No matter where or with whom they practice, psychotherapists will inevitably develop countertransference reactions to their clients, which is often dismissed as interference or as a reflection of the social worker's own unresolved psychological work. In fact, countertransference is not only inevitable; it is essential in helping clients solve their problems. Drawing on Control-mastery theory, this workshop will explore how the psychotherapist’s countertransference reveals a client's dilemma, and how to use this information to help a client reach his or her goals.

Control-mastery, an empirically supported cognitive, psychodynamic, interpersonal theory of psychotherapy, offers a framework for discerning a client's conscious and unconscious goals in coming to therapy. One of the unique contributions of Control-mastery is its explanation of countertransference reactions as tests for the therapist, allowing for predictions about what clients may need to overcome obstacles to their goals.

After the theory of Control-mastery is introduced, how to use countertransferencereactions will be illustrated through case discussion. Participants will also be encouraged to practice applying the theory to their own case material.

Workshop Objectives:

Participants will

  • become familiar with the main concepts of Control-mastery Theory.
  • be able to define clients' specific goals for the therapy.
  • be able to recognize psychological obstacles clients need to overcome.
  • have had practice identifying the meaning of specific countertransference reactions with different clients.
  • be able to utilize countertransference reactions to formulate interventions.