The Power of Countertransference

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Option 3: Countertransference is a significant variable in providing any type of counseling. What are likely or possible countertransference issues that might occur in premarital/remarital counseling? Discuss how each possible issue might impact the provision of counseling services to particular clients/couples. Explain what ethical and legal issues might be involved with issues of countertransference.

In response to the Option 3 and the power of countertransference in counseling, I have to admit the phenomenon of transference and countertransference is a very interesting one, and personally I am intrigued by it since coming from the ministry world (former missionary and youth pastor) these concepts were never discussed and yet they were ever present in our relationship with those we served. 

Countertransference can be defined as the therapist’s emotional reaction/connection to the clientI (Tobe, 2019). With that in mind, countertransference does not have to be negative. In fact, my first professional encounter with mental health and the power of counseling was when I served as a chaplain at a substance abuse rehabilitation center.  At the time we had a medical facility, mental health clinicians/BHTs, and me as a chaplain. Medicine was necessary, therapy was a must, but our young men and women were also seeking for role models, for people who believe in them, for transference.  They were seeking in us that elusive father figure, supportive mother, missing relative in whom they could relate. Transference and countertransference translated as genuineness and authenticity to our clients. Yes, it was hard, because we offered our hearts along with our hands, but it was necessary. Yes, to offer countertransference is a risk, but sometimes the greatest risk is not risking anything at all (Buscaglia, 1983). 

Notice my push for positive countertransference, and not illegal, unethical or inappropriate countertransference.  In my opinion, this is a power and as such it could be use towards building or tearing apart, to care or to abuse, to curse or to bless.  As the apostle Paul tells the church in Corinth in 1 Corinthians 10:31, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (New International Version, 1978/2011). As we become aware of the power of transference and countertransference let us surrender this tool to God since this dynamic has the power to create an environment of transformation and some might even label it as incarnational. 


Buscaglia, L. (1983). Living, Loving, and Learning. Ballantine Books.

New International Version Bible. (2011). Zondervan. (Original work published 1978)

Tobe, H. (2019). Transference vs. Countertransference: What’s the Difference? – Therapist Development Center Blog. Therapist Development Center Blog. Retrieved 27 June 2021, from

My name is Arturo and I am loved by God and in response to that I best serve others by adding VALUE to their lives. My goal is to enrich lives, relationships, and communities.
From an artistic standpoint I’m a visual communicator and via the use of photography I seek promote beauty, concepts, and messages. Spiritually speaking I've served as a chaplain at a addiction/recovery rehabilitation center, and before that as a youth pastor, missionary, and Young Life/Club Beyond staff for many years here in the USA and abroad.
On the mental health side I currently serve as a life coach, certified addiction recovery specialist, and marriage and family counselor.

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