is in the role of an authority/parental figure in your life and once that relational dynamic is set up it will form and inform the relationship. can it ever be modified? idk, but transference isn't really something to try mess with imo because it is unconscious and so you would necessarily be unaware of it's influence in your life...until too late.

i'm sorry you are having to deal with this. i know it's a real pain in the rear as i have it with a friend who i've helped out spiritually. i have found it does get easier in time. we don't have as much contact as we used to and it doesn't bother me that much anymore.
  Reply With Quote
Unread 12-30-2010, 01:29 PM   #7
Grand Magnate
 
amandalouise's Avatar
amandalouise wife/mom/lesbian/survivor
 
Member Since: Mar 2009
Location: New York, USA
Posts: 3,832
5 yr Member
140 hugs
given
Default Re: Is it possible to not experience transference and still fall in love with your T?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wawrzyn View Post
The reading I've done on the subject seems to indicate that whenever a patient "falls in love" with his or her therapist it is a sign of transference and an indicative that something was missing in the patient's childhood.

I don't doubt that's true in many cases, but are there cases where patients legitimately fall in love with their therapists just as they would have fallen in love with any other loving, caring human being?
I bet if you looked around the internet you can find cases where there are people who have fallen in love (liked their personality, looks and had a great time doing normal dating things) with their treatment providers.

it happens all the time bosses and secretaries, teachers and students, physicians and patients, rapists and victims...

its all out there you just have to go looking and keep your eyes open to see that yes some people who start out having a professional relationship do in fact turn those professional relationships into personal relationships.

most states now do carry what it called "Dual relationship" laws, rules in almost every career, because it is recognized that people do naturally develop relationships to each other including interpersonal, intimate ones. human beings are a social species.

to find out if you and your therapist could ever have such a relationship as a friendship or anything more intimate ask your therapist about your locations "dual relationship" laws in psychotherapy.

amandalouise is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 12-30-2010, 03:47 PM   #8
Member
Wawrzyn has no updates.
 
Member Since: Dec 2010
Posts: 26
3 yr Member
Default Re: Is it possible to not experience transference and still fall in love with your T?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bloom3 View Post
w, this article helps explain why there is a power imbalance with the client and T even once the therapy has ended which it addresses at the end of the article: Client-Therapist Sex in the Regressive Therapies.
I never mentioned sexual desire. I think I am missing something here.
Wawrzyn is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 12-30-2010, 04:07 PM   #9
Anonymous39281
Guest
Anonymous39281 has no updates. Edit
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Is it possible to not experience transference and still fall in love with your T?

okay, sorry. usually falling in love and sexual desire go together...at least in my mind.
  Reply With Quote
Unread 12-30-2010, 07:02 PM   #10
Member
Wawrzyn has no updates.
 
Member Since: Dec 2010
Posts: 26
3 yr Member
Default Re: Is it possible to not experience transference and still fall in love with your T?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bloom3 View Post
okay, sorry. usually falling in love and sexual desire go together...at least in my mind.
I think that's true in the case of most females who "fall in love".
Wawrzyn is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:28 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® — Copyright © 2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

advertisement

 

The material on this site is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for medical advice,
diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified health care provider.
Always consult your doctor or mental health professional before trying anything you read here.

 

HomeAbout UsContact UsPrivacy PolicyTerms of UseDisclaimer
Forums HomeCommunity Guidelines Help

Helplines and Lifelines
eTrust Pro Certified