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TherapistMarryAnn
TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
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Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Dear Dr, I spent four years with a Psychiatrist and developed a major erotic transference

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Dear Dr,
I spent four years with a Psychiatrist and developed a major erotic transference. Long story short, he encouraged the attention from me which lead to me attempting suicide because I couldn't live with the emotions I had for him (I am 46 and he is 67#. After leaving his practice, I was then referred to another Psychiatrist #male...to experience "corrective" therapy) whom I have again, developed erotic transference. What should I expect in sessions that would help me deal with my unrealistic emotions for him? I feel like I am headed back to where I was with the other Psychiatrist. I have been seeing him for 1.5 years and feel as if I have maed no progress. PLEASE respond.
Thank you , Stephanie

Hi Stephanie, I'd like to help you with your question.

 

Transference occurs when a person brings their past, unresolved issues into therapy and transfers their needs onto the therapist. Often, a person who experiences erotic transference has unresolved sexual issues most likely from childhood. That does not mean that the transference is about sexual abuse, but instead it could also be from deep unmet needs. The person sees the therapist as the person who can answer their unmet needs so they transfer these feelings onto the one person they feel can save them.

 

When your original therapist encouraged your feelings instead of addressing them clinically, it most likely brought out all of the feelings you had in your past and left you with no way to cope with them. That could have been too overwhelming for you and caused your suicidal feelings.

 

One of the issues here is that you keep seeing male therapists. This is not a bad thing in and of itself if you are making progress and have insight into what is causing the transference. But if you are not gaining insight, being treated by a male therapist is not helping you.

 

Seeing both a male and female therapist is a good idea. This will help bring out the feelings you transfer onto the male therapist so the female therapist will be able to address the issue. It will be more clear to her and you will not be transferring the same issues onto her. That does not mean you will not transfer anything at all on her, but most likely it will be very different in nature.

 

You should see your insight into this problem as very good. If you were not aware of the transference, then you would have great difficulty addressing it. However, now that you are aware of it, you can control it. Be aware of when you start to feel the feelings in therapy and bring it up with your therapist. Explore what in your past would cause you to feel the need to have a relationship with your therapist. Was it a relationship issue with your father? A deep need for approval? Abuse? The original cause needs to be explored and ultimately resolved for you to be able to stop the transference. As it is, see it as a symptom of whatever you are in therapy for. This will help you cope with it better.

 

I hope this has helped you,
Kate

 

 

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hi Kate,

Thank you for your quick response. I have NEVER gone on-line to seek personal advice but I am trying to understand my transference issue and feel that my current docs need to be more focused (prepared) when I have sessions with them...I am extremely motivated to get to the bottom of this as I am ready to move on to a healthier place in my life...hence, the on-line help. I am exploring all options...

One part of my question which I would appreciate a bit more information on, is what can I bring to my sessions (questions, ideas...) to help direct me safely into deeper areas of my subconscious? It seems redundant to continue to talk about my past childhood when I don't get feedback from my Psychiatrist...he seems to stay in the present, as does my Psychologist...I believe you hit the nail on the head when you said to explore relationship issues from long ago. Is redundancy helpful? Am I not seeing the right therapists? Should I explore psychoanalytic therapy as well?

Thank you for your response to this part of my original question and thank you for your help,

Stephanie

You are welcome!

 

I think psychoanalytical therapy is probably a bit too deep for you to go. That type of therapy often takes years to go through and if you are looking for answers now, you are going to feel frustrated.

 

What type of therapy are your therapists using to help you? It sounds like Integrated therapy might be a good type of therapy to help you. This therapy helps you look into your past to see what may be causing your current symptoms but it also uses Cognative Behavioral techniques to change your thinking from the current issue oriented to more productive and positive. The idea behind it is that your thinking is causing your symptoms and this includes your learned thought processes from your background. For example, if you were emotionally abused you were taught you were not worthy of love. This type of therapy helps you pinpoint the cause then helps you change the thinking that got you to the point you are at today.

 

You can ask your therapists how you can get more feedback on what you talk about in therapy. Depending on the issues you are working on, you can also do research ahead of time so you understand how the issue should be address. For example, if you are experiencing depression, understanding what type of depression you have and how it is usually treated will help you ask more informed questions and gain better insight into the therapy you are getting.

 

Also, if you feel, for example, that abuse caused you to transfer feelings to your therapist, you can direct your questions and ideas to solving that issue. For example, you can talk about your feelings and ask where the therapist feels these feelings came from. Say you feel like you are lonely. Were you alone a lot in your life? Were you left out of the family dynamic in some way? What is the root of the feeling? Once you know, then you can address your current feelings. If you were emotionally abused, then you know why you feel lonely, isolated or depressed. Now you can work on resolving your feelings and replacing them with healthier emotions.

 

Kate

 

 

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