TRANSFERENCE – Out side therapy

Transference is largely explained as the experience of feelings towards a person that actually belong to another person.

It was first described in psychoanalysis by Freud as a revival of infant-parent bond and the attachment , affection could be of unusual degree not as a result of actual shared experiences between the therapist and the patient.

However , transferences are in no way limited only to therapeutic situations.
When some one you have met just few hours ago, develops an unusual attachment
or attraction / anger / hatred towards you , it has usually very little to do with what you have shared , however you have some how triggered the feelings that belong to some one else in the other person’s life. This could be an unresolved relationship issue that the other has projected on to you.

The so called ” Love on the rebound” in lay man’s language is a synonym for this. You can feel thrown and completely amazed as to why this is happening and wonder several times ” Where did I go wrong ? / right ?( Depending on your own unfulfilled need for affiliation at that hour )

But depending on your own honesty to not partake in the feelings that do not belong to you ,efforts can be made to understand or know the past of the person and gently point out to her or him that this may have to be resolved with that other person.
If you can identify the real owner of those feelings.

Then there are situations where the other person is dead or is emotionally unavailable for resolution , and for their own reasons the person who is directing these feelings towards you is not psychologically minded enough to accept your insight or interpretation and continues to harp on the magic of love at first sight! Any thing or everything you say or don’t say may be taken to mean more than what you say and it could get very difficult. By the time you realize what ever is happening , you may be so embroiled in it as to find it difficult to get out.

People who display traumatic transferences can get very intrusive , by stalking you relentlessly . They have the need to settle scores with someone from their past and you become an innocent target. They want to undo a mistake they committed in their past , again you need not become their replacement absolution. Anger & hostility can be particularly annoying even in civilized environments. And in repressed cultures , eroticized transference can be difficult to ward off. And any sort of interaction can be viewed as an encouragement and if you are a skilled communicator you can try till the doom’s day to get it across to another verbally while he or she may persist in acting out and not understanding what ever you are trying to communicate.

Some times opposite poles do attract each other and marry , and despite not sharing any of the traits of your partner , in a social and political manner the wife or even the child of the man become the soft target for aggressive or assaultive transference. This can be particularly tragic when the woman is already vulnerable in the marriage and also has to take on the wrath of her partner’s enemies.

Does it mean everything is always transference ?
Definitely not. If you have resolved most of your conflicts with significant others always , then and there, if you have spent a good amount of time introspecting , and if you have tried to ally with the conscious , reasonable element in the other person’s psyche and been honest with the other about your feelings, chances are that it is genuinely close and empowering.

However there will be discrepancies in the perceptions depending on the power differentials in your relationship , however hard you try to neutralize it some gaps can not be bridged.

Genuine intimacy demands absolute honesty and ability to work at it every day , on some difficult days every hour . And some times sex is just an easy escape and a false sense of security and a very superficial , deeply unsatisfying interaction when it is used as a strategy to avoid knowing , caring and suffering for the other person. All love can be verbal , including that between lovers. It can only enhance intimacy when you feel understood.

The strict masculine , feminine gender dichotomy is encouraged in some cultures and when you are strongly inhibited from expressing your qualities that are condemned as masculine or feminine then a sort of soul hunger dominates your relationship. And can topple an unequal relationship. Some partners are stuck in this ” Self sacrificing nurturing parent mode ” and others are receiving forever since their own mother or father neglected their needs , or even worse abused or exploited them. Is that fair in the name of love ? Will it work forever ?

It is important to take help from someone outside the bond during such times. You may get used by some one younger or older in the name of a relationship ( You end up being a sexualized parent or sexualized child ) and accumulate resentment that is unnecessary.

Anima and Animus as mentioned by Carl Gustav Jung a student of Freud is a wonderful concept , that your other half lives inside you and you probably are searching for someone who lets you express your entire self or lets you be yourself….

