I *think* I might have found myself a new T to work with (fingers crossed) and am deliberately ignoring all sorts of negatives about him so as to let myself actually commit to giving him/the therapy a chance to work.

This guy is so totally different from all other Ts I’ve seen - where before I was looking for kindness, caring and warmth as ‘prerequisites’, this guy is pretty detached, cold, and the complete opposite of the ‘touchy feely’ image I’ve had in mind as necessary for me to trust. I don’t even like him very much. Roll Eyes

BUT the rational part of me is thinking that that’s not such a bad thing, because what I think I really need is someone I can trust to STAY uninvolved and objective, someone who is not going to become some fantastic all loving all caring figure that I’ll want to fall in love with me (fat chance anyway, but you get the picture I hope.)

That worries me though because I know I have huge attachment needs/issues and I’m wondering whether I’m just going along with massive defences here.

Reason I’m posting is that there are a lot of people on forum who have been, and even now are going through horrendous pain and damage because of having developed really strong loving feelings for their Ts (and whose Ts have acted in what I reckon are BAD ways of dealing with that love.) I’m going to call it attachment just for my purposes, I don’t mean to belittle anyone who experiences it as genuine love - it’s just that I don’t understand the concept of love in that giving way, because for me it’s all tied up with being needy and dependent and taking, rather than giving - so please no-one think I’m trivializing or denigrating your feelings for your Ts.

Anyway, I’ve read enough to get totally freaked out by the whole attachment thing - it seems to me that it hardly ever turns out to be healing but seems to cause so many more problems instead. I can understand transference (hell I know I do it all the time, even in real world on a daily basis) but that seems to me to be a different kettle of fish. I am terrified to get caught up in the maelstrom of loving a T - it seems to me that I’d just be pushing onto T my seemingly bottomless need to get the loving and caring I haven’t found all my life - so I’d just stay stuck in endlessly trying to get instead of being able to understand, deal with and resolve those needy needs and wants Confused

So what I’m wondering is what is it that makes you start feeling that way about your T, when did you realize it, what led up to it, did you anticipate it, did you feel ok about it, how did (or does) your T deal with those feelings, do you sense that it’s not ‘real’ at all or that it’s actually your own needs being projected (that’s a big one for me), and generally whether it’s a good thing or a problem?

Sorry about all the questions, I hope this is not triggering to anyone, but I’d really appreciate hearing about other people’s experiences and thoughts on this. And also, if anyone ISN’T attached to their T but is healing through the therapy anwyay, what’s that like too?

Thanks

LL
Original Post
SO, LAMPLIGHTER- congrats finding a posible new T. Smiler Such an milestone in life. (it was for me!)

I dont have much time now, yet wantet to reply on your very open and honest post.

Firstly, I would like to "change" the way you describe the attachment as only something painful. Absolutely, there are stories and experiences that are painful and sad, but it is also often the only ones we read about, they belong to the exceptions!- so you might need a correction! I`ll use my self as an example (i also think we might have similar T- mine is also "cold" "detached" and non-verbal, objectiv etc..=psychoanalyst, so its possible to compare our T`s I`ll guess)

I honestly found the attachment - the feeling of being ("In love"- you know, all that stuff) attached as nothing but a BLESSING! I felt better in so meny ways... - I huge energy "lift" in my life, more happyness, more focused, more "alive"- in meny meny ways. I could go on describing ALL THE GOOD AND WARM feelings in details that grew from the attachment with my T (but you get the point i think!)

The pain- this holds- (as you seem to be so afraid of and maybe fear of reasons you only know) and the frustration that comes along with it, is sometimes a part of it.. but hey- that counts for ALL relations, right? How could it be different? I would never changed "my attachment" (=all my needy, longing, loving, trusting, engaged, frustratied feelings for my T) with something like "less attached" and I cant imagine how the therapy would work so good, without all this strong emotions. Strong emotions are friends in therapy! Wink You cant simply select just the good part and throw away all the other ("neeedy") stuff.. They go hand in hand.. as i see it.

well, this was not very well written, i may not even have answered your questions,(I`ll be glad to come back to them if you`d like) but i really wanted to give you a positive view at this, and I also cross my fingers, and hope that your T (remember that it is a lot of real warmness in that "cold" method!) will fit you. Smiler

I am curious why you dont like your T though? Is that clear to you?- or do you think (as i understood your post) that you simply chose him to "be unlikeble" so that you wont "risk" to become attached to him?


