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

CE Hours: 4
Date: February 24, 1-5 Pacific; 4-8 Eastern
Presenter: Cadyn Cathers, PsyD

Presenter: Cadyn Cathers, PsyD

4 CEs

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


$80 for licensed clinicians

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

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

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