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Transference and Countertransference

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Transference and Countertransference

Postby anonymous2019 » Fri Apr 26, 2019 8:28 pm

How do you know if your psychiatrist has romantic feelings for you?

Please don't tell me I shouldn't be able to or that they aren't allowed. I am not interested in pursuing a sexual relationship with my therapist but I do have strong romantic feelings for him.

I understand transference and countertransference are common but if he were to have romantic feelings for me, would he even be allowed to tell me (given he makes it clear that regardless, he is still my doctor and it would be inappropriate)?

What are some subtle boundary crossings? He is professional and would not ever touch me inappropriately and I also wouldn't let him.
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Re: Transference and Countertransference

Postby TheGangsAllHere » Sat Apr 27, 2019 3:29 pm

The question is, how would it help you to know that? It's important for him to be aware of how he feels about you, because some of those feelings are arising from his own past experiences, and he shouldn't let those interfere, and some are arising from the way you pull for certain feelings from others when you're in a relationship (projective identification)--and those are important to help him understand you better.

But the therapy is about helping you with your feelings, so I think you should bring up how you feel about him. I'm sure he's heard it before from many others and if he's experienced, then he knows how to handle it.

It would be inappropriate for him to burden you with his feelings beyond genuine caring and liking.
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Re: Transference and Countertransference

Postby anonymous2019 » Sat Apr 27, 2019 4:58 pm

Yeah I told him about my own feelings for him and he said that transference and counter-transference are common but sadly he's my doctor and I'm his patient.
It would help me because I would get a better idea about whether my reading of people is correct or if I'm projecting.
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Re: Transference and Countertransference

Postby TheGangsAllHere » Sat Apr 27, 2019 10:03 pm

I think that there is always going to be projection because of the nature of the relationship. He is not telling you details of his personal life and you don't know him in a personal context. If he is actually attracted to you, it's completely his issue to deal with and not really your business (in my opinion) because it isn't useful information for you. The relationship is only useful in terms of transference--how issues that you have with relationships get played out with someone who has no other motive than to help you.

I'm sure other men have been attracted to you in the past, so it's not like you need to prove that someone can be. But if he is and he tells you (burdens you with) that information, then he becomes just another man who is attracted to you, and no longer someone with whom you can work out important issues. I actually think it would be a big obstacle toward any further work and a boundary violation if he discussed his personal feelings with you.
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Re: Transference and Countertransference

Postby mariele » Tue Jun 11, 2019 4:01 pm

So basically I came here to tell you what TheGangsAllHere told you, so I will spare you my rambling. Wise words. It is much more important to work through what it would mean if a) he didn't have romantic feelings for you?, b) he did have romantic feelings for you?

The therapy relationships or relationship with a psychiatrist and a patient is one that, if it is worth anyone's money, has a lot of empathy and warmth and attachment and all the lovey dovey feelings that many of us patients/clients haven't got (enough of). And here's the thing with emotions... when we get attached, and maybe we feel that this JUST this person has a way of..reaching us, of understanding us, it is easy to want them to basically care for us in all the ways.. or many of them. It's understandable; if I am deprived of (basically) love, and I find a source for it, why should I not want more of where it came from? Why wouldn't I expect that they could potentially fill my other emotional needs? Clearly they are attuned to me.

Sorry, that was off topic. I just find this interesting.
In so many ways I'm somebody else
I'm trying so hard to be myself.
I just need to hear somebody say
That this will all make sense one day.
Well it's getting late, I'd better go
I made it this far.. as far as I know.
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