Background: The negative effects of the unmanaged countertransference on session outcome are well documented, but little is known about the impact of countertransference reactions on the in-session elaboration processes. This study investigated the impact of countertransference reactions on the quality of client and counsellor’s in-session work as revealed by their linguistic style, assuming that linguistic style shows the quality of speakers’ referential process, i.e., their ability to translate into words and reorganize the client’s emotional experiences. Methods: To test this hypothesis twenty-three in-training psychotherapists were asked to rate their emotional reactions through the Therapist Response Questionnaire at the end of the first three counselling sessions with one of their clients, for a total of 69 sessions. These sessions were recorded, transcribed, and evaluated by three external observers who applied the Countertransference Behavior Measure. Finally, the transcripts were analyzed by applying the computerized linguistic measures of the referential process. Results: We found that countertransference reactions were associated to clients’ specific speech styles characterized by a lower referential process especially in the case of dominant, helpless, overwhelmed, and parental countertransference reactions. For the counsellors, we observed a linguistic style marked by emotional distancing. Conclusions: This study confirms that linguistic indicators can capture the impact of countertransference reactions, which shows to hinder the emotional elaboration in the counselling sessions.

(2022). Relationship between countertransference and emotional communication in the counselling process [journal article - articolo]. In MEDITERRANEAN JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10446/234972

Relationship between countertransference and emotional communication in the counselling process

Negri, Attà;
2022-01-01

Abstract

Background: The negative effects of the unmanaged countertransference on session outcome are well documented, but little is known about the impact of countertransference reactions on the in-session elaboration processes. This study investigated the impact of countertransference reactions on the quality of client and counsellor’s in-session work as revealed by their linguistic style, assuming that linguistic style shows the quality of speakers’ referential process, i.e., their ability to translate into words and reorganize the client’s emotional experiences. Methods: To test this hypothesis twenty-three in-training psychotherapists were asked to rate their emotional reactions through the Therapist Response Questionnaire at the end of the first three counselling sessions with one of their clients, for a total of 69 sessions. These sessions were recorded, transcribed, and evaluated by three external observers who applied the Countertransference Behavior Measure. Finally, the transcripts were analyzed by applying the computerized linguistic measures of the referential process. Results: We found that countertransference reactions were associated to clients’ specific speech styles characterized by a lower referential process especially in the case of dominant, helpless, overwhelmed, and parental countertransference reactions. For the counsellors, we observed a linguistic style marked by emotional distancing. Conclusions: This study confirms that linguistic indicators can capture the impact of countertransference reactions, which shows to hinder the emotional elaboration in the counselling sessions.
articolo
Negri, Atta' Ambrogio Maria; De Bei, Francesco; Christian, Christopher; Rocco, Diego
(2022). Relationship between countertransference and emotional communication in the counselling process [journal article - articolo]. In MEDITERRANEAN JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10446/234972
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