“They behave towards their therapists as they perceive themselves to have been treated by their absent parents. They make their therapists feel very fully what it is like to be discarded, ignored, despised, helpless or even unreal and non-existent. (...) What needs to be understood in such situations is not that the child is perceiving the therapist as the insufficiently caring parent of his past experiences and revenging himself. Beyond this the child is also reversing the original situation. This time the child is identifying himself as the cruel, rejecting but powerful person and it is the therapist who is to feel rejected, hurt, helpless and…to feel the pangs of betrayal of trust and affection. In such situations the therapist cannot become genuinely trustworthy in the child’s eyes until experience has shown that he has the strength to contain the projections of the feelings that the child finds intolerable.”

Ved P. Varma, Stress in Psychotherapists
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Stress in Psychotherapists Stress in Psychotherapists by Ved P. Varma
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