All the best to you- and good luck Smiler
I`m glad ultraviolet answered, it was clarifying and helpful for me as well! I hereby give my support to every word! Smiler

I just wanted to add- (to your question) When i realized i felt "something" for my T, it was first overwhelming and all-absorbing in my life. I told my T (after 6 session?) that i felt in love with him, (most critical moment in my life!) AND that i did not knew what to "do with it" how to cope with it and so on. I was also worried and confused about the quality and authenticity ("is it all just fabricated feelings? prejections?" etc) of these feelings... My T did never minimized, dismissed or called my feelings "only projections caused by xxx..." and so on. That was very helpful for me sinse I have a sad tendency to intellectualize every emotion, and not "belive" them... You know?
I`m still thankful that my T ascribed my emotions the vaulue they had and still have.

And slowly the frustration faded away, and i just learned to "fall back" relax and enjoy the warm emotions, welcoming them- (as my T did. He actually said it was nessecary with this feelings in therapy! That it was a very good sign, and that it was a healthy reaction..etc.) not fighting them every step, but allowing my self to love (yes, i call it to love) the process and the help i recieved. And still recieve.
Hi Lamplighter,

I don't know that my response will be much help to you, as my relationship with my T isn't 'ideal' by most standards and I know you've been alarmed by several things that my T has said or done. However, our relationship is getting better, stronger, closer, and I feel that things are moving in a more positive direction finally as ruptures are repaired and my T is doing her best to understand me and my sensitivity to her. I'm not an easy one to deal with! Big Grin She's not experienced with my kind of attachment issues, although she cares and is doing her best to help me how she can. I'm going to try to answer all of your individual questions, so bear with me. Big Grin

quote:
what is it that makes you start feeling that way about your T


For me I've come to realize that I have issues with 'idealizing'. With all the people I've become attached to like I've done with my T, I've started out idealizing them, admiring their positive qualities, traits, characterstics, etc. They have something(s) about them that appeals to me, that seems above and beyond what I see as ordinary, so I put them on a pedestal. It's all down hill from there. They always fall off of course, but that is what starts me down the attachment road.

quote:
when did you realize it, what led up to it, did you anticipate it, did you feel ok about it


I had a session early in December where my T was getting me ready to start some EMDR. She wanted me to identify some targets. She told me to start going back through my childhood and listing in a notebook anything traumatic that I could remember, and she made sure to emphasize that she wanted me to write down even things that seemed like little traumas because she said a lot of little "t's" could make a big "T". I think that was a huge turning point for me because until then I was afraid of her judging my stuff as being ALL just a bunch of "little t's", because she has that 'Put on your big girl panties and deal with it' sign in her office. That sign lost a lot of it's meaning for me that day, and she took on a different role suddenly. Kinda weird. Roll Eyes Things changed almost in that moment, but I didn't realize it until I got home. I'd started reading the chapter she'd assigned me to read from the book we were going through and I had a question I wanted to ask her and realized that I had to wait a whole month through the Christmas holidays until my next session in January. That set me spinning. Then I went to the phone directory and looked up her name and found her home phone number and home address! Eeker Didn't expect that a T would have that sort of info listed in a public directory!! Then I got on Google and plugged in her address and looked on Google maps and went to street view and was looking at her house! That was when it hit me that I was having some real issues that weren't normal. Frowner I had a full on panic attack right there at the computer. My first! I had just been through an emotional attachment to my neighbor (my male physical therapist) and was still recovering from the pain of all that, so I felt like I had literally jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire. It was horrible. I had not anticipated an attachment to my T, not even considered it as a possibility, let alone a huge probability, so it was definitely not okay with me. And somehow I 'knew' it wasn't going to be okay with my T either.

