Therapist patient relationship transference in psychology

therapist patient relationship transference in psychology

Freud struggled with whether transference came from the real relationship In psychotherapy with a male therapist, a patient might display behavior that is. In other types of psychotherapy it is hoped for that the relationship between therapist and patient is a positive one. This is called a "positive transference" and the. Frequently spoken about in reference to the therapeutic relationship, the classic example of sexual Transference can sometimes be an obstacle to therapy, as the client may feel a Sign Up for a Daily Dose of Psychology.

In other words, the patient reenacts those experiences from early childhood in the therapeutic relationship.

therapist patient relationship transference in psychology

This "transference neurosis becomes the focal point of the therapy and the ultimate cure. Just for clarification, it is important to keep in mind that even though a person has a "forgotten memory" tha is remains stored in the brain where it can interfere with how that person functions. Transference occurs in all types of psychotherapy.

Therapists who use cognitive behavioral therapy, brief psychotherapy, family therapy and group therapy, can become the target of transference feelings and wishes. In the other types of therapy, the therapist does not focus on transference. In these cases, there is no need to intensity the therapeutic relationship because that is not the goal of the treatment.

Instead, the focus is on the here and now in the life of the patient and not on the past. It is only in psychoanalysis or long term psychoanalytic therapy that the transference is discussed in detail and resolved before the patient is ready to leave treatment. One of the major features of psychoanalytic therapy is that it is very intense.

That intensity is fostered by the fact patient and therapist meet three or more times per week. When patient and therapist discuss the transference treatment is further intensified. The therapist must be fully aware of the power of the patients transference feelings and never allow him or herself to be seduced and act upon those feelings. For one thing, patient transference emotions are not realistic. Instead of acting, the therapist must provide a safe and secure environment in which relationship problems can be unraveled, and understood in order that this person can resume their lives in ways that are healthier and more fulfilling than previously.

In other types of psychotherapy it is hoped for that the relationship between therapist and patient is a positive one. This is called a "positive transference" and the positive nature of the relationship is what makes the work possible.

It is difficult to accomplish cognitive behavioral therapy if the patient has angry feelings towards the therapist. Of course, this can happen but the work is then to look at the patient's thoughts, determine if there is evidence for those thoughts and then look at more realistic ways of thinking.

This far different from psychoanalytic psychotherapy.

Falling In Love With The Therapist: Erotic Transference And Psychotherapy

Even if the patient mentions some feelings about the therapist the focus remains on the present time in the life of this individual. Sometimes a person may develop a "negative transference" to the therapist, meaning that the therapist has lost the trust of his patient.

The angry feelings are so intense that, in most circumstances, the patient leaves the treatment. There are many reasons a patient might develop a negative transference towards the therapist.

therapist patient relationship transference in psychology

The very young and childlike feelings of the patient cause him to believe that the therapy charges should be much lower. After all, would mommy or daddy charge money for care? Another reason might be that the therapist takes vacations and this is viewed as unfair.

In this case, the wish of the patient might be to go on vacation with the therapist or to feel very abandoned when he leaves for vacation. Then, too, it is common for children to wish they could be the only child in the family.

therapist patient relationship transference in psychology

In the context of therapy this can lead to resentment of and jealously towards the therapists other patients. There is something called an "idealizing transference" in which the patient holds the therapist in the highest regard possible.

In fact, such a person may identify with and want to become like the therapist. In such cases, the individual may decide to pursue a career in psychology or mental health.

therapist patient relationship transference in psychology

Other people with such a transference may wish to emulate the therapist but in the way of pursuing higher educational goals. This idealizing transference is very positive and often leads to the successful completion of many therapies with the patient going on to become quite successful.

therapist patient relationship transference in psychology

When people meet a new person who reminds them of someone else, they unconsciously infer that the new person has traits similar to the person previously known. High-profile serial killers often transfer unresolved rage toward previous love or hate-objects onto "surrogates", or individuals resembling or otherwise calling to mind the original object of that hate.

Falling In Love with the Therapist: Erotic Transference and Psychotherapy

It is believed in the instance of Ted Bundyhe repeatedly killed brunette women who reminded him of a previous girlfriend with whom he had become infatuated, but who had ended the relationship, leaving Bundy rejected and pathologically rageful Bundy, however, denied this as a motivating factor in his crimes. In The Ego and the Id, he claimed that eroticism between males can be an outcome of a "[psychically] non-economic" hostility, which is unconsciously subverted into love and sexual attraction.

Transference is often manifested as an erotic attraction towards a therapist, but can be seen in many other forms such as rage, hatred, mistrust, parentificationextreme dependence, or even placing the therapist in a god-like or guru status.

When Freud initially encountered transference in his therapy with patients, he thought he was encountering patient resistance, as he recognized the phenomenon when a patient refused to participate in a session of free association.

But what he learned was that the analysis of the transference was actually the work that needed to be done: The therapist may view this as flattering or just a part of the patient's overall pathology. Nonetheless, being aware of the potential pitfalls of mismanaging the transference may be critical to helping the patient understand current and early childhood relationships.

The Concept of Transference Transference is a crucial component in the therapeutic relationship and should be incorporated into psychotherapy education from the beginning. During most psychiatric residencies, although transference is discussed in a general way, discussion on the management of sexualized transference often is limited.

Types of sexualized transference. The term sexualized transference is often used as the most general term and encompasses at least two more specific experiences, erotic and eroticized transference.

Transference - Wikipedia

Differentiating between the two types of sexualized transference is important because the intensity, the underlying motivation, and the appropriate interventions are different. The term erotic transference is generally reserved for positive transferences accompanied by sexual fantasies that the patient understands to be unrealistic.

Eroticized transference is an intense, vivid, irrational erotic preoccupation with the therapist characterized by overt, seemingly egosyntonic demands for love and sexual fulfillment. After several months of therapy, the patient begins to make flirtatious comments about the therapist's clothing and posture in the room.

The therapist emphasizes, by words and actions, the boundaries of the psychotherapeutic relationship, while controlling any outward display of anxiety or discomfort. The purpose of this intervention is to create an environment where the patient feels comfortable spontaneously expressing feelings without being judged, shamed, or rejected, while still maintaining the structure and limits of the relationship.

For many psychiatric patients, early memories are plagued by episodes of intimidation and victimization by important adults, and boundaries may need to be reaffirmed frequently to prevent misinterpretations of activities and comments in therapy sessions.

Sexualized transference was acknowledged initially in Freud's early writings. It was not until several cases later that he realized the significance of this transference.

Recognizing and Managing Erotic and Eroticized Transferences

Unfortunately, sexualized transference is usually discussed in the context of a therapy case where the therapist presumably mismanaged the transference.

Proper management of sexualized transference often can be therapeutic, however. The nature of transference is that it is unconscious and thus out of the patient's awareness. A skilled therapist can assist the patient to identify and work through the issues that are involved. When such an intervention is successful, psychotherapy becomes more beneficial.

Often the patient feels less guarded and more open to gaining and utilizing insight, particularly with respect to intimate feelings and concerns about other important male figures in her life. Making any connection between early childhood experiences and transference early in the therapeutic relationship might be inappropriate as there may not have been enough time to establish positive rapport. Such an interpretation may be rejected if it is prematurely offered.