Dear Monica, I read your messages about transference. In one, you mentioned that you were a patient before you were a therapist and wished then for something more from your therapist. But it didn't happen and you think that is all to the good. I suppose, for you it is. But not for everybody. I hope my message doesn't read like an angry one, it isn't meant to be and I hope I have not incurred anyone elses wrath. Thanks to the forum for letting me say this.
I think I will not be too far off if I generalize my experience to others and offer that the kind of impersonal behavior so often exhibited by therapists is a disaster for a number of people who were abused in childhood.
Quickly two things come to mind: I think abuse tends to leave people with problems having to do with existence and very controlled responses by the therapist are terribly damaging in that area.
The next thing that scares me is the idea that the patients feelings are again being re-interpreted to him. An abusive parent may quite willingly tell a child he loves him while he is beating him or worse that it is for his own good. And I worry that too many therapists come dangerously close to the for-your-own-good school of thought. Pain never produces anything good. It distorts. It creates legions of people who can endure the most the best and that is not living and I don't think it leads to living. People who were abused need to be able to say " You are hurting me " and have someone believe it and most importantly stop doing it. If they are in therapy that begins with the therapist. To tell such a patient that what he is feeling about the therapist is not really about the therapist is again re-interpreting his feelings into the therapists worldview and though it seems not so awful, I can assure you that it is.I suggest it is inestimably more important for the patient to be able to believe what he feels. Abuse leaves that ability so off-kilter you often aren't able to understand when you're being hurt. If it feels bad it probably is, is the safest answer.
And many things about the way psychotherapy is conducted feels bad to people who suffered in childhood. A therapist, a person who portrays someone mid-way between a person and a role is so horrifying that it feels like a nightmare. I have many friends without my background who are able to benefit more or less from psychotherapy. That isn't the case for those of my friends with a background similar to mine.
I think we are fundamentally different from people who have not suffered in this very particular way, though its not degree, its the thing itself.
And whether someone is viewed as being dependent or being able to trust really seems to have to do with the other person in the relationship. If the other is willing to give what the person needs then he regards the person as having an ability to trust if he is not willing he regards the person as dependent and this can switch back and forth according to the whim of the person with more power in the relationship. But I would no more want to be a therapist asked for things I didn't want to give than a patient who didn't receive them.
I read your messages about transference. In one, you mentioned that you were a patient before you were a therapist and wished then for something more from your therapist. But it didn't happen and you think that is all to the good. I suppose, for you it is. But not for everybody.
I hope my message doesn't read like an angry one, it isn't meant to be and I hope I have not incurred anyone elses wrath. Thanks to the forum for letting me say this.
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