Transference/Countertransference dynamics with LGBTQIA+ clients - The Affirmative Couch

Transference/Countertransference dynamics with LGBTQIA+ clients

Presenter: Cadyn Cathers, PsyD

Date/Time: February 24, 1-5 Pacific; 4-8 Eastern

4 CEs

transference/countertransference dynamics

Course Description

The transference/countertransference dynamics between the therapist and the client are complex. The unique experiences lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or nonbinary, queer, intersex, or asexual (LGBTQIA+) clients have surrounding gender and sexuality can add another layer of complexity to therapeutic dynamics. This is true regardless of whether their therapist is LGBTQIA+ or endocishet (someone who is endosex, cisgender, and heterosexual). Many therapists will classify both transference and countertransference as "positive" (i.e. respect, admiration, etc.) or "negative" (hostility, aggression, hatred, etc.) to reflect whether the feelings are comfortable or wanted. However, this viewpoint is far too limiting as it splits the transference/countertransference dynamics into "good" or "bad" rather than addressing the natural and potentially useful complexity that they can bring to the therapeutic relationship. Erotic transference is often put into the “negative” category as many therapists are uncomfortable with addressing it with clients. Both “positive” and “negative” transference/countertransference, as well as erotic transference, have potential to either deepen the treatment or to destroy it. This talk will explore common transference/countertransference themes that occur with LGBTQIA+ clients. We will explore both LGBTQIA+/LGBTQIA+ dyads and endocishet/LGBTQIA+ dyads and how transference/countertransference dynamics can impact treatment with special emphasis on identifying objective and subjective countertransference. Participants will learn how power, privilege, and oppression can show up within the relationship between the therapist and the client including whether the homophobia, biphobia, or transphobia present within the dynamics are from the therapist, the patient, or both. In addition, we will explore how self-disclosure of the therapist’s identity can impact treatment.

Note: This workshop will not be recorded due to the intimate nature of the discussion.

Learning objectives:

  • Describe how erotic transference with an LGBTQIA+ client can be a repetition compulsion of homophobia/biphobia from parental rejection
  • Describe 2 common transference reactions that LGBTQIA+ clients can have with endcishet therapists
  • Describe 2 common transference reactions that LGBTQIA+ clients can have with LGBTQIA+ therapists
  • Describe 2 common countertransference reactions therapists can have with LGBTQIA+ clients

Who should take this course:

Psychologists, Marriage and Family Therapists, Social Workers, Professional Counselors, and other professionals working with LGBTQIA+, consensually non-monogamous, or kinky clients.


$80 for licensed clinicians

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$60 for licensed clinicians in non-profits (use code TCD22L)

$40 for pre-licensed clinicians (use code TCD22N)

You can also get free access to this course and all other courses with our memberships:

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Continuing Education Approvals

APA ApprovedThe Affirmative Couch, LLC is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Affirmative Couch, LLC maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Module 1 Module 1
Unit 1 Live Zoom Event
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