The moment I heard a love story
for the first time ,
I started searching for you ,
Not knowing how blind that was
Lovers don’t meet finally somewhere
They lived inside each other all along.- RUMI

I would add these lines,

Please ask your self
what is it that you love about me ?
Is it really me ?
Or is it her , the one I never knew,
How can I imitate that which I never knew…
How can I be the missing line of your past ?
None of us can go back and correct or edit
whatever happened.
I was not even there then !
Do not condemn me to enact her script , just so that you
can change yours. You cant. I am not her.
Even if the script changed , it is because
I did not act the part you wanted me to…..
Life has to be lived forwards………
Today can not change yesterday…

3 thoughts on “TRANSFERENCE – Out side therapy

  1. i love this. i could reblog it as part of my ‘love is organic’ series because it fits in so well. very insightful take on transference. the part that catches my particular attention is, “Does it mean everything is always transference? (Definitely not). If you have resolved most of your conflicts with significant others always, then and there, if you have spent a good amount of time introspecting, and if you have tried to ally with the conscious, reasonable element in the other person’s psyche and been honest with the other about your feelings, chances are that it is genuinely close and empowering.” it catches my attention because you are right to infer this, but it raises the question, does transference always have to do with someone else. what of a man/woman who has never loved – who grew up normal, but has never loved. what of someone who has repressed sexist tendencies unattached to no one in particular but women in general, but may not have dated until this relationship. can there be collective source of transference. for instance, also a man/woman who has repressed racism. it’s not the men/women of that race he/she hates, but the race itself, but finds himself/herself in a relationship with a man/woman from that race. can there be transference in such a relationship. or a man/woman who masturbates and so cannot relate properly with his/her lover – a kind of erotic transference. i know freud defines erotic transference differently. or a man/woman who has failed financially, doesn’t have anything against men/women but cannot relate properly because of this deep lying sense of failure. i completely agree with p. hughes that “in new situations we have expectations that are partly determined by our realistic perceptions, thoughts and feelings about the present, and partly by associated experiences we have had in the past (Hughes, 1999). do those experiences have to be with others. can an individual be the source of his/her transferred feelings. does it always have to be with someone in his/her past, or present reality. can a man/woman have a mind attachment. nothing wrong with your article, it is brilliant, but it got my mind racing. brilliant piece.


  2. Thank you for the interesting response.
    Especially regarding negative relationship with the opposite sex due to preconceived notions inherited by the environment that the individual inhabits, – it cant be called transference , it can be called as Bias.
    Bayesian thinking is arriving at conclusions at levels of probability not accepted by the majority.
    Inherent definition of Bias is faulty logic. However there are schools that claim truth is held by minorities. Sexism is again an acquired way of thinking that suits the needs of an individual , I have found women to be vehicles of patriarchy since it bestows power or money to them.
    I think your allusion to collective bias or collective transference is very real. Collective unconscious and collective super ego both exist. Yes there is collective racism , we never know how biased we are until we put our convictions to action.
    Masturbation as a cause for failure to relate , is true in cultures where men think they become weak because of this practice , it is called Dhat syndrome, a culture bound syndrome in India.
    Psychoeducation about secretions such as tears or saliva being equal to semen , usually helps many. However , history of abuse, betrayal etc are more relevant than this in explaining celibacy.
    Cyber sex , compulsive watching of pornography are other causes.
    Financial failure is interesting point – In Sanskrit ( equivalent of your Hebrew perhaps) they say ” udyogam purusha Lakshanam” meaning masculinity is indicated by the profession & earning potential of a man! But these were ancient notions. Accomplishing gender is by division of labor , division of resources. Hegemonic / Hostile masculinity , systemic gender domination , and passive dependent femininity have fewer takers now.
    Woman is no longer an economic disadvantage and man need not define his masculinity based on his economic advantages , inherited or earned !

    Hope I answered some doubts. It was intellectually stimulating to have this exchange, thanks .


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