Transference

Written by Kathi Stringer

Transference is the patient's unrealistic projections onto the therapist. This consists of feelings and attitudes that were experienced previously from other persons in the patients life.

A given example is that the patient might get very angry with the therapist because prior feelings are resurrected, in that the doctor may be much like her mother, who stirred intense anger in her.

Transference is neither negative or positive. it is 'always a distortion.' A projection of emotions from the past to the current objects. (your doctor in this case)

Some transference issues are extremely inconsistent. For example, over-idealization (perceiving the therapist is all knowing) in 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 therapist.

Transferences can also trigger sexual attraction by the patient. There are also psychotic transferences in which the patient doesn’t observe the therapist as a representation of the object, but 'as the object.'

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