NAME :- MD. ATAULLAH
CUHP 15 MSW 15
CENTRAL UNIVERSITY OF
What is transference?
Redirection of a client's feelings from a significant person to a
Transference is often manifested as an erotic attraction towards a
therapist, but can be seen in many other forms such as rage, hatred,
mistrust, parentification, extreme dependence, or even placing the
therapist in a god-like or guru status.
TRANSFERENCE IN SOCIAL
‘Transfer’ was introduced into social work literature by Jessie Taft
in1924 who described it as “an emotional relationship to the client”.
Hamilton defines transference as a carrying over of irrational elements
from other, relationships, particularly in the past, displaced on to the
social worker, reflecting unconscious motivation.
In this sense, the therapeutic relationships would be viewed as a
transference relationship, as opposed to a real relationship, thus
permitting the worker to insulate himself or herself from any true
reactions and personally meaningful interactions with the client
A from a home where his father was an arrogant and domineering person.
As a man the client has never been able to get along with his boss or any
other figure of authority. In the case work situation, he transfers to the case
worker hostile feelings of the type of he originally felt toward hi father and
accuse the case worker of the same arrogant treatment at the hands of his
Because the transference between patient and therapist happens on
an unconscious level
Anxiety and social isolation may lead to the therapist being central in a
client’s life; as such they may be one of their only social contacts
Reduced opportunities for romantic interests (Asperger’s, LD, etc.)
People with ‘Borderline Personality Disorder’ or very difficult interpersonal
relationship styles, where they shift rapidly from loving and hating and see
self and others as ‘all good’ or ‘all bad.’ This can be played out in the
Continue..Clients may have low self-worth, and feel that you as the therapist are a
good role model and over identify with you.
We may be asking clients about very difficult things that evoke negative
emotions. We then may be central in re-experiencing those emotions,
almost as if we are the personification of them
Potential difficult outcomes in
We may reject the client, or fear we will.
We May being complicit to their ‘maladaptive’ relationship patterns
We may disclose information, which we are later uncomfortable about, so
that the client is not so hurt (e.g. I am married with children)
Difficulty in managing boundaries
Breakdown in therapeutic alliance
USE OF TRANSFERENCE
There are three stages in dealing and using transference in social
casework. these stages are:
1. Understanding the Transference
2. Utilizing the transference.
3. Interpreting the transference.
Understanding of the transference is essential for the worker as it helps
to understand the behaviour of the client and to recognize its significance
in his development process.
It also explains the present unconscious needs of the client.
Understanding of the transference of factors i.e. the present behaviour
and problem, the environmental forces, the past experiences and earlier
Utilizing the transference
Utilization of the transference depends on the understanding of the
social case worker of the phenomena.
It explains many cures or treatments of emotional disturbance by life
situations and by fortune relationships with other problems
Interpreting the transference
The interpretation of the transference, that is, confronting the individual
with the awareness that his behaviour is the repetition of a specific
unconscious infantile is definitely part of psycho – analytical therapy and
requires is preparation of the individual by the careful analysis of his
transference helps in treatment in a number of ways.
1. The mature ego strengths of the worker serve to reinforce the weak ego strengths of the client.
2. The client feels relaxed.
3. The client starts abandoning resistances.
4. He perceives the problem situation more realistically.
5. The worker , when he does not respond neurotically, helps the client to see and bear the reality.
6. Identification with the worker gradually helps the client to strengthen his ego power and capacity
for reality testing and problem solving
The effects of transference are many but it is the leaven of treatment,
not treatment itself.
Counter-transference is defined as redirection of a therapist's feelings
toward a client
it’s a therapist's emotional entanglement with a client
Relationship is a two way process.
Social case worker has also unconscious tendency to transfer out the
As in the case of transference, these counter transference feelings,
both positive an negative, are unconscious but operate with force.
Therefore, it is the job of case worker to recognize his feelings and must
A therapist's attunement to his own counter transference is nearly as
critical as his understanding of the transference
For example, if a male therapist feels a very strong sexual attraction to
a female patient, he must understand this as counter transference and
look at how the client is attempting to elicit this reaction in him
Some reasons for counter-
Client reminds us of someone we have or had strong feelings for
(positive or negative)
We over identify with them (difficulties we have resolved in the
past/similar personality/social standing/age/gender etc.)
Feeling parental towards client
( just to normalize this a bit and Pope & Tabachnik, (1993)* found that
the vast majority of therapists (87%) had been sexually attracted to at
least one if not more of their clients)
Potential Difficult Outcomes of
Inappropriate levels of disclosure that compounds transference
Not working with the countertransference
Not acknowledging the countertransference
Therapeutic alliance breaking down
Unable to discuss case reflectively in supervision
Reinforcing Client’s and own relationship patterns
Difficulty ending therapi
What can we do?
Am I responding in a way that feels like me?
Do I associate this client with anyone else?
What feelings do I have about them?
Are those feelings only those that I as a professional have towards all my clients or are
Why am Feeling this?
How is it impacting on my work with this client?
What can we do?
Use supervision, more, not less
Reflective and reflexive practice is key
Accept that feelings towards a client is normal, and work with that
Talk about the relationship in the therapy room
Be consistent with boundaries
Transference and counter transference are barriers for the case work in
achieving goal. Sometimes it may help for the treatment. Here, case
worker should be conscious about it. Otherwise it may leads to break
the professional boundaries of case work.