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The Countertransference 'Trap' 

Within the Therapeutic Process of Addictions and Mental Health


Countertransference occurs when a therapist (or social worker) transfers emotions to a person in therapy. It is often a reaction to transference, a phenomenon in which the person in treatment redirects feelings for others onto the therapist.

Our history and experiences can be helpful, but also can be harmful to therapeutic work. Our histories, especially when we are not aware, must not enter into the work with our clients. 

Having insight into our countertransference reactions is critical to a ‘do no harm approach, for the highly vulnerable populations we service. 

This workshop will include videos, personal reflective exercises, breakout groups, and a clinical knowledge overview.

This workshop aims to gain insight and learn our countertransference reactions and how they operate in the therapeutic approach with clients, and once identified how we challenge ourselves to address these countertransferences so that we ‘do no harm’ to clients. 

  • ‘Use of self’ was an approach and yet the challenges and even risks for ‘use of self’

  • The historical evolution to the understanding of countertransference as a concept

  • Overview of Transference Reactions and its potential risks

  • Overview of Countertransference Reactions - Type 1 & 2

  • The benefits of empathy and the messiness of empathy in the clinical work

  • Empathic Strain includes withdrawal, repression, enmeshment, disequilibrium and overidentification

  • Power of health clinical attachment

  • Trauma Reenactment Syndrome 

  • Overview of strategies for the helping professional to recognize, contain & heal event counter-transferences

  • The wounded healer now facing their pain: vicarious trauma, secondary trauma and compassion fatigue psychological wounds from doing this work along with effective ways to manage the symptoms from an agency perspective and as an individual worker


This training is meant for participants who are authentically interested and willing to become  vulnerable within themselves to better understand the clinical ‘blind spots’ which operate consciously and subconsciously during their sessions

Interested in taking part in this workshop or offering it to your organization? Contact us today.

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