Frog it is good to hear that you experience your feelings for your T as a truly positive and healing thing. Gosh that was brave of you to reveal to your T how you felt after only 6 sessions - I get the impression that because it’s so scary people keep those feelings hidden away for a long time so it sounds like you did absolutely the right thing in telling him straight away.
I guess it helps too that he validated your feelings, saying that it’s a good sign and a healthy reaction - I suspect some Ts, if not quite a lot, DON’T see it that way or don’t themselves know how to deal with it, and give off mixed messages.
Lol Frog yeah to me attachment sounds REALLY painful - to be so focused on and emotionally bonded to someone that you get to see only once or twice a week doesn’t sound much like fun to me! How do you feel in between sessions, do you think of him all the time, want to be with him all the time etc or are you able to get on with your life without being consumed by thoughts of him?
And slowly the frustration faded away, and i just learned to "fall back" relax and enjoy the warm emotions, welcoming them-
I really like how you describe this. Maybe the key is as you say, to not fight strong emotions every step of the way, but to go with them - provided of course the T allows that - I could think of nothing worse than having a T who is supposed to welcome all our feelings but who has problems accepting and being comfortable with our positive feelings about them.
I’m not sure why I don’t like my new T - it’s not really dislike, there’s just nothing about him as a person so far that makes me feel particularly good about him on a personal level
. (On the other hand, I think it’s quite good that there isn’t this personal element in therapy at the moment - that detached objectivity I sense about him is a big part of what made me choose him - frees me from having to go through the rigmarole of treating him as if he has feelings and needs and wants like a ‘normal’ person).
I certainly haven’t chosen him specifically because I don’t like him - in fact I’ve always assumed that the right T for me would be someone I DO like and feel comfortable with and that I would feel ok about becoming attached to them - sadly few and far between
. I hope I do get to like him because yeah it would be really hard to keep opening up to someone whom I didn’t feel something positive for.
I’m glad you are so happy with your T
UV this struck me in your reply
Not letting oneself be dependent/'needy' on your T can sometimes be more of a bad thing that a good thing,
For me being dependent and needy is already there in the first place lol. I have no doubts whatsoever that I will become dependent/needy and I also see those feelings as crucial to being worked through within my therapy. But I don’t see that as my loving (or even liking for that matter) a T - it’s all about getting for me. Dunno I seem to be making a distinction here between needing from
, and feelings for
. Maybe that’s what I’m trying to get people to explain to me.
UV you’ve actually explained clearly what I take to be the progression of positive feelings for a T during therapy - that the love grows from the more childlike form (which is maybe where needs and dependency etc come in) to a form that, as you say, can be carried over into real world.
To be honest (and this is all about me here) I don’t believe that children are capable of love - I experience it as utterly selfish and not at all genuine love or care or concern for the other - I know when I was a kid I only ever felt good towards family when they were being nice to me (rare) the rest of the time I spent contorting myself into behaviours and ways of being that I thought might get me more of that good stuff - but I never once thought of them or their feelings or what they needed and wanted. I guess I have a problem with the meaning of the word love - which to me signifies giving, not getting. Hope that hasn’t upset anyone, as I said it’s entirely about me and my perceptions.
Thanks UV for your clear and interesting reply.
Interesting point you’ve brought up there - the notion of trust. Are trust and love synonymous? I certainly would need to trust my T but don’t see that as necessarily loving him. Maybe learning to trust a T then leads to emotional bonding? Oh this is confusing for me, I really have no idea about feelings for therapists.
Lol STRM you’ve got a get out clause in that if some of your parts don’t trust your T at all, they can stay safe if anything does go wrong. How does that affect the way you feel about her - do you think that all your parts will eventually need to trust her for you to heal properly? Sorry if that’s intrusive, it’s just me trying to get my head around this whole issue, that seems to be understood by everyone else but is a real fog for me.
That’s another REALLY important point you’ve explained in second post too STRM - about feeling
that your T cared. That really resonated with me - I’ve had so many people in my life SAY they cared, including Ts - yet it never struck me as true or real or genuine. (That being mostly my set up.) What you’re describing is exactly what I’ve been looking for - to get that inner sense of FEELING that someone cares. This is why I’ve not been too bothered by working my way through a seemingly endless string of therapists throughout my life - nothing will change for me until I can get to actually experience
safety, trust, caring - and it’s all too clear that my defences are such that it’s going to take a particularly attuned or experienced T to get me to the point where I can experience what you’ve described in your post.
I instantly felt as though it would be taken away, that I didn't deserve it and that she had made a horrible error in offering it to me.
That’s the other side of the coin isn’t it? So yes the way you have (beautifully) explained it - that profound emotional attachment to a T does sound necessary, that’s so important to dealing with all those kinds of fears and past damages. Thank you STRM
Going to split my post here, it's getting way too long.