Countertransference

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Countertransference

Tina Huley

Psychology: Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Professor: Dr. Yvonne Patterson
Chicago State University

Countertransference

Countertransference is the therapist’s unconscious emotional responses when a client discusses a therapist’s unresolved issue. The counselor’s thoughts and feelings in reaction to the client can be from the client themselves or events in the counselor’s own life. Counselors should monitor their feelings while working with their clients. Counselors who are aware about their personal issues allow them to manage countertransference. They can feel empathy for their clients and compassion which is helpful in the therapeutic process. Therapists who manages countertransference recognizes their reactions and how it affects the therapy process.

A counselor’s unresolved issue is the basis of countertransference. When a client talk about issues related to a therapist’s unresolved issue, the therapist tends to avoid the issue, according to Rosenberger and Hayes article. They will talk about the issue less in sessions with the client. Counselors dealing with unresolved issues pertaining to anger are more comfortable and anxious with angry clients. Therapists showing avoidance behaviors can cause clients to view them as being incompetent and untrustworthy.

I agree with the findings in this article. Therapist avoidance also effects the working alliance, the therapist’s social influence, and the sessions. The article discusses what happens when a client brings up issues that are related to a therapist’s unresolved conflict. Managed countertransference results in improvement in insight, self-awareness, and resolution in therapy.

A counselor’s ability to respond with empathy, genuineness, respect, acceptance, and caring influences the process of helping the client to identify their problems. Counselors must be able to pay attention to their clients. They must be able to...
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