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Page Contents: When you feel rejected, unlovable, and miserable, and hate your psychotherapist because of erotic transference.                    


I have been having an erotic transference toward my psychotherapist for eight months. He has known about it for six months. In reviewing the psychoanalytical literature, I found many references to the psychotherapist experiencing an erotic countertransference in reaction to the client’s transference. It was explained that it was the unconscious working without the conscious being aware. I shared such an article with my psychotherapist who disagreed. He said he had never had any sexual feelings for me. I am devastated. I did not want these feelings to be acted out but I wanted to feel desirable. That’s all. I guess I had convinced myself that he must have some unexpressed, unconscious sexual attraction toward me. I feel very rejected and unlovable. I am miserable. I now think I hate this man. Perhaps time will cure me.

Time, in itself, merely affords you the opportunity to hide your problems deeper in the unconscious. Real healing comes from the honesty of being able to feel your hurt and then put it into words.

Your experience, though, offers three lessons relating to the psychology of the unconscious.

First, you have encountered the reality of the love-hate flip-flop, which I describe elsewhere on this website. That is, you begin with erotic desire, and you end up with hatred.

Second, you can now grasp the danger of defining yourself according to whether or not others desire you. Getting trapped in this illusion is what destroys mental health; freeing yourself from its clutches should be the objective of competent psychotherapy. Therefore, instead of wanting your psychotherapist to desire you, it is more important to work to understand the futility of this desire.

Third, when people haven’t freed themselves from their illusions about desire, they unconsciously block themselves from psychological honesty and resort to defensively protecting their own egos. That’s what your psychotherapist did. Instead of honestly discussing the whole concept of unconscious desire, he closed everything down with a defensive denial. Moreover, the fact that this matter has so upset you that you felt the need to write to me points to the probability that your parents—especially your father—must have treated you during your childhood with the same exasperating defensiveness as this psychotherapist. Instead of raising you with real love, they protected their own pride. And the unconscious effect of that damage is now the reason why you need psychotherapy.

Learn from this experience, then, and seek out a psychotherapist who can act as a good father so that you can have a real cure for your childhood hurt.


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



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