227 - Counselling Autistic Clients
Transference and Countertransference – Changing Your Supervisor
In Episode 227 of the Counselling Tutor Podcast, your hosts Rory Lees-Oakes and Ken Kelly discuss this week’s three topics:
- In ‘Counselling Foundations’, we’ll look at transference and counter transference.
- Then in ‘Focus on Self’, we’ll think about why you might consider changing your supervisor.
- And lastly in ‘Practice Matters’ Rory continues his discussion with Quinn Dexter, speaking in this episode about accommodations to consider when counselling autistic clients.
Transference and Countertransference [starts at 02:22 mins]
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In this section Rory and Ken share some personal experiences of transference and countertransference as they discuss the key points:
- Transference and countertransference are an overlay of a past relationship onto someone we’ve just met.
- It’s a subconscious process – this can sometimes make it difficult to identify.
- Transference – subconsciously associating a person in the present with someone from the past.
- Countertransference – the result, actually treating the new person how you did the past person.
- Once seen it can't be unseen – after you’ve identified it, you can work towards reworking the transference (differentiate between the person in the past and the one in the present, recognising they are two different people).
Changing Your Supervisor [starts at 14:10 mins]
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It’s important to recognise that you are able to change your supervisor if you feel that is what’s best for you.
The main points of this section include:
- You may want to move to a supervisor that specialises in a certain modality or area that you wish to work in.
- After the pandemic, there are many supervisors who have continued to work online (via Zoom etc.), and you may wish to look for someone who is trained for that.
- You may be looking for a supervisor who is more or less challenging than what you have now.
- Be aware that you may also be too comfortable with your supervision – without challenge there probably won't be growth.
- Are you getting everything you need from supervision?
Counselling Autistic Clients [starts at 25:36 mins]
The National Counselling Society is proud to sponsor Practice Matters.
NCS are really excited to have launched their Children and Young People Therapist Register for counsellors working with the younger age group.
In part two of an interview with Quinn Dexter of the YouTube channel ‘Autistamatic’, Rory discusses what can be done to accommodate autistic people as a therapist.
The key points of this discussion include:
- When counselling autistic clients, think about the environment your sessions are taking place in:
- Reduce noise pollution.
- Avoid overhead lighting – particularly florescent.
- Client may prefer to have the door open.
- Have a choice of seating or standing.
- When communicating, avoid or be prepared to explain: analogues, colloquialisms, and euphemisms – as these may cause confusion.
- Understand the honesty – when saying ‘I don’t know’, it usually means they really don’t know.
- Finding words to describe how they’re feeling can be incredibly difficult.
- When working with autistic clients in therapy, abandon the autism triad of impairment. Instead look at the autistic triad of distinctions.
- The neurotypical way isn’t the ‘normal’ or ‘right’ way.
Free Handout Download
Transference and Countertransference
Links and Resources
Advanced Certificate in Counselling Supervision
Basic Counselling Skills: A Student Guide
Counselling Theory in Practice: A Student Guide
Online and Telephone Counselling: A Practitioner’s Guide