The word of the day, boys and girls, is transference.
So, I talk a lot about therapy, and my therapist, Sid. I also acknowledge that I find him attractive (and have done so in session).
When I met with my career counselor, Shannon, she encouraged me to talk about it with Sid, because it could be an obstacle with respect to my career goals. Namely, if I’m going to become a therapist or counselor myself, in some fashion, it could be a problem.
So Sid and I discussed it some more.
Lest I sound schizophrenic, let me explain that the way I think of things, there’s the addict in my brain, and then there’s the rational side. I’m trying to pump up that rational side so that the addict stops being so strong, because I know it’ll never truly go away.
I feel like my addict wants to flirt with/hit on/sleep with Sid. My rational side is positively disgusted by the idea, knowing full well that he’d have to be a shitty therapist, not to mention a shitty person, to give in to that sort of thing.
Hey, cognitive dissonance! One of the fancy psychology terms I want to use to sound smart.
And then there’s affect tolerance (I couldn’t find a good link, but you’ll get the gist if you look it up). Which means sometimes being uncomfortable can be a good thing… making us more comfortable with something difficult. So, in that respect, the transference isn’t a bad thing. Because I’ve certainly realized I have difficulty with attractive guys and having any kind of intimacy / relationship without sex / romance.
And rationally, I know there is zero chance of anything ever happening with Sid. We’re not friends, even though I kind of see him as a trusted friend I tell anything and everything… I know that’s entirely one-sided. Heh, another psychology term, the blank screen. I don’t get to know much about him, because I supposed to be able to project things onto him. (Case in point, I’m working to override some deeply engrained beliefs that relate to my mother–being afraid to tell him something that I fear will upset him, because he might “implode” like my mother always did.)
Anyway, I was super anxious going in, knowing what I planned to talk about. I was already thinking it was time to bring it up again, and Shannon just gave me that extra nudge.
So we talk about it, and then I’m feeling much better. Someone in a meeting recently said, “sharing the things that bother us takes away their power.” He comments how much more relaxed, etc. I am.
Well, I got a little too comfortable. Because then I told him he’s hot.
How does that make me feel? In the first episode of Family Guy, Peter loses his job, and is planning to tell Lois.
Brian (the dog): How did she take it?
Peter: I told her she was fat.
Brian: *hits him with a rolled up newspaper* No! No!
How did therapy go?
I told him he was hot.
*newspaper* No! No!
That’s how I feel. Fortunately, he redirected super quick. The way I see it, my addict was peeking out, and decided to dip her toes in the water to see if it was warm. What did I get? Iceberg, dead ahead!
“Are we going to be able to get any work done, Dee?” “Sorry! I’m done now.”
Yeah, so that was completely inappropriate, and I will probably apologize in our next session.
As to the career advice?
“Yeah, it’ll happen. But it’ll be different, because it’ll be counter transference.”
Yeah, and…? Not super helpful there. So I guess I’m going to have to bring it up again.
And NOW, in my neuroses, I’m faced with the same dilemma that kept me from probing further at the time.
How do I ask more about counter transference without making it look like I’m asking for more information about me?
Or I could just pass him a note:
Do you have counter transference toward me?
There’s no answer that’s helpful. Yes? Well, shit, that’s just not fair. No? Well, shit, what’s wrong with me? Why not?
Oof. So that’s my long winded spiel on Transference.
And since I couldn’t find more of that Family Guy clip than just the “No! No!” part, I’ll leave you with this parting gift.
Now try getting that song out of your head.