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Ideally, when boundaries are effective and ethical, the relationship is honest, realistic, responsible, and safe. To accomplish this, the dynamic of transference and counter transference needs to be explored.
What are your counter transference issues? How do you control the effect they have on your therapy relationships? Think for a moment. The client, who is a manipulating child and outwits the school counselor in a conference, may arouse the same rage in you as did your childhood friend under similar circumstances.
We transfer not only feelings, but also ways of responding to these feelings, and when we utilize these responses without awareness of their true origin and meaning, they are often self-defeating. Ask yourself. How do I recognize the reality of a current situation? How do I become aware of my potential for counter transference? How do I become capable of both controlling counter transference in myself and utilizing it with clients to advance their therapeutic goals?
Tool for Keeping Reality in View
Transference occurred when my client remarked to me, "I can talk with you just like I did with my uncle." I replied empathetically, "But I'm not your uncle." This statement set a boundary and opened the door for consideration of how this relationship differed from the client's previous one, with his uncle, and how things had changed from the past.
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