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Transference and Countertransference

Defining, Detecting and Decoding
by

R. Betting

on 26 October 2013

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Transcript of Transference and Countertransference

Defining, Detecting and Decoding
Transference
and Countertranference:

Rana Betting, MFT
"Reference for this presentation:
Tranference and Countertransference in
Non-Analytic Therapy: Double Edged Swords"

by Judith A. Schaeffer, Ph.D
Defining Transference:
Detecting Transference:
Decoding Transference:
October 26, 2013
Defining Countertransference:
Detecting Countertransference:
Decoding Countertransference:
Transference:
in the context of therapy refers to the phenomenon of the client transferring unconscious feelings or beliefs about a significant person in their lives onto the therapist.

Transference can be categorized as either positive or negative.
Examples:

Positive: when the client likes the therapist or when the client's material is positive
looks like: listens, compliments, cooperative, sees therapist as god-like/guru

Negative: when the client doesn't like the therapist or when the client's material is negative
looks like: anger, hatred, rage, mistrust, defensive or argumentative in session
Since transference material is largely unconscious it will not come in the form of direct communication. You will have to notice the subtle cues:
be aware of emotions in client's facial expressions, body language
be aware of themes (vs. content) found in client's discussion topics, dreams
notice client "tests" (both overt and covert)
notice your own anxiety levels and other emotions as you carry the client's material
notice your own somatic reactions as you sit with the client.
In treatment video clip?
Ask yourself:
"Is this countertransference or a transference reaction?"
Transference usually falls under one or more
3 main categories:
fears
hopes/desires
other motivations
simple transference:
client sees therapist in the same way as the "other."

complex transference:
client sees the therapist as being like what they WISH the "other" COULD have been like.
client sees the therapist like they were as a child and client acts like the "other" did.
client sees the therapist as they were as a child and acts like they WISHED the "other" could have acted.
do we need a break?
consider a hypothesis on the meaning of the transference.
consider the impact making an interpretation will have on your client.
verify hypothesis in the form of a question.
be open to client's feedback/redirection.
do we have time for an example?
Countertransference:

Refers to the phenomenon of the therapist's own emotions, behaviors and/or somatic responses triggered by similarities that a client has to someone or something in the therapist's life.
Also seen as:
therapist emotional entanglement with the client
therapist projecting their own unresolved conflicts onto the client
nuerotic impediment to the treatment process

Why so negative?
Like Transference, Countertransference can be positive or negative

You either like the client or you don't

Or your material is either positive or negative
Countertransference can overlap and merge with transference.

notice emotions that come up in session or after
be aware of your choice of words, facial expressions, gestures, or body language
notice any somatic symptoms you have during or after session
track any dreams or fantasies you have about your client
Reactions to watch out for:
retaliation
withdrawing
avoiding topics or changing the subject
sexual feelings for client
resentment
boundary crossings
intense somatic expressions
wanting approval from clients
Know Thyself!
Archetypal Dynamics that often Trigger Countertransference:

Attachment and Intimacy
Authority
Sexuality
Ask yourself again:

"Is this countertransference or a transference reaction?"
Make sure to utilize supervision to address countertransference.


Always make sure you add a T and CT section to your case presentations or make it the focus of your case presentation.
do we have time
for an example?
Full transcript