How to Heal from Botched Therapy

If you are someone who has been traumatized in therapy, it might be difficult to get help.

Traumatic experience in therapy might make you hesitant to seek professional help again in the first place, but, even if you break through natural fear of getting hurt again, it would be a hell of a task to find a therapist specifically trained to work with patients previously traumatized in therapy.

Therapists are not trained to work with this type of trauma. The reasons for that are a topic for a separate discussion, but regardless of the reasons,  the reality is what it is. It is virtually impossible to find a therapist who really “gets it”, who can truly understand what it means to be harmed by a therapist and who knows how to work with this kind of trauma. The best you can hope for is to find a fairly compassionate practitioner who simply knows how to listen and will at least try to understand your experience, which is also a no small task.

I am also not aware of any off or online support groups for those who have been hurt by their therapy experiences that are safe enough to start a healing process. There are some online groups and forums (very few) that declare themselves as support groups for survivors of “therapy abuse” or “therapist abuse” and I’ve been to all of them. While you may get a certain amount of support there you may also get hurt very badly which happened to me and which is the last thing you need when you are already hurting.

Those groups are not facilitated by trained moderators whose task is to keep the group safe for everyone to talk about their experiences. They are run by survivors themselves none of whom is in a stable and a healthy enough mental state to ensure the group safety. It may be beneficial to hang out in such a group initially just to see that you are not alone with your pain and that there are many others who went through similar experiences. This, in and of itself, can be very validating and can become a starting point of your recovery. It’s important, however, not to stay in the group just for the sake of being a part of the group and for the fear of being alone again, as this will force you to tolerate the conditions that create obstacles for your healing.

You may also want to try some alternative healing methods such as body work, Reiki, yoga, acupuncture, Ayurveda and so on. There is a big variety of alternative healing practices that might be very helpful depending on how qualified the practitioner who guides you through the process is.

Keep in mind though that a good health practitioner, whether traditional or alternative, is not easy to find, and, also that every method and every healer has their limitations and can take you just so far.

Recovery, in my experience, is a long chain of trials and errors. Try anything and everything you feel might be helpful to you in the moment but don’t expect anything to be a permanent solution. It is very important to detect the moment when a particular practitioner or a particular method is no longer serving you and to move on. For that to happen you need to be an ultimate judge of what is in your best interests at this time. Don’t let anyone decide what is best for you or to influence your choices. Let others guide you so far and so long as you find their guidance helpful but trust your own instincts in making decisions. The chances are that you were harmed in therapy in the first place because you trusted the therapist more than you trusted your own feelings, intuition and judgment, and so trusting yourself is the first thing to focus on if you want to avoid harm in the future. It doesn’t matter if you make mistakes. It is more beneficial to make mistakes and to learn from them than to entrust your life to someone else. Learning from your own mistakes makes you more confident in your ability to navigate your life which facilitates the recovery.

Unfortunately, I can’t suggest anything else at this time because, as I said, there is no professional help available out there for your type of problem. Not yet. There is no magic bullet to deal with this as with many other things that life throws at us. Self-trust and the method of trial and errors are the only tools available for you at this time. The only other thing I can share on this topic, which I will do in a separate post, is taking a spiritual approach to recovery, but this is something that has worked for me and, therefore, subjective.

With that, best of luck on your healing path.

 

12 thoughts on “How to Heal from Botched Therapy”

  1. Would you consider “botched therapy” to be therapy where there has been an abuse of transference, and emotional damage to the patient or even something worse? Do you know if there are statistics to indicate how often a problem with unresolved transference and/or mishandled transference occurs in psychotherapy? Or does “botched therapy” refer to a broader range of situations?

    Some therapy is simply unhelpful, or the patient may leave due to a problem that is not terribly hurtful. For example, many years ago, I saw a therapist who had trouble staying awake. I was annoyed and quit therapy abruptly, but did not feel hurt by this since it seemed possible to me that she had some sort of sleep disorder.

    I saw several other therapists at various times who may or may not have helped me a little, but I have only had problems recovering from the situation where I believe that transference was mishandled. And, I think that this was the one therapist that I truly cared about.

    I agree that the problem of “botched” therapy is poorly understood and handled by many or most therapists. I consulted several. But, I have to admit that I was not as open to psychotherapy after this experience. Also, I resented spending money and time for psychotherapy to treat problems caused by psychotherapy. So, for me, some alternative activities such as exercise and taking interesting classes have been more helpful.

