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Page Contents: A long-lasting obsession with a psychotherapist.                    


24 years ago. . . . I sought a psychologist for help. . . . When I began to feel more “special,” I developed an awful crushing erotic transference for the therapist, who at nearly 60 was exactly the age of my mother. I am sure he knew it, he once remarked that he was suffering from “transference in the opposite,” which terrified me so I just pretended he hadn’t said that. He did come by my new business to see me a few times, we went out for coffee from there a few times, but nothing more sexual than hugs occurred. . . . Finally we terminated my therapy, and although I did not see him again, and he’s died quite some time ago, hardly a day has passed that I don’t think of him. I’m weary of this obsession of him. . . . I won’t ask, “When will this go away?” ... I will ask, “What can I do to be rid of this?”

The sad truth of the matter is found in your words “which terrified me so I just pretended he hadn’t said that.” You pretended not to see the truth at the very point when you knew that he had botched the treatment. And now, 24 years later, you still suffer from the fact that instead of interpreting and dissolving the transference this so-called “therapist” acted it out.

This all proves a point that I make throughout this website, and yet it’s a point that many persons in contemporary society pretend not to notice: that eroticism is the cause of a multitude of mental health problems, and that it cures none of them.

So what can you do? Well, as I also say throughout this website, real psychotherapy does not “get rid of” anything. The work of real psychotherapy is to interpret and dissolve the symptoms.

Therefore, your hope now is to face up to the fact of a botched treatment. Recognize how this man essentially crippled you emotionally and then feel the pain of it all—the frustration, the indignity, the sorrow, the loss. And then, when you have felt it all and brought your secret unconscious anger to the surface, you can take the last step: forgive him (that is, let go of your secret desire for blame and revenge) and take personal responsibility for making the rest of your life as meaningful as possible. But you can’t forgive him or make the rest of your life as meaningful as possible if you pretend that he didn’t make a grave blunder. Why? Well, as long as you continue to pretend “he hadn’t said that” the meaning of your life will be nothing more than the obsession with keeping a pretense alive.


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Raymond Lloyd Richmond, Ph.D.
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A Guide to Psychology and its Practice



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