Transference is a phenomena in psychology in which we project on people expectations and judgments based on past experiences. Sometimes it is age related, other times gender, it can be as simple as how someone looks or speaks, or something different altogether. It is something that, as counselors, we are very aware of and try to prepare for. Will we remind a patient of a significant other? An ex? A parent? A friend? Even though we know that you know that we are not that person, subconsciously, you may still treat us differently based on the transference. For example, I remind a child of an adult she doesn’t trust, so she is less likely to talk to me during session.
Transference is how you feel about me. Countertransference, is how I feel about you back. As human beings, of course we react to each other. You react to me based on your experiences and I react back to you based on mine. We both respond to our treatment of each other. Together, transference and countertransference can be both powerful tools or destructive forces in a therapeutic relationship.
Transference and countertransference exist in more than just a therapeutic setting. They are clinical-speak for how we all react and interact to each other every day. My new boss reminds me of an old boss so I’m cautious. A new friend reminds you of a bad relationship so you take your time. There are endless occurrences in our daily lives. I had an employer in my college days who explained to me his “Mirror theory,” in which he believed that generally people feel about you the way you feel about them. Thinking about transference and countertransference, this may often be true!
How do transference and countertransference apply to you as a creative person? Studies have shown that people are drawn to creative personalities. The unique ways of thinking and seeing the world that are innate to you, are attractive to others. This is a part of what draws people to your creative works as well. Additionally, research indicates that creative people, when in the presence of other creative people, can transfer creative energy to each other in a positive way.
So we see that our judgements about others are natural and based on our experiences. In turn, these impact their experiences of us and our relationships together. Creatively, our personalities are exciting and magnetic, and a good way to recharge those creative batteries is to get together with other creative people. Creativity isn’t just what you do, it is who you are! The more you learn about your creative personality, the more you will begin to understand the healing and positive impact it has on you and those around you. It is how you live your best life!
(c) 2017 CREATIVELY, LLC
The information provided in this blog is from my own clinical experiences and training. It is intended to supplement your clinical care. Never make major life changes before consulting with your treatment team. If you are unsure of your safety or wellbeing, do not hesitate to get help immediately.