How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr. Steve Your Own Question

Dr. Steve
Dr. Steve, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 370
Experience:  19 years conducting therapy; book author; newspaper columnist; former co-host of radio show
25768173
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Dr. Steve is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

For the first time I am being treated by a psychiatrist.

Resolved Question:

For the first time I am being treated by a psychiatrist. I have long history of depression and are now on medication that seems to be working. My issue is with psychotherapy.
I have been going for about 6 months now and feel like things are really starting to change finally. I am feeling things again. I've never felt like this before. I understand a little about transference. In the last month or two it has been happening to me. I feel totally in love with my therapist and when he is away I am hurting alot like my heart is being ripped out. I try to comfort myself with words, that he will be back, that he will not let me down but I just feel angry at him now. I feel like I am going crazy. I'm a 51 yr old woman with a male therapist in his 30's. How can I deal with the heartache that I feel now. Will it go away? How can I deal with caring for another person this much and one day therapy stops and we part. Its too painful. I'm crying alot. I just don't know how to deal with all of this. Please help me out.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Steve replied 4 years ago.

Greetings:

 

Great question, but I am sorry you are having such difficultly. Your assessment about transference sounds as if it is quite accurate (therapy has done a lot for you, honestly!), but all the knowledge in the world does not help you when you are hurting like this. So consider this: Transferential feelings like these tend to be more powerful when there is already a scar on your psyche from suffering a loss early in life. The very piece you feel you are missing is being hit squarely by the relationship you have with perhaps the most intimately connected person in your life - i.e., your therapist. And, like you probably felt as a little girl when the significant person in your life left, you are now understandably angry at the therapist for abandoning you.

 

To cope, you are already doing some of the things you will require to internalize the "good object" (this internalization must not have happened early in your life, so it will be far more difficult as a grown woman). "Internalizing" means that you hold a representation of the person in your mind (in your heart?) even when they are not around. You are trying to comfort yourself by repeating his words, and that starts the process (think about how a child learns to trust that the good object - usually a mother - is still in their universe even when they cannot see her). I would recommend also jotting down some of his favorite sayings and posting them around your house. Also, if you have a photograph of him, place it where you can see it.

 

This all sounds like childish advice, but I understand the pain you are in. Eventually, the goal is to not need these "gimmicks" placed in your life, but these are excellent issues to work out in therapy when your therapist is present. I applaud you for taking the initiative to enter therapy and make your life better - heck, even writing to this forum took some courage on your part. Keep going in the right direction, and you will come to a place where you feel whole. If you are satisfied with the response, please hit "Accept." That is the only way I can receive credit for my answer. Thanks-

Dr. Steve

Dr. Steve, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 370
Experience: 19 years conducting therapy; book author; newspaper columnist; former co-host of radio show
Dr. Steve and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
< Last | Next >
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
  • I thank-you so much! It really helped to have this information and confirmation. We will watch her carefully and get her in for the examination and US right away if things do not improve. God bless you as well! Claudia Albuquerque, NM
  • Outstanding response time less than 6 minutes. Answered the question professionally and with a great deal of compassion. Kevin Beaverton, OR
  • Suggested diagnosis was what I hoped and will take this info to my doctor's appointment next week.
    I feel better already! Thank you.
    Elanor Tracy, CA
  • Thank you to the Physician who answered my question today. The answer was far more informative than what I got from the Physicians I saw in person for my problem. Julie Lockesburg, AR
  • You have been more help than you know. I seriously don't know what my sisters situation would be today if you had not gone above and beyond just answering my questions. John and Stefanie Tucson, AZ
  • I have been dealing with an extremely serious health crisis for over three years, and one your physicians asked me more questions, gave me more answers and encouragement than a dozen different doctors who have been treating me!! Janet V Phoenix, AZ
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/Dr.Keane/2013-8-20_204325_drkeane.64x64.jpg Dr. Keane's Avatar

    Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/resolutions66/2011-1-17_05728_IMG8202smilingeditedforJustAnswer.64x64.jpg Elliott, LPCC, NCC's Avatar

    Elliott, LPCC, NCC

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    5024
    35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/formybunch/2010-12-06_191055_img_0975.jpg Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC's Avatar

    Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    3733
    Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/DrAkiraOlsen/2012-2-20_746_AkiraADpicmain.64x64.jpg Dr. Olsen's Avatar

    Dr. Olsen

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2336
    PsyD Psychologist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/norriem/2009-5-27_134249_nm.jpg Norman M.'s Avatar

    Norman M.

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2193
    UK trained in hypnotherapy, counselling and psychotherapy and have been in private practice. ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), UKCP Registered and ECP.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PsychologyProf/2010-07-15_171248_logos060400409.jpg Dr. Michael's Avatar

    Dr. Michael

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2177
    Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KURTEMMERLING/2010-07-23_215531_just_ask_picture1.jpg Steven Olsen's Avatar

    Steven Olsen

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1727
    More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education
 
 
 
Chat Now With A Mental Health Professional
Dr. Steve
Dr. Steve
370 Satisfied Customers
19 years conducting therapy; book author; newspaper columnist; former co-host of radio show