But maybe they don't believe in transference any more, wasn't that Freud, or was it someone else, but the idea of transference makes you think of unloading a burden and transferring it to someone else and that sounds pretty good to you, even though you know that's not the definition. You wish you were lying on a couch, but you're not, you guess they don't do that any more either. Meanwhile the therapist is telling you to be good to yourself for the millionth time and you're wondering if they just say that to everybody, including psychopaths and murderers and is that always a good thing, to be good to yourself, and so what's she going to say next, embrace your inner child. The therapist does a lot of talking in fact and you're getting kind of tired of her advice, not unlike your mother's, kind of bossy and irrelevant, and is that transference, finding the therapist annoying like your mother.
She's kind of insecure, the therapist, always asking is this helpful and you don't know what to say because she isn't exactly helping but you don't want her to feel bad and you've got your own insecurities so you know what that feels like and you want to say, be good to yourself, because why not, it's not like the therapist is a psychopath or a murderer or anything. You're wondering when you can end this because it's kind of like a love affair that never got off the ground and you want to break up but you're looking for the right moment and so maybe that's the transference, the analogy to the love affair, just not a very good one.
Be good to yourself you'll say and she'll say be good to yourself, and you'll shake hands and maybe both get a little teary-eyed, because after all you sought her help and she was trying to help, or are yours just tears of relief that you're escaping this annoying advice, too bad that you can't escape your mother's too, and hers just tears of regret that she's losing that weekly income and will have to find someone else to fill your slot. Be good to yourself, she'll say to her, maybe even forgetting that it's not you because her problems aren't so different after all and maybe the new patient will be thinking, am I supposed to be falling in love with this therapist or something, or is that just a myth?
But for now you're still sitting in the therapist's office, looking at the box of Kleenex on the table between you, and the discreetly positioned clock, and you're thinking that the time's not up yet, and also that it's not the right time to break up, and what if I did it through email, would that be passive aggressive or something. And when you try to break up, don't therapists always say that's something we need to talk about, this hostility is a phase of the therapy, not unlike old boyfriends you've had, the ones who say you don't really mean that when you try to break up, when you really do mean that, but breaking up is hard to do.
So now you're thinking in clichés like the therapist, it's apparently contagious, and maybe thinking in clichés is a therapeutic goal, a kind of normalcy. People bond all the time by trading clichés, your mother for example, and now you're back to your mother, something to talk about for the rest of the hour, which still isn't up yet. In fact the therapist is beginning to seem more and more like your mother, so maybe you're achieving therapeutic transference after all. LS