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Wellness Institute Blog

Awakening to Countertransference: Moving from our inner darkness to greater awareness

Posted by The Wellness Staff  Feb 16, 2022 7:53:40 AM


Countertransference can be a common, if potentially humbling, element of working with clients. In countertransference, the therapist reacts to a client based on some external experience or perception. For example, a client that resembles an ex-lover with whom things ended badly, or one who reminds you of your high school crush, could elicit emotions within you that are based on unconscious memories and impressions.


You could even be negatively predisposed during a client session because you got a traffic ticket or your child is having problems at school. The way you see a client when you’re being driven by emotions that are bubbling beneath the surface makes it difficult for you to be the objective, helpful therapist your client needs.


In this Psychology Today article, you can read more about how transference on the part of the patient, and countertransference on the part of the therapist, can affect the therapeutic relationship.


Given how disruptive this mechanism can be, it behooves the therapist to become aware of any instance of countertransference, and find ways to overcome it. Unfortunately, without self-awareness and the willingness to employ ruthless self-examination, therapists may never even realize they are experiencing countertransference.


With the proper training, the therapist can be more conscious of the possibility of countertransference, and avoid the difficulties it can bring. There has been a lot of discussion, beginning as far back as the time of Freud, about transference and countertransference, and it’s agreed that when it occurs, the therapist needs to seek help from another professional, such as a clinical supervisor. In reality, actual training for therapists in this situation is rare, and as it happens, is one of the benefits of studying Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy.


Heart-Centered Training for Therapists: greater awareness and illumination

Many of the therapists and other mental health professionals who graduate from our Six Day Hypnotherapy Training and Certification Program come into the experience looking for ways to help their clients. Once they learn the techniques, and experience what it’s like to do their own deep psychological work using Heart-Centered Therapies, they appreciate that they’re being given an additional, and life-changing, gift.


Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy, as well as the other modalities students learn in our advanced courses, open them to the opportunity to bring their own unconscious emotions to the surface. The process of self-analysis and healing through Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy allows practitioners to explore their own behavior and beliefs, and makes it far easier to handle situations that might lead to countertransference.


Judith Garncarek, a graduate of the Advanced Internship at The Wellness Institute, had this realization while attending a recent Ethics training. She says:


“...the instructor was sharing the importance for clinicians to bring their unconscious emotions into consciousness to avoid, or at minimum, be aware of any countertransference that might take place within a session. It was yet another reminder to me of how beneficial my Wellness Training has been to me; to have a method and practice that facilitates and supports my emotional recognition.”


While bringing one’s emotions into consciousness sounds straightforward enough, it isn’t easy for most therapists. Our own defenses, not to mention the shortage of extra time, often prevent us from easily accessing our emotions, let alone seeking help. After all, it takes many sessions to get to the roots of our emotions while we’re in talk therapy.

How Wellness Institute training raises emotional awareness quickly and easily

At the Wellness Institute, training is centered on getting to the source of unconscious behavior that causes us problems in all our relationships. In Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy and Heart-Centered Psychodrama, students learn about regressing back to early life experiences, and how this can influence the way they see current relationships.


In our advanced training, we use the Clearing Process to help participants understand why they react to others in the way they do. For example, a teacher or another student might trigger someone’s sense of “not being good enough”, either as the result of something that was said, or even just because someone bears a resemblance to another person from the past.


An abbreviated regression experience allows the person doing the “clearing” to identify the feelings they’re having, go back to the source of these feelings, and then differentiate between the past experience and the present situation.This process is a powerful way to resolve negative feelings that interfere with the harmony that is necessary to maintain healthy group interactions and one-to-one relationships.


Heart-Centered Breathwork opens participants to the transpersonal level of awareness. By breathing in a specific pattern, it is possible to release emotions from the body and to expand one’s consciousness to perceive how they can best be of service to themselves as well as to their clients, family, and friends. Wellness therapies are called “heart-centered,” because they allow our trainees to get to the center of their emotions by becoming aware of the power of opening their hearts.


Open to greater awareness

Being a mental health professional requires you to be aware of your own emotions and how they affect your behavior, moment by moment. Learning hypnotherapy will give you the skills you need to do this, while you acquire new skills that will help your clients to heal on deeper levels, as well.


Our Six-Day Hypnotherapy Training and Certification Program will get you started. It really does take just six days, and all classes are offered online. This convenient and effective method of training saves you the trouble and expense of traveling and paying for room and board. Learn from your own home or office, using didactic and experiential methods that will deepen your understanding and help you develop clinical skills.


If you’re already a Six-Day graduate, it’s time to dive in deeper and join our Advanced Internship, PTI Leadership, or Mentorship Program. The Transpersonal Life Coaching Certification Program is also enrolling students at this timel.


As you can see, The Wellness Institute offers a fresh approach to understanding your own unconscious processes, access to modalities that expand your ability to facilitate healing, and connections with a family of professionals you can network with long after you complete your programs. In many cases, it is possible to get CEU credit for Wellness programs.

Don’t wait. Become a better therapist, and embark on your own healing journey at The Wellness Institute. There are many classes available in 2022 and they’re filling up fast.


Enroll in the Six-Day Hypnotherapy Training and Certification Program today!