    It has been many years since I had this experience. I believe that I have had good years and many good times since this, but nonetheless carry an emotional wound that acts up at times. And I myself still don’t fully comprehend why this experience was so powerfully negative, since I have suffered other losses more easily.

    Actually, the therapist who I believe mishandled my therapy apologized to me somewhat and acknowledged some errors, but that only helped a little.

    Thank you again for your work on this.

    1. “Would you consider “botched therapy” to be therapy where there has been an abuse of transference, and emotional damage to the patient or even something worse?”

      Absolutely. In many cases, abuse in therapy is essentially an abuse of transference, which could also be framed as abuse of patient’s vulnerability because those two go hand in hand. If unconscious or semi-conscious part of me perceives my therapist as a parent figure as a result of transference, that somewhat puts me in a vulnerable position of a child, in addition to the vulnerability that comes with the territory meaning that just the fact of me seeking help from a therapist makes me less powerful and makes him more powerful in the relationship.

      Emotional damage may happened not only as a result of an abuse but also as a result of the therapist’s incompetence or plain ignorance. If the therapist doesn’t “get” the client or doesn’t “get” a particular part of the client’s situation, he or she may inadvertently say or do something hurtful which would traumatize the client but this wouldn’t be abuse because the therapist had no exploitative motives. I talk in more detail about the need to differentiate the concepts of abuse and harm and the relationship between them in this post http://therapyconsumerguide.com/am-i-being-abused-or-harmed-in-therapy/#.Vz-WORMrLC0

      “Do you know if there are statistics to indicate how often a problem with unresolved transference and/or mishandled transference occurs in psychotherapy?”

      No, I don’t, but I suspect that no such statistics exist at all because this data isn’t something that the therapy profession wants to look at and this subject isn’t something that they want to talk about. While we are challenging all kinds of systemic structures in our society these days, the mental health profession has still not been scrutinized the way it deserves to be.

      “Or does “botched therapy” refer to a broader range of situations?”

      Yes, I do refer to a broader range of situations when I talk about “botched therapy” (the term is actually my invention, you won’t see it anywhere else). Basically, “botched therapy” for me is any therapy case in which client ends up feeling worse or much worse for whatever reason than when he or she started therapy. There are many ways in which therapy could get botched. I’ve alluded to some of them in this post but I certainly hasn’t broken it down to specifics yet.

      “Some therapy is simply unhelpful, or the patient may leave due to a problem that is not terribly hurtful. For example, many years ago, I saw a therapist who had trouble staying awake. I was annoyed and quit therapy abruptly, but did not feel hurt by this since it seemed possible to me that she had some sort of sleep disorder.”

      True, there are cases when therapy is simply ineffective, again, for whatever reason, but it doesn’t hurt the patient. These are not cases of botched therapy. When therapy has been “botched” the patient comes out of it damaged. If there is no damage but there is no progress either that is not a “botched” therapy by definition.

      “I saw several other therapists at various times who may or may not have helped me a little, but I have only had problems recovering from the situation where I believe that transference was mishandled. And, I think that this was the one therapist that I truly cared about.”

      I can see why that was. We are hurt the worst by people we care about than by those we don’t care about. When we have feelings for someone and they are important to us, with that come the desire, the hope and the expectations that that person would treat us with kindness and respect at the very least. When those hopes, desires and expectations don’t get fulfilled it hurts. When it comes to people we don’t care about, we don’t expect or want much from them and that’s why they don’t have as much power to hurt us as those we care about.

      “I agree that the problem of “botched” therapy is poorly understood and handled by many or most therapists. I consulted several. But, I have to admit that I was not as open to psychotherapy after this experience. Also, I resented spending money and time for psychotherapy to treat problems caused by psychotherapy. So, for me, some alternative activities such as exercise and taking interesting classes have been more helpful.”

      I can relate to not being open to psychotherapy after having been hurt by a therapist. I have no desire to go back to therapy ever again. Though, in the beginning of my experiences and for some time I did attempt to “cure” therapy wounds through therapy. Didn’t work. However, I don’t regret the experience of going through subsequent therapies because I’ve learned a lot from them, even though I had to pay a price of getting hurt again.

      “It has been many years since I had this experience. I believe that I have had good years and many good times since this, but nonetheless carry an emotional wound that acts up at times. And I myself still don’t fully comprehend why this experience was so powerfully negative, since I have suffered other losses more easily.”