quote:
how did (or does) your T deal with those feelings


It took me 5 days after my panic attack to get up the courage to call my T and tell her I had attachment issues with her now. Her response was, "Hmmmm." Eeker Kind of sounded like, "Oh great!! Now what am I going to do???!!!" Then she told me she was booked for the rest of the month! She said she was going to come in one day after Christmas and offered me my choice of appointment times as she hadn't scheduled any yet. That was three weeks out. That was it. No questions, no attempt to normalize my attachment issues as somewhat normal given the therapeutic relationship, nothing! Those 3 weeks were hell as I struggled to figure out what the attachment was all about, where it was coming from, why I was doing it, etc. I felt like I had just ruined my relationship with my T. I was sure she hated me and that I needed to 'repair' the relationship. It was awful. That session was hard. She acted very distant and withdrawn for a lot of it until I told her what I had figured out about myself and she realized it wasn't just about her. She emphasized that my issues were about primary relationships, not her. That hurt, but it's true in many ways. She didn't handle it very well, to be sure. But I have learned since then that she is not experienced in my kind of attachment issues, has issues of her own with being 'idealized' or put on a pedestal (and I can't blame her, but she is a T and should know how to deal with this sort of thing better than she does) and we have worked through some stuff that has helped me feel a lot better about my attachment to her and her acceptance of that attachment.

quote:
do you sense that it’s not ‘real’ at all or that it’s actually your own needs being projected (that’s a big one for me), and generally whether it’s a good thing or a problem


As time has gone by and I've had a lot of time to think about all of this attachment stuff, I have come to to believe that it is both real and also my needs being projected. I truly care deeply for my T, independent of my needs for love, acceptance, etc. She is a unique person who has selflessly given to me more than she has been obligated to give me because of her job. I sense genuine caring from this woman who really doesn't 'owe' me more than the hour of time she gives me, yet I feel more from her than that 'obligation'. I'm sure from my previous many posts that you know I've had a lot of issues with my attachment to my T, but as I have opened up to her and been honest with her instead of trying to hide things and take care of her feelings first (which is something I'm realizing I can't do if I want to make any progress) I have begun to see some real positive changes in how I feel about my attachment to my T. She has been so much more willing to work through this stuff since she realized how big an issues it is for me, and I'm beginning to see that some of my perceptions of her were wrong. Our communication with each other is more open and I'm trusting her more and she's probing me for emotional responses(which she's not done before). Things are different in a good way, and I feel like they'll only keep getting better.

I hope that none of that made you panic. Eeker My story isn't what I would consider 'normal'. My T is not the usual sort of T. She is all CBT and psychodynamic isn't her thing. I think if you are leaning towards the latter you will find what you need, and if I search for a T again in the future I will go psychodynamic all the way. I had no idea what I was getting myself into! Big Grin We are working on it and my T is trying her best to help me, and that is what matters! I agree with what everyone else has said. Attachment is a frightening thing to think about, but it really is crucial to good therapy. Good to hear you have hopefully found yourself a new T! Smiler Best of luck, LL! Keep us posted.

Hugs ((((LL))))
MTF
Hi Lamplighter, hi you all!

I'm glad to read of positive attachment experiences right now. Just when I felt I could trust my T he's basically left me alone for 6 weeks in the midst of a crisis. And I'm trying hard to not let that go into the 'see, that's what happens so don't do that ever again!' kinda groove. But I am not doing very well.

I agree with you, STRM, the attachment is very real, and this makes anything that goes wrong so hard to deal with as it reinforces messages drummed into you. Ot should I say 'beaten' Big Grin

What you describe, More Than Fine, is hugely important I think: The willingness of your t to be there with you and learn as well. Mine is very experienced but taking it too lightly the cocky bxxxxx. That hurts! So I might have to go looking for a new one too. Oh the disappointment! Will I ever mean anything to anybody???

sonbgird
Lamplighter, it's good to hear you didn't give up on finding the right T.
Despite what you were hoping to find in a T (warmth, caring, kindness, etc.), and despite this guy seeming to be a bit cold and detached, do you have the feeling that he is compenent and knows his job? If yes, go for it.
Did you ever wonder that what you may really need is to hate your therapist? Is it possible that it was the reason that you could not stick to any of the Ts you were seeing before? I don't know how it works, but my T told me that some people hate their therapists, but still feel thaat need to keep coming. That was when I asked him if everyone loves their therapists. So about the attachment thing... there is no a ready scenario that everyone goes through. And scary thing as it is... it doesn't have to go wrong.

