Assignment: Transference in Therapeutic setting
Assignment: Counter transference in Therapeutic setting
Respond to at least two colleagues who identified strategies different from your own by proposing alternative strategies.
Colleague 1: Christine
Counter transference occurs as a reactionary behavior by the service provider as they direct emotion or feeling onto the client. This can looks like and mean various things for the provider while meeting with a client. I’ve seen this amongst co-workers in the fashion of meeting with clients that are either the offender, or the abuser in a scenario, which would mostly be indirect feelings or emotions in regard to having worked with clients that have a background of being the abuser or someone that has a criminal sexual charge. I’ve seen providers project feelings onto these individuals with a less empathetic approach than say if they were working with the actual victim.
Handling counter transference in a therapeutic setting can be difficult for the provider and the client. However, approaches can be taken to either avoid or dismantle these unconscious feelings. First, I think recognizes these feelings is crucial toward any situation where this may arise. Moving this unconscious emotion to the conscious state of awareness will be key in creating healthy boundaries between the provider and the client. Meanwhile, this can provide the effective mode of therapy both parties seek. By becoming aware of such emotion, the service provider will have more opportunities to discover those underlying motives or needs in the client through assessment. Understanding and becoming aware of those triggers from clients is important as well. When we are aware of our triggers we can become better equipped toward that empathy we seek as providers and dismantle any personal conviction we may have. This can lead to a well-rounded understanding of cultural competence. As service providers we can also keep unwarranted self disclosure out of our work. Excessive disclosure may allow for those unwarranted emotions from the provider onto the client. Keeping within our professional boundaries is key here. Staying away from becoming over-involved, feelings of blame onto other’s as the provider and really pushing the client to change due to personal convictions are all motives to discover ways to change the professional relationship.
Transference can be exhibited by the client toward the service provider as a way of projecting fears, or emotions onto the provider. These emotions can be generated from past experiences or trauma and isn’t always viewed as negative or positive in the helping relationship. There can be many ways this will be seen in a helping relationship with ideas from the client of association toward the provider, negative feelings, or even romantic feelings toward the provider. I saw this a few times in my field work while working with younger clients. I once had a male client view me as his mother after meeting with him over time. Here, the first thing I did was seek supervision as this was all new to me. Seeking supervision assisted me toward understanding new approaches and building boundaries between me and said client. There was also a decrease in our meetings with each other, for which allowed my client to gain more independence in self and less dependence on me. I also found after seeking supervision that opening the table up more for discussion in regard to feelings and boundaries, the client and I were able to gain insight on the differences of emotion and feelings. This allowed for our working relationship to grow and it also assisted him in other unhealthy situations in his life. The insight gained here allowed him to grow a new perspective on self-sustainability and grow more independent toward reaching his goals.