What is countertransference?

Business Leader Post, November 1, 2012

Thomas D. Davidow, Ed.D.

In my last blog, I talked about the experience of doubting your client’s behavior, acting on that doubt versus trusting them. That happens when the professional gets overly involved with the client and allows their personal/historical issues to become intertwined with the issues of the client.

There is a term for that in the clinical world and that is called countertransference. You cannot avoid it. I spent 8 years with an analyst examining my own issues over twenty five years of presenting my family business cases to help me identify when the countertransference issues would surface and how to use that countertransference experience as a way to learn and be more effective with my clients. It happens to all of us especially when you care about them.

After thirty five years in the business, I still experience it. The only choice I have which is the one we all have as professionals who work with Families is to learn from it.