I am with my T approx 1,5 year and it's going great. Well, of course, I have no guarantee that it will always be like this, that nothing bad in my therapy will ever happen, same as I have no guarantee that something in his life will not happen that will have to make him stop seeing me (and others). But yes, my attachment is healing. It's enormously healing.
And it is absolutely real.

Perhaps it starts off as growing attachment, becomes transference, when feelings buried in the uncounscious return, but these feelings are mine and real, there are part of me and they become part of this new relationship that I have with him. They grow and change and as he says, they are all good and welcome here.

Same as Forg`s experience, me becoming attached/in love with my T suddenly kick-started my life. I'm not the same person I was (in a way). I am more ME.
Oh thank you everyone for your wonderfully open and honest replies. I'd started to formulate some more questions but would like to reply to everyone individually - so many things I want to ask of each of you, and if I do that now I'll be here for hours so will come back later. LL mega massive post on the way lol.

Also just want to thank you all for your good wishes about my finding a new T. Fingers crossed it's going to work out this time.

Hugs to you all

LL
LL

Really glad that you have found a T that you might connect with, that's a really positive step and a great big pat on the back to you for perserverance too!!

The attachment thing is hard - I think there needs to be a certain amount for trust to occur between the two parties and a committment to the therapy, but personally I think I work better not being too attached, that way I can't be hurt if it goes wrong. But I don't think I could ever carry on with T if I hated my T.....I have told her things that seem to have come from the bottom of my soul and cetainly wouldn't do that if I didn't really like her and trust her very much with that information. I would need to know that she cared enough in return for me, to ever impart that information in the first place too. Divulging for me is like handing a little piece of myself over, I couldn't do that to anybody I didn't like - no matter how good they were!

starfish
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?

quote:
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 Frowner . 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 Smiler



UV this struck me in your reply

quote:
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.


STRM

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.

quote:
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.
MTF thanks for replying! Yeah I’ve been really concerned for you at times about how your T has handled this whole situation - but have been delighted to read recently that you and she are really coming together on your feelings for her (and hers for you.)

Lol I remember the big girl’s panties sign - wow it’s amazing that there was one point at which things suddenly changed - sounds like suddenly you experienced her as totally accepting of you by taking your ‘little’ traumas seriously and that resonated deeply inside you. What rotten timing - to have found that connection just as she was off for a LONG break.

quote:
She acted very distant and withdrawn for a lot of it until I told her what I had figured out about myself and she realized it wasn't just about her. She emphasized that my issues were about primary relationships, not her. That hurt, but it's true in many ways. She didn't handle it very well, to be sure.


I admit that some of my fears and questions and confusion about attachment to Ts had been stirred by what you’d been going through with your T - the quote above kind of typifies how I think Ts generally view attachment - that so long as it’s ‘accepted’ as being not primarily about THEM, then they are willing to work with it, willing to go with looking at the feelings - otherwise, I get the impression that they see it as something pathological. It’s kind of a relief to hear that maybe not all Ts are like that, and as you say, I reckon it’s probably more to do with their experience/approach than with attachment feelings themselves.

Thanks for the good wishes, and I’m glad you are now on the royal road to progress! (You’ve probably done your T a huge favour here, in that she must be learning so much from you, things that can only be good for her as a therapist in the future.)



(((( Songbird ))))

I’m so sorry you’re going through hell with your T away at the moment. This is no doubt one of the downsides of attachment! Separation and feeling abandoned. I’m curious as to why you say he is taking it too lightly, despite being experienced. I think that’s something that would scare the hell out of me, to become attached, to have really strong feelings about a T only to have them dismissed, not taken seriously, treated as not important enough to be taken properly into account. Shades of the past.

I hope that despite the pain you are in now, that your feelings for your T do allow you to grow and heal - it sucks that therapy can’t just flow smoothly from one point to the other without Ts inadvertently repeating past patterns. I still maintain that they should not be allowed to take holidays Big Grin



Amazon

quote:
me becoming attached/in love with my T suddenly kick-started my life. I'm not the same person I was (in a way). I am more ME.


