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Is Erotic Transference Permanent?

Question:

“Good Lord,” I wish I had known about this before entering therapy many years ago. Once these feelings emerged they have not stopped and it seems permanent. The only solution seems to be to change therapists but I am too attached and know if I do that I’ll break down. I don’t discuss it with him anymore, haven’t for years. Probably not good but what else can I do? I once thought he felt similar but probably just a projection on my part. Sometimes the feelings are so strong I want to die because it won’t happen. Isn’t that so wrong? I wish he would act on these feelings…perhaps then it would go away. He could be terrible in bed…that would make it go away. I shouldn’t joke but what else can I do? Leaving isn’t an option.

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  • Dr. Schwartz responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
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Answer:

I do not know why you stopped discussing your erotic feelings towards your therapist unless you fear that, if you do, he will suggest discharging you? There is a point where, if erotic feelings toward the therapist are not resolved, it is best to see someone else. The reason is that the therapy becomes stalemated and, before real change occurs, it’s important to see someone else. This is not to blame you, him or anyone. It happens. However, I want to share another idea with you:

From the sound of it, you are in psychodynamic or psychoanalytic psychotherapy and that may not be the best for you. Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is much more concrete, behavior and thinking directed and, finally, goal directed. For all of these reasons, I suggest CBT for you. Also, research clearly and consistently shows much better results in reducing symptoms as compared to psychodynamic therapy. If you are concerned, you could even see a female CBT therapist.

Remember, psychotherapy is not supposed to be for life. It’s a treatment that is supposed to help you learn how to resolve your own problems. It is not supposed to continue for years and it is supposed to have specific and measurable outcomes.

Please give this very careful thought.

Best wishes.

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Comments
  • Jaclin Meade

    your article is good, very helpful, and written in language people can understand. that makes you very effective.

    but Mitchala, please, get help from a professional prof reader! you need punctuation and sentence structure assistance. these won't change your words, but enhance them.

    i'm searching for more of your work. thank you.

    jaci

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