Welcome to Issue 343 of Institute Inbrief
View this email in your browser
Issue 343 // Institute Inbrief
Dear <<First Name>>,

Welcome to Edition 343 of Institute Inbrief! Transference is a phenomenon in psychology characterised by “unconscious redirection of feelings of one person to another.” It can occur both in everyday life and also in the therapy room. In this edition's featured article we look at ways counsellors can identify and work with transference. 

Also in this edition:
  1. Responding to Crises and Vicarious Trauma Risk
  2. Case Management of Anxiety and Stress
  3. Emotionally Intelligent Leadership
  4. Disaster Mental Health Counselling Credential
  5. Quotations, Seminar Timetables & More!

Enjoy your reading!

AIPC Team. 
Diploma of Counselling
Join one of the most personally enriching careers.

There is no more rewarding way to help others than by providing emotional support that assists people get their lives back on track.

AIPC is the largest provider of counselling courses in the country. We have specialised in counsellor training for over 30 years. We have proudly helped over 55,000 people from 27 countries pursue their personal and career interests in counselling.

Our Diploma of Counselling is a journey of self-discovery, providing deep insight into why you think and behave as you do. And when you graduate, you will be extremely well prepared to pursue a career in counselling – employed or self-employed – enjoying our strong industry reputation and linkage.

As a Counsellor you will:
  1. Be truly passionate about what you do.
  2. Help people every day overcome challenges and lead better lives.
  3. Enjoy job security in one of the fastest-growing sectors in the country.
  4. Have the freedom of owning your own business.

Ready to start your Counselling journey, <<First Name>>?

Community Services Courses
Helping You Help Your Community
By gaining a qualification within the Community Services sector, you will be contributing to an industry that serves a very important purpose: to assist those with personal or relationship challenges. There is nothing more fulfilling than helping others overcome seemingly impossible obstacles. And there’s no better time to do that than now!
Diploma of Financial Counsellinglearn more
Do you want to help others who are facing financial hardship?

Diploma of Community Services (Case Management)learn more
Join one of the fastest growing employment sectors in the country!
Diploma of Youth Worklearn more
Do you want to positively influence the next generation?

Bachelor of Human Services - learn more
A flexible and affordable alternative to traditional tertiary education.


Video: Responding to Crises & Vicarious Trauma Risk
It is inevitable within helping and support work... crises will arise.

In this video we cover common crises that helping professionals encounter and key aspects of responding to risk. We’ll also focus on how helping professionals can support themselves when crises arrive, from monitoring for burnout, compassion fatigue, and vicarious trauma to practical strategies we can use both at work and beyond..

Supplementary resource: This video lecture is accompanied by a comprehensive PDF guide, which you can download

Dealing with Transference in Counselling
How transference shows in the therapy room - and what to do about it.

Transference is a phenomenon in psychology characterised by “unconscious redirection of feelings of one person to another.” It can occur both in everyday life and also in the therapy room. One example of how it can happen is when a person mistrusts another because the other resembles, say, an ex-spouse, in manners, appearance, or demeanour.

In a therapeutic context, transference refers to the way in which the client’s view of and relations with childhood objects (meaning: people) are expressed in current feelings, attitudes, and behaviours in regard to the therapist (Sandler et al, 1980). Analysing this transference has generally been seen as the central feature of psychodynamically oriented techniques (Gill, 1982). Freud initially observed and formulated the notion of transference, understanding its importance for better understanding of the patient’s feelings. It was Jung, however, who noted that within the transference dyad both participants tended to experience a variety of opposites, and that the key to psychological growth was the ability to hold a point of tension with the opposites without abandoning the process. It was this tension, Jung said, which would allow a client to grow and transform (Bauer & Mills, 1989).

The steps in dealing with transference

The therapist becomes aware of the emotions awakened in her or him by the client. Initially, this is not likely to be a cognitive process, as the therapist reacts to cues in the client that signal something is different. For instance, a client who has been making great progress may come into the rooms looking washed out and sad, or angry or otherwise unhappy. It is a matter for awareness, not reflection, as the therapist tunes into feelings that come up.

  1. The therapist steps back, disidentifies from the affective reaction and views it more objectively.
  2. The therapist identifies the client’s affective state.
  3. The therapist establishes the significance of the client’s message.
  4. The therapist decides how most effectively to use what has been learned (Basch, 1988).

When there is resistance

Work with transference in the here-and-now of the therapy room includes sensitising clients to the importance of examining their reactions to the therapist, identifying the self-limiting components of these patterns, and developing an increasingly flexible, mature interaction with the therapist. That is the theory. Bauer and Mills (1989) contend, however, that practice is often far from that. They outline various forms of resistance – both on the part of the therapist and on that of the client – that get in the way. Their discussion, artificially separated between client and therapist forms of resistance, follows.

