Sunday, November 16, 2014

Managing Transference and Countertransference

Transference

⋄ Feelings client projects onto the counselor.
⋄ Have to do with relationship client has experienced in the past.
⋄ Intensity of feelings has to do with unfinished elements of client’s life.
⋄ Client may identify in the therapist characteristics that are reminiscent of the person they are transferring their emotions from.
⋄ Feelings can be productively explored so client becomes aware of how they are keeping an old pattern functional in other present time relationships.
⋄ Therapy becomes an ideal place to become enlightened to patterns in relationship of psychological vulnerability.
⋄ Clients gain insight into how their unresolved issues lead to dysfunctional behavior.
⋄ Group therapy may provide a microcosm of how people function in general social settings.
⋄ Ask client to tell more about how the therapist has affected them to elicit additional information about how the client developed the transference.
⋄ Do not become defensive.
⋄ “I wonder if I remind you of anyone you have had similar feelings with?”
⋄ There is potential for rich therapeutic progress!
⋄ Carefully take on a symbolic role and allow the client to work through their unresolved conflict.


Counter-transference

⋄ Feelings aroused in the counselor by the client.
⋄ Feelings have to do with unresolved conflict from other past or present relationships rather than the therapeutic relationship with this particular client.
⋄ Discuss how you are affected by certain clients in supervision on with a colleague.
⋄ Get other’s perspectives on whether you are maintaining unconditional positive regard.
⋄ Self-knowledge is the basic tool in dealing with Counter-transference.
⋄ Unacknowledged, this can lead to an unproductive group. If leaders are not willing to deal with their own issues, how can they expect clients to do so?
⋄ Counter-transference in groups can be indicated by exaggerated and persistent feelings that tend to recur with various clients of different groups.