Transference and counter transference are words often associated with Psychodynamic/Psychoanalytical therapies, predominantly those of Freud. It refers to the feelings, thoughts, emotions, and actions passed between therapist and client, often subconsciously. If the client dislikes managers because they all bully them and the client sees some of these traits in the counsellor they can react the same as they may do with their manager, they transfer the emotion across. However, if the client really likes females as all their friends are females them a female therapist will receive extra adoration. None of this is intentional or conscious. Often the counsellor picks up that they are being treated badly (like the manager) or wonderfully (like the friend). Here the therapy can start, the counsellor can analyse their feelings and reflect back to the client, and between them they may hopefully realise the that client is acting in a certain way based on their presumptions about people and thus help change the clients attitude or actions.

The importance here is that you too can pick up on transference and counter-transference. If you notice someone is always grumpy with you and no one else, think if it may be the way you act with them, are you putting your guard up first as they remind you of someone you don’t like? Is this then making them pick up on your negative mood and reflect it back at you? If so what is it about that person? Now you are conscious of this fact, you can start your own thinking process.

If you are in the Stoke-on-Trent or Newcastle-under-Lyme area and if you would like help with anything mentioned about or would like some basic counselling skills training please do contact Wright Minds.