      I think, for many people their therapists are more important and more powerful people than other people in their lives. Good or bad, therapists give people time and space to hide from the harsh and judgmental world where we are forced to suppress our emotional needs and expressions thus violating our souls. In therapy we are given an opportunity to “meet” ourselves, to give our soul at least a portion of attention it deserves to get, to ask big questions about our life and where we want it to go, to recognize and comfort our wounded inner child and many other things that are essential for our healing and growth. This is big and not to be underestimated. A therapist is the agent of this process and, as such, he or she becomes a very important, sometimes a major figure, in our life. Naturally, when a therapist abuses a client’s vulnerability and trust, that’s a major betrayal that is more hurtful in many cases than other heartbreaks we’ve had.

  2. You mention that you don’t “regret the experience of going through subsequent therapies because I’ve learned a lot from them, even though I had to pay a price of getting hurt again.”

    Were these experiences hurtful temporarily but ultimately helpful? Or did you learn more about life and human relationships from mistakes that caused you harm? Were they actually good experiences on the whole?

    I think that you have described the therapist’s potential significance to some patients beautifully, and it would be wonderful if all therapists were aware of this and cautious/responsible about this power.

    1. It’s not actually a question of “temporarily” vs. “ultimately”. All my significant life experience have left permanent traces, both positive and negative. The therapy experiences were among them. The answer to your question lies within your next question “did you learn more about life and human relationships from mistakes that caused you harm?” The answer is a definitive YES. Yes, my therapy experiences, especially harmful ones forced me to learn some important life lessons about life itself and human relationships. “Were they actually good experiences on the whole?” Depends on how you define “good”. If good is something that ultimately makes you learn something important then it is good even though it traumatized you. If we are talking purely from our emotional standpoint, traumatic experiences are horrible because they impose a great deal of pain and suffering. That is the “price” I was referring to when I said that I had to pay a price for learning my lessons. The prices for learning was pain and suffering.

      But, also from emotional standpoint, not everything in my therapy experiences was painful and ultimately damaging. There were genuinely helpful parts of it. So, all in all, it was a mixed bag. I think, most human experiences are mixed to some extend and few are purely harmful or purely positive and enjoyable. Life is a fusion of light and darkness and attempting to separate all life experiences into “good” and “bad” polarities would rob us off the richness of every experience, we would miss a lot of nuances that carry important information for us to learn.

      You are right, therapists should be fully aware of their power and should appreciate the extend of it. If they did their best to carry this awareness at all times fewer people would get hurt. There is also another method to minimize the power abuse in therapy and that is to make the practice more consulting-like that would go short-term and wouldn’t create the intense attachment that seems to be more of a hazard than a helpful thing.

  3. I agree that limiting therapy to a certain number of sessions would help to avoid the occurrence of an intense attachment. In fact, I did consult someone about a specific problem once for about six sessions, and I do think that was helpful.

    But, in a case where the therapy seems to be working and helping and might continue to help, I wonder if a therapist might be able to avoid becoming the focus of attention by regularly turning the focus to the patient’s real life relationships or potential relationships, and things in the real world that might bring happiness to the patient. If anything came up in the relationship with the therapist through “transference”, “countertransference”, or simply the situation,
    could the therapist’s focus on the everyday world of the patient somewhat avoid the development of an intense relationship with the therapist within the bubble of the office?
    Unfortunately, though, some therapists may
    intentionally or unintentionally want to be the focus of attention and, for me, this would be a signal to find another therapist. Thank you!

    1. “In a case where the therapy seems to be working and helping and might continue to help, I wonder if a therapist might be able to avoid becoming the focus of attention by regularly turning the focus to the patient’s real life relationships or potential relationships, and things in the real world that might bring happiness to the patient.”

      A therapist is supposed to focus on the patient’s real life relationships and real life situations. They are not supposed to intentionally focus the patient’s attention on themselves in order to invoke transference, but, unfortunately, many of them do just that. They don’t do it openly by saying that the patient should focus on them, but they often suggest that their “relationship” with the patient is a very important part of therapy, which I find toxic and dangerous. Many people who were harmed in therapy have reported that their therapists pushed the idea of discussing the “relationship” at the center of their therapy at the expense of everything else. This happened to me as well. In my first therapy, since the day my therapist suggested that the “relationship” was important and needed to be explored, I got obsessed about it and all my real life struggles that needed much attention took a backseat.

