This talk will look into some of the various ways that psychotherapy clients may begin to actively, although unconsciously, destroy psychotherapist’s efforts to facilitate progress. They may actually use psychotherapy to avoid changing or even deteriorate. Negative therapeutic reactions, therapeutic deadlocks, and secondary therapeutic gains begin to affect the process. We will focus on how client’s unconscious destructiveness manifests itself in the transference and through acting out and how to work with it.
Sometimes the therapist’s success to facilitate the client’s change may be encountered by strong unconscious resistance. Such occurrences may happen years into the therapeutic process, which may come as a surprise and may evoke discouragement and frustration. Clients may deteriorate, destroy any progress, and sabotage themselves, leaving the therapist feeling unable to help or feeling excessively responsible for the client.
It is not uncommon for a client to actually use psychotherapy for the purpose of not changing. As this occurs, the therapist may have a perception of the client as making progress, whilst a detailed look at the process may reveal a picture that is quite different.
Whilst the therapist and the client may at times be aware of the therapeutic deadlock, other forms of therapeutic destruction, sabotage, and secondary therapeutic gains may be deeply unconscious and may only occur in the transference or acting out.
We will also look into how overt empathic interventions may sometimes hinder the therapeutic process and how they may be counter indicative. And we will touch on how the therapist’s support may promote the client’s transference regression and re-enactments.
The talk will approach the topic by putting it into theoretical framework and also by providing further participation of the audience through discussion, questions, and examples.
We will build on the transactional analysis (TA) framework and use it for integration of psychodynamic concepts.
The talk will be given by Ales Zivkovic MSc (TA Psych) PTSTA(P) CTA(P).
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