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Human Service Workers

1. Explain how transference and counter-tranference issues might manifest themselves in your work with participants? What about unconscious defenses?

2. Why is it important for human services workers - and the professionals they assist - to have a theoretical framework for helping and creating change?

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Issues in Human Services

Transference, Counter-transference & the Unconscious Defenses

Transference is a phenomenon in psychoanalysis. Sigmund Freud was the first to have ever identified the psychological process of transference. In his practice as a therapist, he has observed his clients display feelings about him that had no basis in reality - love, kinship, anger, even attraction. Transference is a kind of 'biological time machine'. Memories and feelings are triggered when an event, an object, a word or a person reminds you of the past. For example, in an office setting, if a newer and more attractive colleague gets all the attention and generates popularity, certain individuals might feel very strongly about it. Someone who had that kind of experience in a similar situation in the past - in school, at home - and feels very strongly about it will unconsciously harbor certain feelings towards the new employee and the situation. Jealousy is a possible feeling, resentment and anger too on the negative side. People will find it surprising why the individual behaves and exhibits these emotions strongly, affecting work and the social situation within the organization which can result in conflict. Similarly, it is also possible that the situation will trigger positive feelings - admiration, openness, friendliness which can also lead to positive development in social relations within the organization. The following are important concepts in transference:
? Projection - it is the simplest form of transference as most people see it when an individual projects feelings to certain events, people or objects. In the office for example, an older and more experienced manager might project a feeling of protection and concern towards new, ...

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