Transference


There are times in our life when we let our past haunt us by not dealing with our past. We can take the feelings of our pain and suffering and put them on new challenges we are facing. This masks the real issue, the original cause of our suffering.

Let me share a story of a client that I was working with to illustrate.

He had recently lost a pet, a dog that he had for years. The dog was like a family member. After the loss of his dog, he was grieving to the point of not functioning properly. He was unable to focus on work, family and his hobbies.

After talking with him, it was clear that he was truly hurting.  What was surprising though was that while we creating his vision for his life, the pet wasn’t mentioned. So between our sessions, I started to think and research about grief to help him through his grieving process.

It was during this research that I came across the term psychological transference. As I studied that and looked back through my notes on our sessions, I realized that he had lost a good friend that using his terms “was more than he could handle and he couldn’t deal with it”. So I began to think about that and his current situation with his pet.

I emailed him and told him I would change the format of our next session to just talk about the loss of his pet. He said that he would like that.

During the next session as we talked, I brought up his friends death. He said he still hadn’t dealt with that grief. As we continued to talk about both losses, he realized that he was transferring his feelings of loss and grief of his friend to his pet. I gave him some information on grief and the different stages that we go through while we grieve.

I would like to say that totally and immediately resolved his issue with the loss of his pet, but it took time to grief for both. However, he was able to focus more and deal with both losses. His healing was slow, but it had started. Now, a few years later, he is at a much better place since he came to terms with his grief. He has since lost others important to him, but instead of blocking the grieving process, he has embraced it. By embracing it, he won’t transfer those feelings to something else.

After reading that story and looking at your life, are you using psychological transference to deal with anything in your life? If so, it is holding you back from the life you are meant to have.

Lets look at some ways you can see if you are using psychological transference:

  • Is there issues in your past that you haven’t dealt with? Some tragedy, or emotional baggage that you are holding on to?
  • Do your reactions or emotions regarding certain things seem out of proportion?

If you are experiencing transference, try to deal with the underlying cause of those feelings. Only then can you live your life to the fullest.

Please feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts.

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