Trauma that is unhealed, unresolved and unintegrated into a healthy balance within the self has the potential to be repeated, reenacted, acted out, projected or externalized in relationships. 

Working with human suffering on a daily basis and being sensitive to the despair, frustration and fear embodied in our clients is an integral aspect of our work.  In order to be effective we need to be aware of our clients and our own unconscious self-protective reactions (transference/projection).  A worker who is unaware or unresponsive to countertransference experiences can be thrown into a cycle of reactivity, both within the specific client dynamic and within the one’s own psyche.  

In this workshop we will understand the core features of metapsychological phenomena: Transference, Projection, Projective Identification and Countertransference.  We will use real case examples from direct service settings to illustrate the complex dialectic of balancing empathic attunement with experiences of empathic strain.

Participants will learn to:

  • Understand key self-protective strategies clients use (transference, projection)
  • Understand key self-protective strategies workers use (countertransference)
  • Apply skills in 'catching', repairing and integrating metapsychological phenomenon