Client-centred resistance

Client resistance to transference analysis is a crucial issue in the psychodynamic psychotherapies where transference is central to the work. Client willingness and ability to examine the client-therapist interaction include some of the following forms of resistance.

Ignoring real-life concerns. The understanding in psychodynamic psychotherapies is that, as stated above, clients will bring the “template” for how they do relationship into the room, and the therapist can work with that in the client-therapist relationship to examine how the client’s life is not working as they wish it would. What can happen is that clients come to believe that the therapist is focusing on the therapeutic relationship to the detriment of the “real-life concerns” the client is bringing. In all cases, the therapist’s most effective stance is one that stimulates the client’s curiosity regarding how they currently function and encourages deeper exploration.

Identifying transference. The therapist’s goal is to bring out latent transferential material into a more open, manifest set of behaviours and statements that can be investigated. This task is made more difficult by clients denying that they are having reactions to the therapist and/or actively discounting the significance of any reactions. Sometimes the only way the therapist can see this is indirectly, as the client discusses, say, the critical, demeaning comments of a punitive parent or authority figure when s/he really is expressing the feeling that the therapist is critical or demeaning. The process of identifying specific behavior patterns fosters therapeutic gains and client autonomy. Over time, with repeated confrontations, it gets easier for the client to accept and address such themes.

Refusal to consider transference as a possibility. Clients often resist exploration and working-through of transference by insisting that their reactions to and interpersonal conflicts with the therapist are based solely on the reality of the therapist: nothing to do with their own intrapsychic issues or past development. End of story. Such a client may insist that all feelings toward the therapist are fully justified by conventional explanations. An inexpressive, withholding character style, for instance, may be rationalised by attributing it to how threatening the therapist, or the therapeutic environment, is. Therapists can work with such resistance in the here-and-now by drawing parallels with historical examples from the client’s life.

Avoidance of responsibility, fear of autonomy. A central feature in therapy can often be the client’s refusal to accept responsibility for how they think and feel, for the conflicts they are facing, and for their role in bringing them about. There is security in neurotic, life-limiting patterns; hence, they are hard to give up (Bauer & Mills, 1989).

Therapist resistance

In addition to client-centred resistance, there is also resistance engendered by the therapist which contributes to under-analysis of the transference. The sources of this resistance are multiple; it may originate in the countertransference of the therapist, in deficiencies in training, and/or in inadequate supervision experiences of the therapist. Such reactions are likely to stem from unresolved conflicts of the therapist and/or the impact on the therapist of the client-therapist interaction, especially the client’s conflicted interpersonal strategies.

Avoidance of here-and-now affect. Bauer and Mills note that therapist “faintheartedness” in discussing manifested transference is responsible for more stagnation in psychodynamic therapy than any other attitude (1989, p115). Looking at their emotions in the here-and-now involves affect-heavy, potentially disturbing interactions for both client and therapist. “Fear” is not too strong a word associated with reasons to avoid it. The reality is that clients, for all their neuroses, sometimes have insightful perceptions of the therapist: a threatening prospect for many therapists to face, especially if they have unresolved intrapsychic or interpersonal conflicts. It is often more comfortable for the therapist to revert to discussion of historical patterns in the client, and some therapists are so knocked by in-the-room affect that they resort to ego regression and acting-out. Some therapists fear that difficult, anxiety-provoking interactions with the client will interfere with the development of the therapeutic alliance; actually, the reverse is true. Without a focus on what gets in the way of client-therapist collaboration, the whole therapeutic process is at the mercy of the client’s maladaptive, self-defeating ways.

Overemphasis on how past conflictual patterns developed. Focus on how maladaptive patterns developed in the client’s past can help the client connect his or her past to the present, giving a sense of continuity and identity. It can also help the client feel secure that, as troubling to him or her as the patterns seem, they can be understood and – hopefully – sorted out. Excursions into the past can be like turning to an old text for a “translation” of what is going on currently. The therapist must remember, however, that the purpose of the therapy is to help the client modify patterns existing in the present, and explorations of the past should be subordinated to that goal.

Constricted therapist activity. Perhaps owing to the history of psychoanalysis in the Freudian era when therapists were meant to be quiet, neutral listeners who did not interfere with the client’s free associations, some therapists may feel uncomfortable with a more dynamic, active role. It is crucial to establish a safe, secure atmosphere and to understand the nature of the transference reactions, but failing to respond adequately to the client out of fear of distorting the transference or badly interpreting client communications does not achieve that safe therapeutic environment. A silent, unresponsive stance to a client may in fact encourage the perception of the therapist as cold and distant no matter what the client’s original transference pre-disposition was.

