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Page Contents: When a psychotherapist misunderstands a client’s transference feelings.                    


I have been seeing the same therapist for quite awhile and feelings of sexual attraction to him have gradually developed. I was honest and brought them up with him, but what am I am confused about is the way that he responded to them. He said he is “slowing down in that department,” that he’s on heart medications that interfere, and that he has enough trouble just trying to keep up with his wife. He also said my course of treatment would come to an end, but is he insinuating that a new, sexual relationship would begin? Does it sound he was taking my feelings for him literally? Please help me I am so confused.

Yes, he is taking your feelings for him literally. Or, to say it more precisely, he is taking the treatment situation literally, rather than interpreting its unconscious meaning for you.

This is a perfect example of how not to conduct psychotherapy.

Therefore, he has told you—indirectly—that he is not professionally capable of discussing your erotic transference to any therapeutic benefit. So, take comfort in the fact that you tried to do the right thing. Now find a psychotherapist who can do a proper job.


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