Transference is a phenomenon in which one appears to straight feelings or desires pertained to a crucial figure in one’s life—such as a parent—toward someone who is not that person. In the context of psychoanalysis and associated develops of treatment, a patient is thought to show transference when expushing feelings toward the therapist that appear to be based upon the patient’s previous feelings around someone else.

You are watching: The expression toward a therapist of feelings linked with earlier relationships is known as


The concept of transference arised from Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic exercise in the 1890s. Freud thought that childhood experiences and internal problems formed the foundation for one’s breakthrough and personality as an adult. Psychoevaluation aims to uncover those unaware conflicts—which may be responsible for present trends of emovement and also behavior. Transference is one technique via which those disputes might be well-known and, hopefully, readdressed.

If a patient’s mother was exceptionally judgpsychological to her as a boy, and the therapist provides an observation that the patient perceives as judgmental, the patient can expush that and even lash out at the therapist. This response can be interpreted as her using to her therapist the exact same feelings that she felt towards her mother. A patient’s response to a therapist may additionally resemble her response to a romantic companion or some other perboy in her life.

Psychologists argue that transference occurs in daily life, even if it’s more closely examined in particular develops of treatment. For instance, a womale can feel overly protective of a younger friend that reminds her of her baby sister. A young employee can experience the very same type of feelings he has about his father as soon as in the visibility of a boss who resembles the father in some method.

The repetition of emotional responses to one individual (such as a parent) in the context of a various relationship is theorized to take area without mindful awareness. However before, a perkid can become consciously mindful of this pattern. Without a doubt, illustration attention to and seeking to analyze the transference exhibited by a patient is one goal of psychoanalysis and also psychodynamic treatment.

In transference, someone might be described as “projecting” feelings from previous relationships onto the therapist in the existing. But tbelow is likewise a distinct idea of projection—additionally associated through Freud and also psychoanalysis—that indicates attributing one’s own characteristics or feelings to another perchild. In transference, one’s previous feelings toward someone else are felt toward a various perchild in the existing.


While much of Freud’s structure has actually prstove tough to validate empirically, his theories spurred the development of psychology, and a number of his ideas—consisting of transference—remajor pertinent to therapists now. Especially in psychoevaluation and also psychodynamic forms of psychotreatment, transference is taken into consideration a helpful therapeutic tool.

In treatment, both positively and negatively shaded kinds of transference may occur. “Idealized transference” explains as soon as a patient assumes that the therapist has actually certain positive features (such as wisdom). If the positive feelings are not also exaggerated, this create of transference might be helpful for the therapist-patient alliance. Negative transference could be at occupational once a patient has feelings around the therapist, such as suspicion or anger, that seem to be based on experiences from past relationships. 

A patient’s experience of sex-related or romantic feelings around the therapist has actually been dubbed sexualized transference. The concept days ago to Freud, that posited that some patients autumn in love via their therapist bereason of the context of psychoevaluation, not because of the actual characteristics of the therapist. Later theorists distinguimelted in between “erotic transference,” which deserve to involve sex-related fantasies that a patient realizes are unrealistic, and “eroticized transference”—an extra intense and also problematic pattern that may encompass explicit sexual overtures from a patient.

Many type of therapists think about transference and its interpretation to be a therapeutic opportunity. By bringing attention to a relational dynamic—such as a tendency to feel disproportionately angry or anxious in specific kinds of interactions—a therapist have the right to try to aid a patient understand and attend to trends that can add to problems external of therapy. However before, in some situations, such as once a patient mirrors hostility toward the therapist, or overt sex-related interest, transference might pose a risk to the therapeutic relationship that needs to be controlled. 

When a therapist recognizes that transference is developing, it deserve to be an chance to determine an underlying difficulty to deal with and also resolve. Raising the issue could administer something of an “aha moment” to patients that might not have been able to spot the problematic pattern prior to. But pointing this out isn’t easy—it may upset the client or prevent them from opening up. The therapist would likely consider the relationship they have through the client, the level of trust the 2 have developed, and also whether the moment is best when deciding whether to call out transference.

Countertransference refers to a therapist’s reactions to a patient, consisting of a therapist’s emotional responses to a patient’s feelings. As as soon as a patient seems to “transfer” feelings about someone else to the therapist, the therapist might have actually certain feelings around the patient—annoyance, perhaps—that could be partly connected to irpertinent components, such as the patient’s resemblance to an additional (annoying) perkid. 

Directing feelings of attraction, anger, or other emovements towards a patient have the right to carry out insight or perhaps damage the partnership, so it have the right to advantage therapists (and patients) to be mindful of the phenomenon and also attend to it if essential. Therapists that recognize that their emotional response to a patient may hinder their capacity to job-related with them objectively might readjust accordingly. A therapist may also usage monitorings of their feelings around a patient to make inferences about just how other people can feel around the patient.

See more: Why Does My Indent Go Too Far ? Why Does Pressing Tab Indent Too Far

The concept of the therapist as a “empty screen” or “mirror” is traditionally thought about vital in psychoanalytic therapy: In brief, the therapist seeks to reprimary rather anonymous to the patient. The aim is to permit elements of the patient’s unmindful to pertained to light in the interactions via the therapist—consisting of via transference, which is theorized to be more likely when a therapist does not disclose also a lot about themselves.


Making a living in mental fact takes even more of a mental toll than many kind of other professions. No one tells you this going in, but after 50 years, you recognize it coming out.



, through Wikimedia Commons" loading="lazy" />