There is a vast array of mental health disorders, each one varying in cause and complexity. Take into account the role that each person’s unique history, environment, relationships, and set of circumstances might play in how a mental health disorder manifests, and it’s easy to see why just one type of treatment will not work for everyone. Just as a surgeon has several tools at his disposal that he can use to treat someone that comes into the emergency room, so too do psychologists. Transference-Focused therapy is one of the many evidence-based treatment modalities that Licensed Clinical Psychologists use to treat those suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder. However, this therapeutic intervention can be applied to other personality disorders as well, such as Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder, Dependent Personality Disorder, and Narcissistic Personality Disorder to name a few.
Psychotherapy is the broad term for a category of treatments that, at the simplest level, involve talking to resolve issues. Psychotherapy is the primary tool used by psychologists to help people deal with mental and emotional difficulties such as trauma, depression, and relationship issues as well as behavioral disorders such as addiction, schizophrenia, and eating disorders. Transference-focused therapy is one type of psychotherapy that is typically used to treat those with borderline personality disorder.
If you’ve been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder or have been searching for a psychologist who offers transference-based therapy in Los Angeles or the surrounding area, we encourage you to contact Blair Wellness Group to schedule an appointment.
About Borderline Personality Disorder
Borderline Personality Disorder is a serious mental health disorder that usually begins in early adulthood and is characterized by unstable moods, impulsive behavior, frequent bouts of anger, low self-esteem, and emotional instability, among other things. The roller coaster of emotions and behaviors that someone with BPD experiences can cause problems and difficulties at work, in social situations, and in relationships. People with Borderline Personality Disorder also tend to engage in risky or self-injurious behavior. Because of this, it’s important to get help from a licensed psychologist who can assist with emotional regulation and reducing common symptoms such as irritability, impulsivity, and mood swings. One form of treatment that has been found to be particularly effective is Transference-Focused Therapy.
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What is Transference?
Transference is a term used to describe an occurrence whereby an individual redirects the emotions that were originally felt about an important figure (usually in childhood) toward another person who is not that figure. The primary cause of borderline personality disorder is dysfunctional relationships in childhood. The goal of Transference-Focused Therapy is to explore thoughts and emotions related to key figures such as parents and siblings. In doing so, those feelings are often transferred or projected toward the psychologist. Through this transference, problematic thoughts and behaviors can be identified and rectified in order to improve symptoms and work toward building new, healthy relationships.
There are three different types of transference, positive, negative, and sexualized. The following is a brief explanation of each.
This term is used to describe feelings of love, attachment, and idealization that were once felt toward key childhood figures such as a parent. Positive transference occurs when those feelings are transferred to the psychologist during a session.
Just the opposite of positive transference, negative transference is the transfer of hostile or angry feelings that were once felt toward a key childhood figure toward the present-day psychologist.
This form of transference can be difficult to address, but it is nonetheless important for achieving a healthier mental state. Feelings that originated in previous relationships which are then transferred to a psychologist can range from romantic to erotic and everything in between. Although much less common than positive and negative transference, addressing sexual transference and acknowledging even the most uncomfortable feelings is necessary for a complete understanding of internalized thoughts and to reach the desired mental health objective.
Understanding Transference-Focused Psychotherapy
Transference, as it relates to psychotherapy, can provide helpful insight into a client’s struggles that they, themselves, may not have been aware of. It can be used to identify internalized thoughts that contribute to unhealthy behaviors. By addressing these thoughts and feelings as they happen (thanks to transference), individuals can recognize what may be driving their problematic behaviors and develop strategies that will improve interactions and reduce symptoms.
For some, recognizing that past emotions are being transferred to their psychologist can be an uncomfortable and stressful realization. However, working through transferred feelings can be very effective for resolving deep-rooted, past emotions that are contributing to present-day problems.
Other Uses for TFP
While transference-focused psychotherapy (TFP) has been primarily used to help people who have a borderline personality disorder, it may also be applicable in resolving symptoms that may be associated with other mental health conditions. For instance, Transference-Focused Psychotherapy can help with:
- Anger management
- Emotional regulation
- Improving social interaction
- Building healthier relationships
- Reducing thoughts of self-harm
Looking for a Psychologist in Beverly Hills, Irvine, and Newport Beach?
Contact Blair Wellness Group
If you’ve been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, or need help with other personal struggles that are impacting your ability to live a satisfying and productive life, we encourage you to call Blair Wellness Group. Dr. Cassidy Blair is a skilled licensed clinical psychologist dedicated to helping her clients discover effective solutions for a variety of problems and disorders including addiction, anxiety, depression, personality disorders, behavioral issues, relationship troubles, and more. With her expert guidance and help, clients achieve a better understanding of the obstacles to their happiness and mental wellbeing.
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Discover effective solutions for addiction at Blair Wellness Group today. Call us at 310.999.4996 to schedule an appointment. We welcome patients from Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, Irvine, Newport Beach, and the surrounding areas.
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