Ep 185: The Dynamics of Therapy: Transference and Counter Transference: An Interview with Kerry Malawista

Transference and countertransference are two key concepts in psychoanalysis and they are fascinating. If you’re interested in the therapy side of psychology – particularly psychoanalysis – this is the episode for you. Kerry Malawista, psychoanalyst and author, along with Anne Adeleman and Catherine Anderson, talks about their new book, “Wearing My Tutu To Analysis“. In this episode we focus on two of the stories in the book, which focus on transference and countertransference.


In earlier episodes of The Psych Files I asked you not to dismiss Freud’s ideas. Too often we only hear about his (100 year old) ideas on sex. There is A LOT more to Freud and this episode will convince you of that.

Basically, transference is when we take real live feelings from our own life and then literally transfer them onto the therapist or analyst. We do this in all aspects of our lives. If the brain had to respond to every new encounter like it had never seen it before we’d be overwhelmed with data. So transference is our way of using what se’ve learned from our earlier lives and then representing it on new people that come along. Sometimes that’s for positive when things went well in the past, and sometimes negatively when we keep repeating relationships [from the past] that weren’t helpful. – Kerry Malwista


Just like transference, countertransference is ubiquitous. It’s all the emotional responses a therapist has to a patient – both conscious and unconscious – and how valuable that data is if it can be used in the right way. That’s where the skills of the therapist come in. They can make note of the feelings they’re having and their [own] reactions and use them to further the work and maybe understand how the patient is actually feeling. – Kerry Malawista

Resources on Psychoanalysis

Episode 143: EMDR – An Interview with Founder Francine Shapiro

Curious about EMDR? Listen to this interview with the founder of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, Dr. Francine Shapiro talk about EMDR and how it is different from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). This is an intriguing and unique type of therapy and if you want to learn more about it you’ve come to the right place.



EMDR Resources


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Episode 81: Talking (and not Talking) in Psychotherapy – Part 2

Are you interested in play therapy or therapy with children and adolescents? Do you have a child in therapy and you wonder how playing with toys is going to possibly help you child? Learn more about therapy with children and adolescents in this episode of The Psych Files. In part 2 I interview Dr. Martha Straus – experienced therapist and author of No Talk Therapy and the book Adolescent Girls in Crisis. In this part of the interview Dr. Straus talks specifically about No Talk therapy and how she explains her work to the parents of her clients. Come have a listen to an experienced therapist talk about her work.



Episode 80: Talking (and not Talking) in Psychotherapy – Part 1

Are you interested in play therapy or therapy with children and adolescents? Do you have a child in therapy and you wonder how playing with toys is going to possibly help you child? Learn more about therapy with children and adolescents in this episode of The Psych Files. In part 1 I interview Dr. Martha Straus – experienced therapist and author of No Talk Therapy and the book Adolescent Girls in Crisis. If you’ve ever wondered what psychotherapists do and say in therapy then this episode is for you. We also touch upon evidence based treatment, goals in therapy, and parent expectations of therapists. Come have a listen to an experienced therapist talk about her work.


Episode 30: Equine Assisted Therapy

If you think that therapy with horses is just another form of “pet therapy” well…so did I…at first. But Equine Assisted therapy is something different. If you love horses and are interested in how they can be used therapeutically, then you’ll definitely want to hear this episode. Learn more about this unique form of therapy from Nancy King, director of A Horse Connection. Recorded outside on a beautiful summer day.


Equine Assisted Therapy

Resources for this Episode