      There is another part of it though. Even if a therapist doesn’t intentionally focus the patient’s attention on them, transference could still happen, which brings me to your next question.

      “If anything came up in the relationship with the therapist through “transference”, “countertransference”, or simply the situation,
      could the therapist’s focus on the everyday world of the patient somewhat avoid the development of an intense relationship with the therapist within the bubble of the office?”

      As I said, transference could and often does happen even if the therapist doesn’t intentionally incite it. The same with counter-transference, which is nothing else but transference that the therapist is experiencing towards the patient. What you are suggesting is that it might be helpful to avoid talking about the patient’s feelings towards the therapist and to concentrate only on things in the patient’s life outside the therapy room in order to avoid intense attachment and obsession with the therapist. I don’t believe that would work because in my experience trying to distract ourselves from reality doesn’t make that reality go away. It’s quite the opposite, actually. When we start developing feelings for our therapists, that becomes part of our reality. Choosing to ignore those feelings wouldn’t make them disappear. On the contrary, remained unacknowledged and unprocessed, feelings become more intense and problematic. They have to be acknowledged and processed in therapy but in the way that wouldn’t put the idea of the “relationship” with the therapist at the center.

      What’s important to understand about transference is that it is created by the therapy setting itself, with or without a therapist’s participation. Obviously, when you see someone regularly, at the same place and often at the same time, that, in and of itself, conditions you to get attached to that person, and if that person is there to listen to you and gives you an opportunity to talk about most important and personal things in your life, that makes you develop feelings for them. A therapist doesn’t need to do anything to encourage transference. Whether they do or don’t encourage it, the therapy setting itself encourages it.

      What’s the solution for that? I believe, the solution is to disrupt the existing ritualistic structure of therapy when a patient goes to the same place at the same time to see the same therapist on a regular basis for a long time. This ritual is the main condition that allows intense attachment and obsession to develop. Regular sessions become like a regular dosage of the drug one gets addicted to.

      To avoid the risk of addiction, the rituals have to be disrupted. A person may see more than one therapist at a time for different purposes. There are different types of therapy that address trauma through different methods. For instance, you may work with an art therapist and do regular talk therapy with another therapist at the same time where you can discuss what came up for you through your art projects. You can also do EMDR, bodywork, psychodrama, behavioral modification therapy and also have regular counseling. When you have more than one therapist at a time, any feelings for any of them would not be strong enough to make you obsessed. Also, it’d bring greater transparency into the work of each individual therapist, because if each one of them knows that you talk to other professionals they would be less inclined to do something unethical or questionable. There would be no one therapist’s office bubble where things get isolated and go unnoticed by anyone on the outside.

      Also, I’d advocate for limiting the overall therapy time significantly and for encouraging people to change therapists as often as they see fit, as well as I would advocate for more of a brief type of counseling that is more like consulting where a therapist gives their opinion in a neutral way as opposed to a process oriented therapy when a therapist mostly stares at you and wants you to talk most of the time not understanding that it takes just so much time to tell what bothers you at the moment and, once you do it, you want to hear their input, because that’s what you are seeing them for.

      I don’t believe that seeing the same therapist for a long time is the best way to conduct this business. In my experience, the most productive period of each therapy I’ve had was the first six months where I got the most helpful insights from the therapists. Not much happened after that in terms of some eye opening revelations about my life and myself.

      Another thing that has to happened is that we should have more practitioners who use methods that work with our energies directly such as EMDR practitioners, art and play therapists, psychodrama therapists, psychosomatic therapists, all kind of modalities that place major emphasis on the body and attempt to affect our mental states through the body.

      All in all, my solutions to the problems you have raised are 1) diversity of services 2) transparency 3) more body-oriented modalities based on the findings of neuroscience 4) time limit for each therapist.

      Those are just general ideas. I hope, we will eventually come to a point when those ideas would start being implemented. Don’t know though if this will happen in our lifetime..

  4. Good article, I was glad to see that it’s also very recent. This is a really important topic. In fact I think it’s a pretty big systemic problem with therapy, because the dynamics that enable or give rise to abuse are the same ones that brush it under the rug and or completely fail to address the problem, which only exacerbates the trauma.

    1. Thank you. I agree, creating abuse and sweeping it under the rug is often done by the same dynamics. The underlying lack of awareness of those dynamics is the root of the problem and until professionals honestly examine their true intentions and their own unconscious wounds that give rise to those intentions, many people will continue getting re-traumatized in therapy.

