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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After awhile, I think any good internet forum that deals with mental health - or selfhelp - will from time to time fall under the umbrella of "group therapy" dynamics. We definitely don't want to encourage that - but reality is, it just happens.

After awhile, it's human nature to relate to a place like this as one's family - just like you would with a good group of close friends, or with people who were stranded with you on a desert island (which is very similar to be "stranded" together in dp land, if you really think about it)

When we DO that, when we start to relate to a group as a family - just around the corner is Transference. We start to treat the group in very familiar patterns - we do what worked for us as children - or we do its opposite, we sometimes try to UNdo what did not work by playing the other role in the repetition. At any rate, we are reacting to an entirely different group of people AS IF they are the interalized people inside our minds.

We might be playing out the past - that's one version of Transference, where we are assuming other people are like our family was - and we are expecting to be treated the same way, so we somehow manage to INVOKE that kind of treatment - a self-fulfilling prophecy sometimes.

Or we might not be playing out the past, but instead playing out the INNER theatre of our minds - trying so hard to see ourselves a certain way, that we desperately try to force others to FIT the image that would support the image of self we want to see.

Point is, we are hardly SEEING the other people at all. We are "using" all real interactions as props and stages for the INNER dramas we are needing to see played out in front of us. VERY little to do with reality, and yet, boy it feels SO real and SO accurate. That's the "joy" of transference blindness. ANd we all do it.

It's not insane, not psychotic, just a normal neurotic response to any group that begins to take the form of "family surrogate" and becomes a kind of informal group therapy. Just remember, there is NO group therapy leader here. Nor should there be. There are moderators - really here only to move posts to better forums, or to delete truly unacceptable posts - but we are not here to referee conflicts that start up among members. TOtally inappropriate to expect us to treat anyone here as a child. EVERYone is grown up enough to post, to form connections with each other, to form friendships and/or to co-create problems. That's adult. And as adults, each of us must wade our ways out of any interpersonal disturbances we might find ourselves in.

On some level I know you guys already know all this.

But....when that Group Therapy dynamic gets activated - we forget what we know. And we get plugged into very old memories of wanting some perfect parent (the Group Leader) to FIX things, to stop the nasty brothers and sisters, etc. and to stick up for us and make us feel special and well taken care of. That's fine in group therapy - where there is a Leader, but this is different. NOBODY is in the role of Mother here (especially not me, lol...I am happy to offer guidance re: dp and mental symptoms, but that is entirely different). The point also is that even IN a group therapy, the leader would very quickly try to establish that she is NOT there to referee or fix conflicts - only to serve as a GUIDE. The "kids" want to let go and be wild and have the perfect Mom (or Dad) fly in to save the day when/if it gets ugly. That is not helpful at ALL for adults. In truth, we need to learn to do exactly the opposite - to take much BETTER care of ourselves and to not expect anyone else to do it for us. In a nutshell, that is a HUGE piece of the recovery process in general.
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