Transference and Projection: Mirrors to the Self

Transference and Projection: Mirrors to the Self

Transference and Projection: Mirrors to the Self

Transference and Projection: Mirrors to the Self

Synopsis

This book describes, defines and demonstrates the clinical applications of transference and projection and how they are used by psychotherapists as 'mirrors to the self' - as reflections of a client's internal structure and core ways of relating to other people. There is an emphasis on understanding transference as a normal organizing process that helps individuals make sense of interpersonal experiences. There is also a focus on how to respond effectively to transference and projection in the day-to-day practice of counselling and psychotherapy. Comprehensive coverage of the ways in which the major schools of psychotherapy understand and utilize such phenomena is also provided. Theoretical principles are illustrated by lively clinical anecdotes from the authors' own psychotherapy practices. Transference and Projection is aimed at advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students of psychotherapy, counselling, counselling psychology and clinical psychology. It will also be of interest to therapy students in professional training courses and experienced clinicians who want to know more about this aspect of psychotherapy.

Excerpt

A major aspect of intellectual and cultural life in the twentieth century has been the study of psychology - present of course for many centuries in practical form and expression in the wisdom and insight to be found in spirituality, in literature and in the dramatic arts, as well as in arts of healing and guidance, both in the East and West. In parallel with the deepening interest in the inner processes of character and relationships in the novel and theatre in the nineteenth century, psychiatry reformulated its understanding of the human mind, and encouraged, in those brave enough to challenge the myths of mental illness, new methods of exploration of psychological processes.

The second half of the twentieth century in particular witnessed an explosion of interest both in theories about personality, psychological development, cognition and behaviour, as well as in the practice of therapy, or perhaps more accurately, the therapies. It also saw, as is not uncommon in any intellectual discipline, battles between theories and therapists of different persuasions, particularly between psychoanalysis and behavioural psychology, and each in turn with humanistic and transpersonal therapies, as well as within the major schools themselves. Such arguments are not surprising, and indeed objectively can be seen as healthy - potentially promoting greater precision in research, alternative approaches to apparently intractable problems, and deeper understanding of the wellsprings of human thought, emotion and behaviour. It is nonetheless disturbing that for many decades there was such a degree of sniping and entrenchment of positions from therapists who should have been able to look more closely at their own responses and rivalries. It is as if . . .

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