interested in the effect psychotherapy has on someone and how much emotional
turmoil it can create. My ex-boyfriend started intense therapy for three
times a week (18 months) in January and became more and more consumed by
it. In March, he seemed to change and started saying he didnt like
therapy at the time and then one day he told me he didnt love me anymore
and that he didnt want to be with me. . . . When I asked
him why, he said he didnt know why his feelings changed. At the time
he even said he felt differently towards his sister and mother too. He cut
me off. . . . Recently I went to see him and ask if he wanted
to be friends and he seemed very confused. . . . Anyway he
agreed to be friends and said he cared but then a week later he swore and
told me to get lost and said that I was causing him stress etc, made him
ill etc. All for no apparent reason. . . . It just feels like
the psychotherapy has made him incredibly confused and not very nice at all.
It feels like all his anger is directed towards me but yet he cant
tell me what I have done wrong. . . . Does psychotherapy produce
this kind of turmoil?
Psychotherapy doesnt always produce such turmoil,
but the reassessment of ones social relationships can be a
side-effect of psychotherapy. In fact, on my
form I warn new clients about this very risk.
this, it is important to realize that a core element of good psychotherapy is the
ability to disentangle yourself from all sorts of illusory
with others and to stop using others to fill your emotional
A large part
of psychotherapy, therefore, focuses on learning
to see your parents as they are, with all of their faults that you were blind to
as a child. This isnt pleasant work. But it isnt meant to blame
your parents, either; instead, openly acknowledging all the ways they have
hurt you frees you from unconscious anger and
allows you, ultimately, to
A different process,
however, happens in regard to other relationships, especially romantic ones,
that arent based in a selfless commitment to a family through marriage.
Because most romantic relationships in the world today are based in common
love, not true love, all of these relationships, in general, are subject
to what I call the
love-hate flip-flop. This means that total infatuation can suddenly
switch into disgust and hatred. It happens all the time in ordinary life,
and it can be provoked especially by psychotherapy. The
psychotherapist has no right to instigate such things,
but they can happen
simply as an aspect of the clients own
a woman might think her boyfriend is an entertaining charmer, but with insight
from psychotherapy she might come to see him for what he really is: an
irresponsible alcoholic. Or a man might think his girlfriend is a lovely
free-spirit, only to see her, after some psychological insight, as an insecure
person terrified of genuine commitment. Or, it might happen that a man with
a perfectly decent girlfriend will come to realize that what he thought was
love for her was only a defensive
by his own insecurity.
of psychotherapy can be very painful for the person getting cut off. Moreover,
when the reasons for the initial attraction were largely unconscious, the reasons
for the detachment will seem incomprehensible.
In your case, all
you can do in such a situation is be grateful that the illusions have shown up
sooner, rather than later.
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