In the last post, I explained as best I could in as concise a way as possible here the basics of how transference works in a therapist/patient relationship.
In this post, I'll touch on how transference can lead to problems for both parties involved in therapy, ie the therapist and the patient.
In a normal (if anything to do with hypnotherapy can be labelled as such) therapy situation, transference is a good thing and is encouraged by the hypnotherapist as powerful means of completing a client's analysis.
However, things rarely go so smoothly as the textbooks would have you believe.
In most hypno-analysis treatments, it is quite normal for a positive transference bond to form between a female client and myself. This is expected and not often a problem.
What happens is that the client will form an attraction for the therapist especially where there are opposite genders involved, which is more often than not the case.
Male / Female
This is because it is common for a male client to favour therapy with a female therapist and a female client to favour therapy with a male therapist.
At first, you might feel that this is strange, especially as there has been rare occasions where a male therapist has been accused of molesting a female client. This is a worrying situation to occur and there's no point trying to sweep it under the carpet, because is does happen from time to time. And not just with different forms of therapies.
Doctors, dentists and even gynecologists have been accused of similar abuses of their trust. But I digress into territory that is not within the scope of this post.
Suffice it to say that despite any fears that a female client may have about seeing a male therapist (the opposite scenario rarely if ever has similar problems), in most therapies undertaken by clients the choice of an opposite sex therapist is the usual preference.
One such problem that I encountered first hand was that of an extremely strong transference with a female client.
On this particular occasion, the client felt that she had fallen completely in love with her therapist (me) and took it upon herself to exhibit an extreme form of jealousy at the fact that I was actually living with my partner at the time. It got so bad that she used turn up at my consulting rooms on days she was not scheduled to and often would wait outside in her car for me to finish my day's work.
Therapy sessions became difficult, as you can imagine as she was often unwilling to leave at the end of the sessions. Luckily I managed to diffuse the problem professionally by using subtle suggestions to reduce the effect.
That's a technique that I had to master quickly and make sure I was very, very careful with my wording of such suggestions, because one false move could have had disastrous results.
That could have generated what is known as "negative transference" and I'll cover that topic in a future post.
[BACK TO TOP]
Posted on Thu 11 Oct, 2007 in Hypnotherapy | 3 Comments
Last Updated on Mon 9 May, 2022