Zbig makes a good comment in the previous post about what would my wife (or my significant others, as they say in the psychotherapy business) think and feel if they read the post about my client who seems to be developing a strong transference to me that may be romanticised.
This is a good comment because it articulates a very real problem for those in the psychotherapy profession. Over the years I have seen this issue raise itself with a whole variety of therapists many times and it is indeed a difficult circumstance for them and their significant others to deal with.
Sometimes clients develop strong feelings towards their therapists, sometimes positive, sometimes negative, sometimes sexualised and sometimes not. How is the spouse of the therapist meant to deal with this? A difficult question indeed and a very real one.
Is it reasonable for the spouse to feel jealous, threatened, excluded and so forth?
If they feel those things is it reasonable for the spouse to express their concerns to the therapist who is just doing his or her job.?
If they are express how is the therapist meant to respond to the spouse?
As you can see a veritable minefield of potential relationship ruptures (as they are fashionably referred to these days in the psychotherapy business).
However I need to place this in context. The psychology behind the positive transference is by no means exclusive to the counselling relationship. It happens in all areas of life and human relationships.
For instance in the work place. Take something a tad monotonous like the banking industry. There maybe a man who is respected in the banking industry, seen as talented in his field and has some power in the industry. As he goes about his business he will come across various women who know of his reputation. As they get to know each other positive transference feelings will develop in some instances and sometimes they will be strong transference feelings from the less powerful woman to the more powerful man.
This is no different to the psychology of the transference in the therapy setting. Obviously it is not appropriate for the client and therapist to have a relationship but for two people who work in the same industry like banking they can easily have a relationship and many indeed do. But as I said before the psychology behind the relationship is no different than the client therapist relationship. However the point at hand is positive transference feelings from one person to another are not exclusive to the therapy relationship.
However in therapy the feelings can get quite strong in quite a short space of time. Indeed the therapist and therapy setting are a perfect green house for such feelings to grow. Thus the questions cited above have special relevance to therapists and their significant others.