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Transference and countertransference: Training for mental health professionals

two people sihluettes showing gears in head transferring between

Trauma that is unhealed, unresolved and unintegrated into a healthy balance within the self has the potential to be repeated, reenacted, acted out, projected, or externalized in relationships.

Working with human suffering on a daily basis and being sensitive to the despair, frustration and fear embodied in our clients is an integral aspect of our work. In order to be effective, we need to be aware of our clients and our own unconscious self-protective reactions (transference/projection). A worker who is unaware or unresponsive to countertransference experiences can be thrown into a cycle of reactivity – both within the specific client dynamic and within one’s own psyche.

In this webinar we will understand the core features of metapsychological phenomena: transference, projection, projective identification, and countertransference. Real case examples will be used from direct service settings to illustrate the complex dialectic of balancing empathic attunement with experiences of empathic strain.

Learning objectives:

  • Understand key self-protective strategies clients use (transference, projection)
  • Understand key self-protective strategies workers use (countertransference)
  • Apply skills in “catching,” repairing and integrating metapsychological phenomena

Please note: Some of the material in this training is also covered in Certificate in trauma counselling for mental health professionals: Level 1.

“I have quite a bit of training and knowledge in this area however I haven’t thought of it from a supervisor stance and I really appreciated that piece of this training. It is extremely applicable and beneficial.”

– Jasmine De Fina, Human Trafficking Specialist, Past Attendee, Transference and countertransference in direct service work, facilitated by Natalie Zlodre, MSW, RSW