Wow to me that says so much - that’s exactly my goal with therapy, to be ME and to feel ok about being me. I’ve read your posts on forum and it does strike me that you have a wonderful relationship with your T - if being attached achieves what you’re describing there, maybe it’s A Good Thing after all! Hey Amazon I’m glad for you that it’s all going so well Smiler

Interesting question too Amazon, about possibly needing to hate my T. Lol believe me I manage to feel furious and enraged and intensely frustrated with nearly every T I’ve ever met - and that’s right from the start! Which says I’m bringing negative transference with me already set up and ready to go. So this time I think with a T who doesn’t come from the kind caring let’s be real equal people school of therapy, that negative transference isn’t there so much. Which is why I think it’s ok that I don’t even like him very much. As you say - I *think* he’s competent and knows his job (too early to tell yet) and that’s the most important part for me right now - the sense that he knows what he is doing. I’ve spent too many sessions with too many wishy washy Ts who gave me the impression they had even less of a clue than me about what to do or where to go or what to talk about, and certainly none of them gave me the impression that they had ANY idea at all of what the overall process of therapy was about. Sort of like bumbling along one step behind me all the time. So yeah, competence matters more to me right now than kindness and caring and friendliness and liking.



Starfish

The lone voice in the wilderness! Thank you for replying - it makes perfect sense what you are saying - I agree - I couldn’t trust someone with the vulnerable damaged parts of me if I didn’t like them in some way - I’m counting on this new T of mine to SHOW me he can be trusted - I would be very put off if I found I actively disliked him (at the moment it’s more of a neutral position, neither liking nor disliking).



I guess it’s far too early for me to tell with anything - I’m just trying to get my head clear on issues that I know are going to come up for me. Thank you everyone very much for replying, what you’ve said has been really helpful to me (and given me quite a lot to think about, natch!)

LL
LL, I would like to respond to this thread for you but my recent events and heartbreak would taint things and perhaps I'm not yeat clear enough about what happened to reply.

The attachment to my T was swift....by the third time I met with him and not even individually but with my son. There was a very strong connection there and looking back...I think my T felt it too. Maybe that's why he threw caution to the wind and agreed to treat both of us. I liked that he was warm, open, genuine, knowledgeable and seemed like I could depend on him to get everything in my life back under control, especially with my little boy.

The attachment grew and got stronger and was absolutely real. The caring was real. His desire to help me was real. Our progress was real and good. All of a sudden he had a crisis of confidence and decided he could not help me any longer. The attachment was what kept me going back to him week after week when I was scared and in pain. The attachment was what allowed him into my world or abuse and mistreatment. It allowed my sense of safety to grow and my trust to build. It was essential to the work we did.

But I would damn well make sure that whatever T you see is experienced in trauma work, has a real understanding of attachment issues. Has no problems handling that or transference of any kind. And understands that this is a long-term project and does not move quickly or in recognizable LEAPS of progress and that its okay to regress and still be getting well.

The thing is that I allowed myself to get attached to my T. I let it happen. I won't do that ever again. I'm not saying that you should not let that happen. When it's good and done with an experienced T with trauma and attachment who can handle their symbolic role in your life then I'm sure it's wonderful and healing. When it's done with a T who cannot handle how important they are to you , then it can be VERY damaging. I know you may not believe this but I can control my attachments to people and how much of it I can tolerate. Personally, I will avoid any kind of attachment to anyone ever again, but that is just what works for me now. I can like the person and have a resonable amount of confidence in their abilities but never again would I allow the attachment that I have with my T.

I wish you all the best in this and I hope it becomes a healing experience for you. You have hung in there and worked so hard to find someone and you deserve to have a wonderful experience.

Hugs
TN
Hi LL,

I think STRM brought up a great point regarding feeling a T's care. I have been thinking that it's some malfunction in me that I can know my T cares but still not feel it. It's a relief to hear that I'm not way off base in having the knowledge that my T cares but still am unable to feel her care.

I think that trust is absolutely essential prior to having any real emotional connection with anyone, especially a T. I trust my T on some level -- mainly because I know it's her job to listen to me and focus an hour on me each week. But that's about as far as the trust goes right now, and I know I don't feel any intense attachment to her. In my opinion, it's because I haven't risked trusting her even more.

quote:
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.


