From loving to loathing:  making sense of difficult clients in the professional relationship 

For information: http://transference-seminar.eventbrite.ca

“We could say, without too much exaggeration, that a good half of every treatment that probes at all deeply consists in the doctor’s examining himself, for only what he can put right in himself can he hope to put right in the patient. It is no loss, either, if he feels that the patient is hitting him, or even scoffing at him: it is his own hurt that gives the measure of his power to heal. This, and nothing else, is the meaning of the Greek myth of the wounded physician.” (Jung, CW16, para. 239)

Clinical literature describes the therapeutic dilemmas that develop from the interpersonal nature of the professional relationship. While many interpersonal encounters are easily forgotten, other encounters bring about a conscious realization that signals to the professional they have somehow been affected by this interaction. Awareness and successful management of our own and our clients’ affective reactions deepens our understanding of transference and countertransference within the professional relationship.

We believe that transference is a core dynamic within all therapeutic relationships that invites purposeful questioning. By gaining deeper levels of understanding about the way that we as professionals approach the clinical encounter we can resolve the most difficult of therapeutic dilemmas.

The purpose of this workshop is to assist health professionals to recognize the value of self-observation as it relates to the transference/countertransference response in the clinical relationship. In particular, this workshop will explore:

  1. How we are as fundamentally influenced by our patients as they are influenced by us;
  2. Our propensity to believe we are unaffected by clients and how to transcend the resistances to examining and reflecting on our own responses from within our client encounters;
  3. Why transference and countertransference responses can and should be differentiated from other common professional responses such as empathy, theoretical knowing and therapeutic caring.
  4. Ways that professional relationships are underpinned by a series of stages that influence and predict transference/countertransference responses.

By the end of the workshop you should be able to:

  1. Describe and define transference/countertransference;
  2. Identify the different forms of transference/countertransference;
  3. Recognize the transferential/countertransferential relationships you have with patients;


JOHN BETTS is a Zurich-trained Jungian Psychoanalyst. He originally trained as a psychologist at the University of Cape Town. John is particularly interested in clinical issues relating to the effective application of psychoanalysis in the 21st century. His research interests include the use of digital technology with geographically isolated patients; trauma; and object relations theory. He maintains a private practice in Victoria, B.C. You can contact John through his website www.jungian.ca

DR. ANN HOLROYD is a professor in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at Vancouver Island University (VIU).  Over the past several years, Ann’s professional interests have involved the therapeutic relationship especially with community based clients who are living with chronic illness. Improving current levels of understanding regarding the many way that the complex issues faced by clients evoke a range of responses, conscious and unconscious, within the professional relationship are critically important for appropriate interventions to occur. Ann’s research interests currently involve the therapeutic relationship and how certain shifts in our attitude/beliefs can help ensure quality and integrity in the therapeutic encounter.


DATE : 16th March, 2013

VENUE : Royal Arbutus Room, Building 300, 900 Fifth Street, Nanaimo, B.C.

For information : http://transference-seminar.eventbrite.ca