Transference: Psychoanalysis and Mental Health Review Essay

Transference occurs when a person takes the perceptions and expectations of one person and projects them onto another person. They then interact with the other person as if the other person is that transferred pattern. According to psychoanalytic theory, transference evolves from unresolved or unsatisfactory childhood experiences in relationships with parents or other important figures (Wilson & Kneisl, 1996).

The concept of transference is one of the foundations of psychoanalysis as developed by Sigmund Freud. Transference is manifested against the counselor is the best insight on which the counselor can help bring unconscious feeling and experiences from the past that impact here-and-now behavior into the conscious mind. Some transference issues are extremely inconsistent.

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Transference can cause problems in a least two areas: (1) Since transference is the product of the patient’s internal world, no person can actually fill that role, then along comes the disappointment, and rage, or (2) transference reaches into the patients world outside of the therapy office, others and relationships, and they not able to measure up to the projected transference of the counselor. Transferences can also trigger sexual attraction by the patient.

There are also psychotic transferences in which the patient doesn’t observe the counselor as a representation of the object, but ‘as the object (Kathi’s Mental Health Review 2011). At Greenbough Nursing Center, the client population that I serve is the elderly. So far, I have experienced two encounters with transference. The first encounter comes from clients that fears disapproval and rejection from others and worries constantly about the judgment or criticism from their counselor when they start to talk about a certain topic or feel a particular feeling.

The second encounter comes from clients that struggle with anger and hostility may find themselves struggling with anger and hostility toward the counselor. When I first seen the encounters from the clients, I was very shock and didn’t know how to address the problem. After meetings and trainings, my supervisor have shown me that when working with clients in group sessions/individual sessions, clients will be able to recognize within themselves their feelings and reactions by talking with them. They will eventually willing to share and explore their feelings and the counselor can better address and assist the clients.

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