Yes, yes yes...I relate to this so much. I find myself getting impatient, waiting for it to finally hit me one day that my T cares for me in a way that's different and actually genuine. But, again, I think that I need to establish more trust in her first before that can happen, so it feels a bit like I'm flying blind. Like I am accepting her care in the same cautious way that I accept everyone else's care, where I keep myself from getting attached to the feeling of the care itself so that I can protect myself if it's taken away.

This is strictly my opinion, and I honestly don't know from experience if it's true or not, but I think that the level of trust required in therapy for it to really progress is synonymous with attachment. Of course, I trust my T enough right now and I'm not attached (at least not very much), but I'm talking about that ultimate level of trust that takes a while to develop. In this sense, I agree with the others that it's hard for therapy to progress when you don't have that attachment.

quote:
Divulging for me is like handing a little piece of myself over, I couldn't do that to anybody I didn't like - no matter how good they were!


I completely agree! LL, I'm just curious - is this T really cold, or is he more of the clinical type and it's hard to see past that at the beginning? That probably sounded like the same thing...what I'm trying to ask is if you think that maybe once you get more of a feel for how he handles therapy perhaps a more warm, caring nature could emerge? Is it possible that he is warm in some sense but isn't forthright about it? Just trying to get a bit more of a feel for this T. I am glad you think you found someone, but I do hope that you don't sacrifice experiencing what it's like to have a warm and caring T out of avoiding attachment. You deserve a wonderful T, LL, and it must seem so tiring, draining, and almost useless to keep searching when it hasn't panned out, so I hope your search is over.
Lamplighter,

quote:
I’m curious as to why you say he is taking it too lightly, despite being experienced. I think that’s something that would scare the hell out of me, to become attached, to have really strong feelings about a T only to have them dismissed, not taken seriously, treated as not important enough to be taken properly into account



good question! I think that is getting to the real issue, what you and STRM pointed out earlier, NEEDING the feeling someone - your t - cares because few others do. I don't think that until recently I even knew what that felt like!

Now what I pick up is that he's quite satisfied with what a good job he's doing on my instead! And that hurts like hell, and thinking I may have been mistaken when I though he did care. Yikes!!! Now I may not be picking up anything real here, or mixing stuff up, but that's what I feel anyhow. I dare not hope I am picking up the wrong things here!!! I think I really HATE feeling dependent Mad

SB
Dear Lamplighter

Wow- you did a great job answering all uf us people that responded to your post. It must have taking you ages to do all that! You seem to be a very polite, warm and conscientious person! Thanks for your post and your kind words to me- (i also think i was brave telling my T how i felt for him. Still proud of that one.. yeah. Razzer)

I hope all the posters you recieve here now- helps you more than confuse you, this topic (as i know you know! really touches the core for us p`s in therapy, so there is no doubt you`ll get very different veiws and personal told experinces from all of us. I can still only speak from my own learned experince in therapy and would like to answer your new questions again- (and really want to keep "plant" and foster some hope and positive thoughts in you, - so that your deep fears and worries for attachment can go back where they belong Razzer)

(I dont know how to do this qoting-stuff yet! But this is your question)
"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?"

LL, i think about my T A LOT. Yes, no doubt about that. (i think that answer scares you so- keep reading) My T is in my thought and in my mind and dreams(!) a lot of the time, and i know he is, because He is simply someone i WANT to keep in mind.. It makes me happy. It makes me feel safe (thats a big one for me!) it makes me feel ALIVE, it makes me feel ME. It has a function in that way. I am able to focus about other things in my life, being precent in the moment and all that, but i always wait for my session. But i am SURE i would not had functioned and fully lived my life, without the therapy. I know it must sound like a cliche- but my T makes me feel more ME AND MORE ALIVE AND MORE ATTACHED TO LIFE! You see, the good thing about attachment istn just that one feels attached to the T, but the attachment itselfs workes (should work) for the better in meny aspects in life- you become more attached to both youself (your real self) more attached to your life (the persons around you, etc). Well, this was big words.. lol.


