The importance of countertransference between client and counselor

Clients will best be served by facilitating the development of empowerment. They may also fail to confront clients when they behave inappropriately or destructively. Provide a sense of mission. Responsibility of the Agency To Support the Counselor Alcohol and drug counselors are often subject to great stress.

Establishing trust is broadly accepted as fundamental to the development of a therapeutic relationship. Some clients may need ongoing support for dealing with difficulties with their children or suicidal feelings.

The Therapy Relationship in Multicultural Psychotherapy

Provide or facilitate ongoing clinical supervision--if possible, by someone with a specialty in the area of child abuse and neglect. Theory and practice 6th ed. Unfortunately, some counselors do become sexually involved with their clients, thus exploiting the counseling relationship and violating the trust the client has placed in them.

In extreme cases, the relationship can cease to be beneficial as it becomes overly personal, with the attendant loss of objectivity that is necessary in a professional relationship Briere, Your patient is spending good money on counseling services and deserves fairness and honesty from you.

How to Build a Trusting Counselor Patient Relationship

Clients should be encouraged to examine the feelings rather than act on them. Its importance is highlighted in work with abuse survivors because of the nature of the injury caused by the abuse--it was often caused by someone in close relationship to the client, on whom she was dependent, and from whom she should have received care and protection.

Recognize and reward the work of the staff on a regular basis e. The counselor who is repeatedly confronted by disclosures of victimization and exploitation, especially between parent and child, may experience symptoms of trauma, such as disturbing dreams, free-floating anxiety, or increased difficulties in personal relationships.

Disruptive behavior can best be contained if the counselor stays in his role, maintaining calm, comforting, reinforcing behavior that is appropriate for the approach and setting.


As well as taking steps to ensure their own safety, it is the responsibility of counselors to create and maintain a safe environment in which clients can explore and address issues.

In reality, the client sets the pace in how they accept and apply the counseling they are receiving. The counselor should remind the client repeatedly of the purpose of their sessions, emphasizing what she and the client will and will not do as part of the relationship.

It is wise to discuss in advance with clients the confidentiality and boundary issues that could arise in these situations. However, it is appropriate to use authority and security personnel when physical harm is threatened. Setting and maintaining boundaries is especially critical in treating survivors of childhood abuse and neglect.


Some counselors are recovering from substance abuse disorders and were themselves abused or neglected as children, and they may find themselves in a professional situation where they have to confront their own abuse experience and its impact on their lives.

For example, a client may arrive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It is the client's responsibility to behave in ways that do not threaten others either physically or emotionally. Although the counselor may be tempted to directly advise a client against such a relationship, it is far more useful to work with the client to explore any propensity to excessive risks or self-endangerment.

At the same time, the counselor should keep in mind that the feelings clients evoke in a counselor are likely to be feelings that clients are evoking in their daily interactions with others.

The real relationship in psychotherapy: Transference Transference generally refers to feelings and issues from the past that clients transfer or project onto the counselor in the current relationship. Establishing the Treatment Frame and Special Issues Counselors should develop and maintain a treatment frame--those conditions necessary to support a professional relationship.

This reaction represents an attempt to avoid and distance oneself from the uncomfortable issues raised by the abuse. The counselor can explain that the "attractive" aspects of their relationship, such as trust and feeling safe, are qualities that clients will want to look for in their personal relationships.

One prominent way of conceptualizing the therapy relationship is in terms of a working alliance i. Counselors experiencing these symptoms may lose perspective and become either over- or underinvested in a client Briere, ; Pearlman and Saakvitne, This is relevant for all therapists, since we are all socialized beings whose values, beliefs, worldviews, and expectations influence the formation and development of therapeutic relationships.TRANSFERENCE AND COUNTERTRANSFERENCE C.

H. PATTERSON (Chapter 9 inCounseling and Psychotherapy: Theory and York: Harper & Row, ) As rapport is an overworked word with counselors, so is transference among psychotherapists. TRANSFERENCE AND COUNTERTRANSFERENCE C. H. PATTERSON total relationship between the therapist and client.

This total relationship is, however, sometimes Its significance in the client-centered approach to counseling and psychotherapy will then be considered, and a discussion of countertransference will conclude the chapter.

The current study explores the relationship between countertransference and the chemical importance of counselors being self aware of countertransference and the impact it has on client the psychological transferring of feelings from counselor to client during the course of treatment (Jones, ).

Countertransference, a concept originally developed by Sigmund Freud, occurs when a therapist transfers emotions to a client. Transference was a word coined by Sigmund Freud to label the way patients "transfer" feelings from important persons in their early lives, onto the psychoanalyst or therapist.

Countertransference, which occurs when a therapist transfers emotions to a person in therapy, is often a reaction to transference, a phenomenon in which the person in treatment redirects feelings.

What is Countertransference? Download
The importance of countertransference between client and counselor
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