The purpose of this discussion post is to attempt to identify potential triggers of countertransference for myself as a clinician. I will also try to identify triggers and potential reactions to manage countertransference as a therapist.Freud’s psychoanalytic theory was developed to treat mental illness and as an aid to explain human behavior. He strongly believed that events that occurred during our childhoods can have a significant impact on our adult lives and shape our personality. There are four components of psychoanalytic technique: interpretation, transference analysis, technical neutrality, and countertransference analysis (Kernberg, 2016).In psychoanalytic theory, transference is defined as “unconscious repetition in the here and now of pathogenic conflicts from the past” (Kernberg, 2016). It describes a situation when the feelings, desires, and expectations of one person are applied, or transferred, to another person. Freud first described this phenomenon in his book Studies in Hysteria, where he noted that he developed intense, unconscious feelings with his patients during treatment. Transference is a common occurrence in psychology and in daily life. Freud considered the analysis of transference to be the “most effective element of psychoanalytic treatment” (Sohtorik Ä°lkmen & Halfon, 2019). It can be both positive and negative. Positive transference can lead to a helpful, therapeutic relationship with a therapist. Negative transference may cause a person in therapy to direct anger towards their therapist. Some common types of transference are maternal and paternal transference. This occurs when a patient treats a therapist as a mother or father figure, respectively. Another type of transference is sexualized transference, which occurs when a person in therapy develops a sexual attraction to their therapist.In contrast, Freud defined countertransference as the result of patients’ influence on the physician’s unconscious feelings and as a personal problem for the analyst (Ladame, 1999). It has been described as “the clinician’s emotions toward a client, typically unconscious in nature, and often a result of displaced emotions, stemming from the clinician’s previous life experience, and having a detrimental effect on the relationship between clinician and client” (Linn-Walton & Pardasani, 2014).As a future APRN, being able to recognize the triggers of countertransference and being able to manage them will be a critical skill to maintain a therapeutic relationship with my patients. In my practice, I can recognize that if someone isn’t being very forthcoming during the therapeutic process, that this may lead me to be more forthcoming with my own life’s experiences, to empathize with my patient, and progress in therapy. While this may be a good example of countertransference, the oversharing of personal experiences can have a detrimental effect and can shift the focus away from the patient. A way to manage this is to recognize that sharing of person experiences can help lead the session, but it shouldn’t eclipse the patient’s experience as the focus of treatment. Another example of a trigger of countertransference would be seeing a patient in therapy who lost their father at a young as, as I did. I would likely be overly sympathetic to this patient, considering their personal loss as my own.ReferencesKernberg O. F. (2016). The four basic components of psychoanalytic technique and derived psychoanalytic psychotherapies. World psychiatry : official journal of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA), 15(3), 287–288. https://doi.org/10.1002/wps.20368Ladame F. (1999). Transference and countertransference: two concepts specific to psychoanalytic theory and practice. Croatian medical journal, 40(4), 455–457.Linn-Walton, R., & Pardasani, M. (2014). Dislikable Clients or Countertransference: A Clinician’s Perspective. The Clinical supervisor, 33(1), 100–121. https://doi.org/10.1080/07325223.2014.924693Sohtorik Ä°lkmen, Y., & Halfon, S. (2019). Transference interpretations as predictors of increased insight and affect expression in a single case of long-term psychoanalysis. Research in psychotherapy (Milano), 22(3), 408. https://doi.org/10.4081/ripppo.2019.408

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