(qoting you again)
"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 SO AGREE with you. There is no doubt that i would just ran away from my T, if i diddent trusted him being "professional" with my feelings/needs/blabla. I only allow my self trust him because he is WORTHY my trust.Because my T keeps the boundries intact and makes the therapy room safe and stable. The trust is essential for the warm feelings to grow. Thats the first step in therapy. (as already said here in forum in better ways than i am able to do) To establish trust.

I`m still curious of what kind of T you got? As you describe him he seem to be a psychoanalyst, or a psychiatrist? Sinse you already identified him as a bit "cold" (haha- i hope you dont find your T really cold in a personal level, that would have been sad..!) withdrawn and distanced? When will you see your T again?


(qoteing you again...)
"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"

LL- that sounds really important and healthy. I agree with you. You T is NOT supose to be like a "normal friend" (that would be very burdening for me i know!)

(you again)
"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 also hope LL, that you will like your T. I know how important that is. I dont even know if i would dared or even been able to "do therapy" if i did not liked my T. For me that is the most essential thing. (you know, i also have big attachment issues, and therefor "i" putted my T on the famous pidestal so that i would manage to attache to him. There you got my "issue"!)

Let me know if you have more questions LL. And i really wish you all the best finding out of this- hopefully with your new T(better be the best) IN(side) therapy, and not in a lonely exile.
All the best Smiler
Hello again everyone, sorry yet another mega post - can’t seem to help myself!


TN thank you so much for replying - I felt quite guilty posting about this when I knew you are going through a horrendous time because of the way your T has badly mishandled things. I don’t at all blame you for deciding at the moment to never allow yourself to become attached to anyone again - but I do hope that you will one day be able to see truly that it was his failing, not yours and that maybe it’s not a question of your having to shut down on loving someone but more a question of the ability of the other to receive that love. (((( TN ))))



Kashley I think I’m probably at the stage where you were soon after you started with your T - it’s all about trust for me at the moment and what you say makes perfect sense,

quote:
I'm talking about that ultimate level of trust that takes a while to develop.


I kind of just assumed that I automatically trusted a T simply because they were a T - but in fact it’s always only ever been on an intellectual level, as you describe

quote:
mainly because I know it's her job to listen to me and focus an hour on me each week.


I finally had a taste today of what it’s like to genuinely trust a T (that is, what it WOULD be like lol, just because I had a sense of it doesn’t mean I’m now totally trusting) - I have to say he earned it - there’s no way I could have had that sense of beginning to trust unless the T had in some way ‘made’ me trust him/her, and it finally dawned on me that this is something that will (or not, as the case may be) develop over time.

I’m just really not sure that I could make the leap to attachment, especially as what made me start to trust this T today, was the recognition (thanks to the way he was) that he wasn’t in the business of providing me with all my unmet needs. But then I don’t know s*** from clay about emotional reality anyway lol, so who knows where I’ll end up as far as attachment goes.



STRM I loved the analogy with a horse race - it must be so much harder for you with different parts who have different levels of fear and defensiveness! So you’ve got a whole lot more work to do (many times over really) than most. I’ve been really interested by the body work that you do with your T - it’s something that some Ts I’ve seen recently incorporate into their approach, but only as an aside, rather than the focus of the therapy. The new T I now have is strictly ‘old school’ so I don’t see him going in for body awareness - I have a feeling that the deeper feelings like shame are probably better dealt with via body focus so don’t know what will happen on that front. That’s actually going to be a BIG issue for me, seeing as how he’s a man Eeker oh all sorts of fears and defences coming up there already. Attachment equals needy equals physical awareness of feelings equals shame. Uggh.



Songbird it just occurred to me, reading your reply and putting it in context of your other posts, that your T doesn’t actually know how much it matters to you that he care? Maybe he thinks he’s done such a good job with you because you’re not letting on how much he means to you? Sorry I don’t know anymore about you and your T apart from what you’ve written recently so I could be totally off the wall here - it was just a sudden thought that came to me as I was reading your reply in the context of what others have been saying about attachment.

