Inspiration from clients

Two concepts of interest in psychoanalysis are transference and countertransference. In transference the client projects feelings and situations from the past onto the therapist. In countertransference the therapist has an emotional reaction to the client as a result of the therapist’s unconscious needs and conflicts.

Logotherapy is not concerned with these phenomena but I was struck recently by what could be called the logotherapeutic parallel to these twin concepts. We might call these inspirance and counterinspirance.

In inspirance the client responds to the therapist’s highlighting of meaning with inspirational feelings and experiences from the past. In counterinspirance the therapist has a spiritual response to the client as a result of the client unknowingly evoking the therapist’s unconscious or conscious will to meaning.

This counterinspirance happened to me recently when a client was frustrated at her repeated failure to pray first thing in the morning before doing anything else. This had been an issue for me as well but hearing her tension between what is and what ought to be inspired me to start the day with prayer, since that is my own will to meaning. Since then I have succeeded in communicating with my Creator before checking my email!

Batya Yaniger

This entry was posted in Healing process, logotherapy, Personal experiences, Therapeutic skills and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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