Difficulty in differentiating transference from non-transference. Even highly neurotic clients have some perceptions about the therapist and the therapy which are realistic, and not based in transference. It is important, therefore, for the therapist to not assume that all reactions to him or her are transferential, and to work to distinguish between those that are and those that are not. A good example here is when the therapist begins the appointment a bit late. Many healthy, not-at-all neurotic people may have a reaction of irritation to this, and the client’s annoyance may stem from a variety of psychic conditions. To put it all down to “transference” may constitute defensiveness on the part of the therapist rather than true discovery of past patterns affecting present relating. Clarifying which client reactions are realistic can deepen the therapeutic alliance and foster client autonomy through affirming their capacity to discern reality.

Presentation of “certainty”. Obviously, the main task of client and therapist is to work together to develop a consensually validated understanding of their relationship. That is not an easy task because there is nowhere that they both can stand which is “outside the relationship” in order to look in on it. Thus, ideas about what is happening in it are best regarded as hypotheses. If the therapist is certain that he or she has the only hold on “reality”, and expresses such views with interventions like, “What you really mean is?”, the client is likely to resist (especially if they are relatively healthy!).

Such a stance interferes with the client’s capacity to understand him or herself from a variety of viewpoints and erodes the client’s ability to self-reflect in a healthy fashion. To assume one has the ultimate meaning or one true “reality” about the client is to disregard the truth that behaviours and statements usually have multiple functions. Beyond that, such an intervention would normally seem to be a dead giveaway of the therapist’s shadow of arrogance! It is far better to suggest that what a client is saying or doing may have implications for the therapy relationship, and/or that “reality” must now be formulated in a more subtle and complex manner than before.

Premature interpretation of projection. More important than deciding transference/non-transference is the opportunity for the client to actively discuss perceptions of the therapist, and for the therapist to work with these perceptions in a non-defensive manner. Although therapist reactions are often determined by the projections onto the therapist of the client’s internal self and/or object representations, the therapist’s interventions do not need to force the client to own these projections at a given stage (it can always happen at a later stage, and sometimes may not occur at all). Forcing the client to relinquish defences prematurely is ill-advised, as these serve an important function in the client’s psychic organisation.

The preferred therapist response is to draw out the client’s feelings and engage in a serious, non-defensive investigation of them. The ability of the therapist to do that conveys some important messages to the client, namely that the therapist: (1) has a solid ego and is not fazed by the client’s projections; (2) has a desire to understand the client’s intra- and interpersonal processes, and (3) is able to tolerate projections of unwanted (intolerable) aspects of the client’s self onto the therapist. This stance communicates trust in the therapeutic process and helps the client to gradually tolerate aspects of him/herself that were denied and projected.

For example, let’s say a client had a very critical, demanding parent. Such a client may internalise that parent voice, becoming perfectionistic and demanding of himself and experiencing resultant depression, low-self-esteem, and even masochistic behaviour. During therapy the client is likely to project this critical parental object onto the therapist, and then respond to the therapist as he used to respond to the parent: with appeasement, clinging, and passive-aggression. Perceiving this, the therapist can help the client discuss how s/he perceives the therapist and how this affects behaviour. The therapist does not disown the client’s projections; rather he or she attempts to understand. Such work detoxifies unacceptable feelings and allows the client to integrate rather than defend against them. When this happens, the therapist is no longer viewed as critical.

An understanding of transference, and client and therapist resistance to it, is clearly a key component of any psychodynamic therapy.


  1. Bauer, G.P., & Mills, J.A. (1989). Use of transference in the here and now: Patient and therapist resistance. Psychotherapy, 26 (1).
  2. Gill, M. (1982). Analysis of transference. New York: International Universities Press.
  3. Sandler, J., Kennedy, H., & Tyson, R. (1980). The technique of child psychoanalysis: Discussions with Anna Freud. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.
Case Management of Anxiety and Stress

Leah is a 24 year old woman who was recently discharged from the Army on medical grounds. During her four years in the Army, Leah experienced high levels of stress and anxiety which she coped with by drinking heavily. When she presented for counselling, Leah had been sober for 55 days and was seeking strategies to cope with her anxiety that didn’t involve drinking. While working with Leah, the Professional Counsellor adopts a case management model in order to assist her to build a network of supports within the community, enabling her to maintain her sobriety and prevent recurrence of the factors which contributed to her high levels of stress.

