chapter  9
Transference and countertransference
ByClaire Corbridge, Laura Brummer, Philippa Coid
Pages 4

Transference and countertransference are both terms originating from the psychoanalytic literature and refer to the emotions felt by client and therapist in the context of the therapeutic relationship. Transference describes the feelings experienced by the client in relation to the therapist, whereas countertransference is the emotional response evoked within the therapist towards the client. However, it was later considered to be “an inevitable product of the interaction between the patient and the analyst rather than a simple interference stemming from the analyst’s infantile drive-related conflicts”. Similarly, as therapists, they may notice themselves being drawn into each of these, although the task of the therapist is ultimately to recognise and resist these invitations to join the ‘dance’. The theory of Cognitive Analytic Therapy restates what is a complex psychoanalytic theory of transference and countertransference into a user-friendly and accessible theory of reciprocal role procedures.