  5. You wrote ” What you are suggesting is that it might be helpful to avoid talking about the patient’s feelings towards the therapist and to concentrate only on things in the patient’s life outside the therapy room in order to avoid intense attachment and obsession with the therapist.”

    Actually, I did not mean that talking about the feelings should be avoided. I meant to ask if it would help if the therapist kept a consistent focus on the real life of the patient and asked the patient about relationships he has or would like to have in his real life. Perhaps, that is already considered good practice, but may not always work.

    You also wrote, regarding the strong attachment a patient may develop.

    “What’s the solution for that? I believe, the solution is to disrupt the existing ritualistic structure of therapy when a patient goes to the same place at the same time to see the same therapist on a regular basis for a long time. This ritual is the main condition that allows intense attachment and obsession to develop. Regular sessions become like a regular dosage of the drug one gets addicted to.”

    I have moved many times in my life, and I have sought psychotherapy for panic disorder or anxiety on several occasions. I have had two experiences that lasted for more than a year. I had little or no problem terminating with both therapists, so I don’t think that the ritual or long term nature of these experiences impacted me.

    But terminating with a third therapist was a struggle, and I think that there was some problem between us that caused some boundary violations that disturbed me and resulted in a very unpleasant termination (he was clearly very angry and disappointed) at a time when my mother was dying and I was having many other problems. He made no offer or attempt to consult another therapist or to terminate in a way that was at least neutral and not toxic for me at the time and acted like I was quitting or abandoning him.

    I see my troubled feelings as a some type of long term grief and wonder also if it has an element of PTSD.

    Based on this experience, I will never seek anything but short term psychotherapy with a clear and definite focus, and maybe not even that. Cognitive therapy and involvement in many activities and physical exercise have helped. I am also planning to look into Mindfulness. Thank you.

    1. “Actually, I did not mean that talking about the feelings should be avoided. I meant to ask if it would help if the therapist kept a consistent focus on the real life of the patient and asked the patient about relationships he has or would like to have in his real life. Perhaps, that is already considered good practice, but may not always work.”

      I see. Thank you for clarifying. Yes, absolutely, I do believe that the focus should be kept on the real life of the patient, not on the “relationship” with the therapist. Many therapists do that actually, mostly those who practice symptom management as opposed to insight-oriented therapy. Psychodynamic therapists and psychoanalysts, however, tend to place major emphasis on “resolving” transference which is a futile task IMO and a dangerous road to go down. It’s a shame because I believe that insight-oriented therapy addresses the real issues much better than symptom management therapy, but it does have some major flaws that cause harm to many people.

      “I have moved many times in my life, and I have sought psychotherapy for panic disorder or anxiety on several occasions. I have had two experiences that lasted for more than a year. I had little or no problem terminating with both therapists, so I don’t think that the ritual or long term nature of these experiences impacted me.”

      It’s a fair point. I think, ritualistic nature and longitude of therapy are some of the factors contributing to potential problems but not the only ones and, probably, not the major ones, as I assumed. I guess, we all come from our own personal experiences when we think of a certain subject and we tend to generalize them, so I probably did that. If the therapist doesn’t trigger any old memories, old experiences and old pain in you, then, yeah, I guess you won’t get “hooked” on them no matter how long you were seeing them. But I also think you won’t have the need to see those kind of practitioners for a very long time. Each practitioner has their limitations and, in the absence of personal attachment, once the limits of what they can do are clear, you’d have no problem leaving them because you’ve never developed an intense transference. One year is not really that long by comparison with how long many people see their therapists.

      I still maintain that ritualistic consistency plays role in developing strong attachment in cases when intense transference develops. This happened in all my therapy experiences. On the other hand, I have to say that once the intense transference occurs you, as a patient, kind of want to make sessions regular and to see the therapist for a long time. So, that’s the question of what came first, the chicken or the egg.

      I am really sorry for the way your therapist terminated you. It sounds very cruel.

      “I see my troubled feelings as a some type of long term grief and wonder also if it has an element of PTSD.”

      Most mental sufferings are different manifestations of PTSD or C-PTSD or simply put trauma. Unless someone has a super rosy childhood where their every need was fully attended to, we all have unresolved grief, rage, sorrow, many painful and dark feelings we’ve been suppressing and carrying inside unresolved throughout our life, which manifests itself in all kinds of symptoms or the so-called “diagnoses”. Unhealed trauma is the roor of all mental suffering and all addictions. This is something that the mental health profession is still in denial of and it’s long overdue for them to get out of the denial.

