TRANSPARENCY & TRANSFERENCE IN THERAPY

Transference involves false connections and new editions of old impulses.

In regard to Transference, Yalom believed that:

1. It does happen.
2. It is important to understand.
3. If the therapist attends only to transference (or not to it at all), then he/or she is blinded.
4. Some clients require it, others do not.
5. Attitudes toward the therapist are not all distortions.

In group therapy:

1. Most clients have conflicts toward parental authority, dependency, God, autonomy, rebellion - all are personified by therapist.
2. Watch seating patterns (dependency).
3. Clients distort - research shows that they perceive therapists very differently, but they perceive other clients accurately.
4. Watch out for favorite child syndrome.
5. The leader should have no favorites.
6. It is important to treat all clients as EQUALLY as possible.
7. Transference leads clients to see the therapist as superhuman (in other words, what the therapist does/or does not do will not matter).
8. Fees should be set.
9. Sometimes members challenge therapists continuously, other times they are subservient; for example, counterdependents often have great dependent needs that they project onto the therapist.
10. The most common complaint in group therapy is that the therapist appears aloof.

Group leaders may be seen unrealistically because:

1. True transference or displacement is happening.
2. The group members have conflicted attitudes toward authority.
3. Clients imbue therapists as gods to shield against their own existential dread.

There is no need to evoke transference; it happens, and resolution is the goal!

To facilitate transference:

1. Validate clients' impressions regarding others in group
2. Demonstrate increased therapist transparency. This happens when the therapist shares feelings and supports or refutes motives/feelings attributed to him/or her.
3. The therapist should look at his/or her own blind spots and respect feedback offered.
4. The group therapist gradually begins to interact more with each of the members as time goes on; interpersonal learning takes place.