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Transference II

Question:

A little over a year ago I finished a successful cognitive therapy (psychological first aid) but with some unsolved problems, panic attacks and erotic transference. My therapist recommended me to group therapy and I have participated in this group for a year. It is a psychodynamic group and I have previously talked about my feelings towards my former therapist in the group. Now I have developed the same feelings towards my group therapist. By your previous answers to similar questions, I understand that it may be important to work with these themes in psychodynamic therapy so that I can learn more about myself and because it can be difficult to succeed in therapy if such issues are ignored. I thought it would be difficult, but not impossible, to talk about this in the group. But I’m not sure if this is appropriate or whether the issue would “take too much space.” It is not easy to get to individual sessions as my therapist wants all communications to take place in the group.

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Answer:

It’s important to understand that Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is not “first aid” as you suggest in your EMail. Done correctly, CBT is a powerful therapy that has proven successful over and again in all the research studies done for more than twenty years. That is why there is a serious question about why you continue to suffer from panic attacks now that the therapy is over? The fact is that, if the therapy was successful, you should have the tools necessary to prevent a panic attack. This does not seem to the case. Also, why weren’t your feelings toward the therapist ever dealth with? They should have been as part of your CBT.

You state that you are in a psychodynamic group. I don’t understand why this is so when the therapy you have worked with has been CBT? Something doesn’t make sense, at least no in my mind. However, given that this is a psychodynamic group, you should be able to discuss any problem you are dealing with including those having to do with your therapist. Now that you are part of this group, you should discuss all problems including your feeling that you are taking up too much space if you discuss a problem.

Best of Luck

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