Whatever the situation is, I hope you at least can talk to him about how you’re feeling before deciding that you might be mistaken in your perceptions of him. (((( Songbird ))))

Ok yet again this post is getting too long, so will split it.
Hello Frog

Wow your replies remind me so much of what Amazon said above, you describe the truly positive and healing aspects of attachment so beautifully. It sounds like both you and Amazon have taken the best of attachment feelings and transformed them into self love (a GOOD thing!)

quote:
the attachment itselfs workes (should work) for the better in meny aspects in life- you become more attached to both youself (your real self) more attached to your life (the persons around you, etc).


Sounds so wonderful *sigh* but I can guarantee that in time honoured LL fashion I would manage to make a pig’s ear out of it. See I don’t have any real experience of loving or being loved so it’s all a very alien concept to me at the moment, I think that’s why I’m asking all these questions, so as to get some kind of handle on what it’s all about, what it’s like to feel that way.

So I love the truly positive way you describe it for me - I may not really ‘know’ what you are talking about (in my head yes but not in my experience) but it’s truly inspiring and lets me feel hopeful that maybe I can get to that point too.

Lol judging by what you’ve said already about your T, I should think that putting him on a pedestal would have been really easy! When you say that, does that mean you no longer have him on a pedestal? Do you see him differently now?

The new T I now have (wow four whole sessions so far Big Grin ) is psychodynamic Jungian psychoanalytic - so more or less ‘traditional’ psychotherapy - I’ve only ever had experience of one proper psychoanalyst before (a truly horrendous and mind bendingly bewildering and alienating experience) and that put me right off having anything to do with a therapeutic approach that wasn’t humanistic. Very short sighted of me, because the psychodynamic approach seems to be the very thing I’ve needed all along - that seemingly cold detached objective uninvolved persona of a psycho T actually helps me so much more than a T who is all smiles and friendliness and flexible with boundaries and oh so ‘human’. I might post about it all later in a separate thread, it’s all a bit new at the moment and I’m still not REALLY sure that this new T is going to work out (that’s me being superstitious) - but I sure hope so.

All the best to you too Frog!



Monte lol I’ve missed your incisive witty remarks (glad you’re back Smiler ), you have a knack for revealing fundamental truths in a way that makes them so clear.

quote:
For me I suspect the real healing from this is coming from the painful and gradual acceptance of loss...not so much from anything my T might give in response to my needs.


Funnily enough what you say here came up really clearly in the T session I had today (my fourth with this new T so far). I spent half the session arguing with him about trying to get him to do something in terms of starting each session and it (he) finally got through to me that getting what I wanted wasn’t the issue, it was working with and through the NOT getting that was the point of therapy. I know I’ve read that and heard that and even intellectually understood it before now, but it actually made real sense today.

And it’s made it really clear to me that the criteria by which I’ve judged previous Ts have all been to do with getting something emotionally from them (and never getting it, natch). Monte you’ve put it so well - the realization that I don’t need to get those ancient needs met, in order to heal. I just wish I didn’t have to go through the pain and frustration and misery of facing this knowledge over and over and over (inevitable, as I’m only starting out and I just KNOW I’m going to get into major fights about trying to get my needs and wants met Frowner )



I think I’ve been distracting myself while on this depressing and painful mission to find the right T, with trying to anticipate and know in advance all the potential things that might surface in therapy - I guess all I can do really is go along with the process (now that I finally have the opportunity to HAVE a process) and see what happens. But it’s been really good to read all your experiences and thoughts on this because it means I now have an internal reference - I won’t be stumbling about blindly and confused if and when attachment feelings do surface for me.

Thanks again everyone. Smiler

LL
quote:
Maybe he thinks he’s done such a good job with you because you’re not letting on how much he means to you?


That, Lamplighter, is a good question. I usually wear a big "I'm soooo independent and ever so well coping" chain-coat, but have spent the last 2 sessions before he left in tears telling him how much I wished he could me my mum. So yes, he knows.

What you said Monte, now makes a lot of sense:

quote:
For me I suspect the real healing from this is coming from the painful and gradual acceptance of loss...


It's that, loss, and no upside about it. And t being a away really really painfully makes that clear.

Did anybody read Alice Miller? I particularly like "the body never lies" and "the drama of a gifted child". She talks about how even small seeming things can really mess us up.

I really hope your new t will work out ((Lamplighter))!

SB

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