Masterclass ‘Transference and countertransference in professional relationships’


From a psychoanalytical perspective, human relations are characterised by a mixture of realistic and what we call ‘transference aspects’. The realistic aspects are more about the here and the now, whereas transference of relational patterns that people carry with them, more or less unconsciously, from experiences in the past and that get repeated in the present. These transference aspects influence relationships, sometimes in a negative way, because they distort reality.

As a coach and also as a manager or HR professional, you always will experience transference and countertransference manifestions (the reactions of professionals to the client). They are an important source of information to help others become aware of these patterns. Therefore, it is useful being able to recognise various manifestations of transference and countertransference and deciding how you can handle and use them.