MBCT: A Look at the Mechanisms of Action

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) is a psychological therapy designed to help prevent the relapse of depression, especially for those individuals who have Major Depressive Disorder (the principal type of depressive disorder defined by the DSM-5). MBCT employs traditional CBT methods and adds in mindfulness and mindfulness meditation strategies. In this article, we explore the mechanisms behind MBCT’s effectiveness in helping prevent relapse of depression.


More articles: www.aipc.net.au/articles

Disaster Mental Health Counselling Credential
The gold standard program in Disaster Mental Health Counselling.

Disasters are on the rise. Whether it’s disasters like the recent bushfires in Australia or the current COVID-19 global pandemic, the outcomes can have enduring emotional consequences for individuals and communities.
As a mental health professional, how prepared are you to work in a disaster situation and provide the best possible support? And not just at the time of the disaster, but also in the months and years following?
To train you in this challenging yet rewarding field, Mental Health Academy has released the world’s first
Disaster Mental Health Counselling Credential Course. This 31-hour deep-dive program will teach you best-practice strategies, clinical skills and cultural insights to effectively serve in disaster-affected areas, anywhere in the world.

As a course participant, you will enjoy access to:
  1. 10 hours of highly engaging video lectures
  2. On-demand, 24/7 access to learning materials
  3. Dozens of downloadable articles & handouts
  4. Case studies, illustrations & real-life stories
  5. Interactive, peer-driven online forum
  6. Lifetime, unrestricted access to content
  7. Practical online assessment platform
  8. Ongoing support via email/phone

Upon completion of this course, you’ll be issued with an internationally-verifiable MHA Digital Badge and a downloadable CPD Certificate.

Have you visited Counselling Connection yet? Our official blog has over 500 posts counselling, psychology, self-growth, and more! Make sure you too get connected. Below is a link to one of our popular blog posts.

Emotionally Intelligent Leadership

What does it mean to be an emotionally intelligent leader and why is it important? As a leader, you will undoubtedly be faced with challenging and stressful situations. How you deal with those situations will affect your mental health (and those around you), your own and others’ motivation, productivity and engagement and ultimately your success at whatever it is that you are engaged in. 


More posts: www.counsellingconnection.com
"Desire is a two headed snake. On one end, it cultivates anticipation and on the other it cultivates fear. Positive outcomes build anticipation and negative outcomes build fear from desire. Some people are attached to the high of anticipation and some are attached to the lows of fear. In both cases, reality slips by unnoticed in the background."

~ Abhinav
Many students of the Diploma of Counselling attend seminars to complete the practical requirements of their course. Seminars provide an ideal opportunity to network with other students and liaise with qualified counselling professionals in conjunction with completing compulsory coursework.
Seminar topics include:
  1. The Counselling Process
  2. Communication Skills I
  3. Communication Skills II
  4. Counselling Therapies I
  5. Counselling Therapies II
  6. Legal & Ethical Frameworks
  7. Brief Interventions and Loss & Grief Support
  8. Individualised Support and Working with Mental Health
  9. Advanced Counselling Techniques

Click here to access all seminar timetables online.
To register for a seminar, please contact your Student Support Centre.
For more information, visit:
Diploma of Counselling 
Diploma of Financial Counselling 
Diploma of Community Services 
Diploma of Youth Work
Graduate Diploma of Relationship Counselling 
Bachelor of Counselling 
Bachelor of Human Services
Master of Counselling
AIPC Article Library 
Counselling Connection Blog 
Counselling Case Studies 
Recognition of Prior Learning 
Timetables & Locations 
Student Policies 
Sign up to Australia's most popular FREE e-magazine
If you are not already on the mailing list for Institute Inbrief, please subscribe below.
Publication Contacts
Email: ezine@aipc.net.au    Website: www.aipc.net.au
AIPC appreciates your feedback. Please email ezine@aipc.net.au with any comments, suggestions or editorial input for future editions of Institute Inbrief.

Contact Support Centres
Brisbane 1800 353 643     Sydney 1800 677 697     Melbourne 1800 622 489     Adelaide 1800 246 324     Perth 1800 246 381     Gold Coast 1800 625 329     Regional QLD 1800 359 565
No part of this publication may be reproduced without permission. Opinions of contributors and advertisers are not necessarily those of the publisher. The publisher makes no representation or warranty that information contained in articles or advertisements is accurate, nor accepts liability or responsibility for any action arising out of information contained in this e-newsletter.

Copyright: 2018-19 Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors

If you no longer wish to receive this newsletter, please unsubscribe