Psychiatric therapists and counselors need to be aware of the issues that affect their professional relationship with clients. There are several issues that affect counselor-client relationships and one of these issues is transference and countertransference. Countertransference was first explained by Sigmund Freud as the reactions occurring in the unconscious mind of a therapist or professional due to influence of a patient or client (Schwartz, Smith, & Chopko, 2007).
Countertransference is therefore the effect of a therapist’s personal needs, experiences and biasness on his or her professional work. Countertransference also occurs as a reaction to client transference which is the result of a patient’s perception of relationship with others and with the counselor.
Therapists and counselors need to be familiar with counter transference issues as expression of countertransference may impact and affect the main objective of therapy. For example a male patient can become highly dependent on a female therapist and may seek guidance related to living style, matters of love and other areas and relate to the therapist as a maternal figure.
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