Friday, May 03, 2013

The Transference Trap

Dino is angry at his teacher. He is outraged over his teacher's lack of attention to or delay in grading his submitted papers. Dino finds his teacher so passive and distant. Now, he calls her names, speaks negatively about her to his classmates, and has pasted bubble gums all over her desk.

Transference is a phenomenon that can happen in any relationship. It refers to an "experience" of another person you're relating to in the present through the lens of your past experience. Most of the time, you don't notice it. On an unconscious level, you can even "expect" someone to behave in the same way as someone else (e.g. mother, friend) did in your past.

Dino needs help because the kind of inner conflict he's experiencing is too big for him to see clearly. He is going through something close to the chaotic feelings he had when he was a child being raised up by his single, working Mom. With his teacher, Dino re-experiences a familiar pattern of being neglected or ignored so he gets touchy and irritable. He may be trapped in the past and he doesn't realize it.

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