chapter  45
In ignoring 'transference' person-centred therapy is seen as naïve and seriously lacking
Pages 4

An area in which person-centred theory is seen to be lacking is with respect to the phenomenon of `transference' and other `unconscious' processes (Point 22). This view is characterised by the assumption that person-centred practitioners seek to `avoid' transference issues by being congruent and non-directive and thus ignore an important process to the detriment of their clients. In this analysis, person-centred therapists are seen as encouraging, through their actions and approach, positive transference (being supportive and `parental' in the best sense of the word) but as denying the client expression of `negative' transference feelings. This prevents real, in-depth therapy. The `discouragement of negative transference' argument seems to be rooted in the assumption that the attitudes of person-centred therapists amount to a bland `niceness'. However, in context, confrontation and challenge may be part of the process of therapy. Personcentred therapy depends (amongst other things) on the expression of real feelings in the moment and this can and sometimes does include anger at the therapist.