      “Based on this experience, I will never seek anything but short term psychotherapy with a clear and definite focus, and maybe not even that. Cognitive therapy and involvement in many activities and physical exercise have helped. I am also planning to look into Mindfulness. Thank you.”

      I completely understand this. I don’t think, I would ever seek any kind of therapy at all, though, it’s probably wise to never say never. I’ve read and watched a lot of material on mindfulness and being present and it was helpful. Cognitive therapy will do nothing for me because I know too well that my core issue lie much deeper than what intellectual part of the brain can reach. Physical exercises are a tricky thing for me because they help me only in certain dosages, certain times and only some activities are helpful. Exercising helps me only when specific conditions are met, otherwise it triggers my trauma and I start feeling worse. This is common for many trauma survivors and it has to do with a bunch of issues they’ve had with their physical bodies since childhood. But for many other people exercise is always the way to go when they want to feel better. Everyone is different and there is no general recipe.

      Thank you for commenting.

  6. Thank you for your response. I am sorry for the trauma that you have experienced in your life. It is sad that professionals we look to for help frequently fail us.

    You have mentioned that it might be better to limit the duration of psychotherapy to avoid “intense attachment”.

    You also refer to the therapists “who place a major emphasis on resolving transference which is a futile task. ”

    I think that it may be helpful in many cases to limit psychotherapy and avoid this deep analysis of transference. One thing that I noticed with the therapists that I worked with is that I began to have some realization of features of their transferences toward me or toward patients in general after about six or eight weeks. For instance, some therapists seem to crave approval or thanks from a patient. That is just one example.

    Sorting through two transferences at once may be impossible, and may cause real confusion about what is really true.

    1. To me the solution would include more than just limiting psychotherapy time but changing the quality of the service, as well as combining various types of therapies for better results.

      Firstly, I would do away with the term “psychotherapy”. It’s a misleading term because it equates counseling with medical practice which is nonsensical because counseling methods unlike medicine that focuses on physical ailments have very little if any scientific backing. They have no tests similar to medical tests that could show the problem through tangible criteria that is detected and measured like blood cell count, blood pressure, heart rate, cholesterol level, X-rays pictures etc. In counseling, unlike medicine, there is no objective way to determine what the problem is and to see the mechanisms of its operation. So, to continue to pretend that counseling is just a part of medical practice and to call it “psychotherapy” is disingenuous, just like continuing to pretend that all DSM lables are real medical diagnoses.

      Counseling doesn’t have to be scientifically based to be a legitimate service, as long as we call it for what it is and don’t pretend that it is something other than what it is. In that case, counselors shouldn’t be required to give diagnoses and to conduct “treatments”.

      That said, I would restructure counseling in such a way that sessions would become consultations where a client could get a direct input a.k.a. a professional opinion from a counselor about their problems and would be free to do with that information what they will. Simple as that. That way there would be no need to see a counselor/ a consultant week after week for God knows how long. A client may come back for another consultation whenever they want but that wouldn’t be the same as when they come regularly because that’s what they are “supposed to” do because the system is designed that way. There wouldn’t be the same continuity and regularity of meetings as there is in therapy now, which, I believe, would largely take care of the transference issues. When one sees their consultant (or counselor) only when they want to get some new input from them and only for that specific purpose, no intense transference or attachment would develop, I believe. I am not saying there would be no transference at all, as transference is a combination of ideas and emotions we have about the other person that are based much more on our previous experiences than on the reality of who that person is, and, as such, transference can emerge in an instant, no time frame necessary. But when the meetings are occasional and for specific purpose only, then transference wouldn’t grow strong and wouldn’t develop into a strong attachment. After all, we get transference experiences many times a day each day with all kinds of people and situations because they push our old buttons and trigger old feelings, but they don’t disturb us and don’t become traumatic experiences, most of them at least. The same, I assume, would be with someone who you consult with every once in a while in order to get some concrete information about your current life situation. There wouldn’t be any disturbing, intense transference in that case, as well as attachment.

      This is one of the solutions. I have many other thoughts, all of which I hope I’d be able to articulate one day..

      As far as the therapist’s transference or the so-called “counter-transference”, yes, of course, they have it, and craving approval from patients is one of the most common expressions of it, which, I think, is understandable..

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