Regardless of approach, countertransference is a vivid reminder of psychotherapy’s essential humanity. We therapists inevitably have unprofessional feelings, make errors, get bored in sessions, express subtle cultural biases and microaggressions. And yet countertransference can be a central component of healing, a roadmap to guide treatment with uncanny accuracy. This workshop will help you put this reframe to practical use. Discover current research on three types of countertransference—unconscious, behavioral, and somatic. Then through case examples and videos, we’ll discuss how to introduce our experiences in ways that open up unaddressed issues and strengthen the therapeutic relationship. You’ll explore:
- How therapists’ feelings mirror the unspoken selves of clients, reveal secrets in families of origin, and signal early termination
- How to use identity, attachment, and transgenerational trauma histories to inform when it’s helpful to bring your own stories and internal experience into treatment
- How to read your somatic states during sessions to guide interactions
- Specific ways to use your own experience to repair the interpersonal ruptures that countertransferences inevitably create
Ron Taffel, PhD, is the chair of the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy in NYC and the author of eight books and over 100 articles on therapy and family life.