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Written by Gladeana in Coaching Tools Transference and Counter Transference are not the easiest of concepts to understand and many new coaches find these difficult.
It is where the individual transfers feelings and attitudes from a person or situation in the past on to a person or situation in the present and where the process is likely to be, at least to some degree, inappropriate to the present.
Although the concept is originally a therapeutic one, it is also used to understand what can happen in any type of relationship whether personal or professional such as that experienced in the coaching relationship.
The feelings that your client experiences in relation to you as his or her coach or to a colleague or manager is what is referred to as transference. Depending on that relationship a client may either form a positive or negative transference.
For example, if someone had difficulties with their parents or some other influential person such as a Head Teacher, they transfer without their conscious knowledge these feelings. For example, managers, the Police or you as a coach.
It is irrelevant whether that individual has power or not, as it is all about unconscious processes and perceptions the client has. The example above is what could be termed a negative transference. However, if the individual had a wonderful mother who was supportive and kind it is possible the client may see you as such.
Such a client may be wonderful to work with because they have made a positive transference of these qualities on to you. Transference is seen as being a general phenomena and for those who believe in its existence is one that is acted out by everyone and often contributes to the decisions we make about those we chose as friends and partners as well as towards those we may not like without that person doing anything other being him or herself.
A positive transference is one where the client experienced positive feelings towards an individual based on the person in their past and a negative transference is just the opposite.
If they have negative feelings then it is these that the person transfers onto the individual. In this case the term Counter Transference is used to describe the unconscious feelings you may experience towards your coaching client based on the way the client is acting towards you.
Again this could either be a positive or negative Counter Transference. Therefore as a coach the concepts of Transference and Counter Transference are ones that we need to keep in mind. Some examples of transference could include where your client may have had painful experiences and finds trusting people difficult and is therefore is mistrustful of you and what you can offer being challenging to work with.
Alternatively, perhaps your client is anxious about rejection and is keen to seek your approval at all times. An example of counter transference could be where you are seeing the client who finds it hard to trust people as above. It may take a session or two but you start to see a pattern in their behaviour and realize that you find yourself feeling under pressure to placate and reassure your client over and above the way that you would normally feel or behave towards your other clients.
Transference and counter transference is something that is best addressed in your coaching supervision. You and your coaching supervisor can explore this in relation to your work with you client and how these concepts may be acted out in your coaching.
By doing this you can then go on to consider how such concepts are affecting your work with the client and what, if anything, you need to do to ensure a healthy and productive relationship is maintained between you and your client.Client resistance to transference analysis is a crucial issue in the psychodynamic psychotherapies where transference is central to the work.
Client willingness and ability to examine the client-therapist interaction include some of the following forms of resistance. The goal of this course is to provide students with core concepts used in direct social work practice with client systems. An ecological/systems perspective of person-in-environment is used to anchor generic concepts for a range of practice situations.
A review of empirical support for the psychodynamic approach can be found in Shedler J, "The Efficacy of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy," American Psychologist , (Feb-Mar ). Introduction. Touch is one of the most essential elements of human development, a profound method of communication, a critical component of the health and growth of infants, and a powerful healing force (Bowlby, ; Harlow, , ; Barnett, ).
Leave, Part I - I’m definitely one for working relational issues through, but I can see two reasons to leave therapy due to transference. The first is if it has no impact on the rest of your life. Akande, R.
(). A Sign for the Therapeutic Relationship. Reformulation, 29, pp 6 - Appleby, K. (). Cognitive Analytic Therapy - its influence on my practice in the Occupational Health Speciality within a Clinical Psychology and Counselling Service.