Transference

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  • The unconscious redirection of feelings from one person to another. Such redirection of feelings can occur when a person projects the perceptions and expectations of one person (often a parental or other authority figure) onto his or her therapist and then interacts with the therapist as though the therapist is the person whose perceptions and expectations have been projected. Transference was first described by Sigmund Freud, who believed that early-childhood experiences with parents were crucial contributing factors to the development of personality and psychopathology. Freud considered transference an important mechanism through which the psychoanalyst could understand the patient's feelings; however, it can also be problematic and can influence negatively the course of therapy.

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