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Transference

There is a process in therapy called transference. Basically the person needing counseling transfers feelings they have for someone in thier life towards the therapist. In a positive role, the therapist will have clear boundaries and will be able to help the counselee learn a different coping mechanism for handling the person they really have the feelings towards so the counselee can move forward. In a negative role, the counselee will self destruct and try to get the therapist to fulfill the role in the same manner that the person they have the feelings toward does. In a more detrimental role, there is a countertransference where the therapist tries to work out their own personal issues in the therapy session putting their feelings on the client.


I am not sure what brought this to my mind, as I am not currently providing counseling, nor am I in counseling. However, I was thinking this is what we do with God, I realize my thoughts oversimplify the matter, but the revelation was good for me. In transference with God, Daddy issues become God issues. Spouse issues become God issues. Trust issues become God issues. Anything that works itself out in relationships becomes a God issue.

I have seen this play out in my own relationships. There have been times where I have felt rejected by God. Yet the root of that rejection is feelings of rejection from childhood. I have felt unloved by God because I allowed how I was feeling towards my spouse to influence how I felt God was responding to me. When I have felt left behind by friends, I have at times put that on God also feeling as if He was leaving me behind. A deeper look is that how I relate to others is often a reflection of how I am relating to God. I transfer my feelings towards others to God.


I am grateful that my great Counselor has perfect boundaries. He knows how to work on my heart and mind to help me work through my issues in other relationships. I remember when God showed me how I was relating to my husband in an unhealthy manner. He taught me to talk to Him before I started complaining to or about my husband. Once I was able to work through my own emotions I was able to go back to my husband and have a good conversation about the underlying issue instead of reacting to the immediate circumstances which were just symptoms to which we were responding.


And when that feeling of rejection comes up, I traced it all the way back to childhood. I had a limited understanding of things from childhood. My childhood self took on rejection, and then my adult self just ran with it. Until I went back and processed some of the things that lead me to feel rejected with a God-sized lens. It changed my thinking, but there is a lot of junk that God is still having to strip away from all those years of distorted thinking.


The really cool thing I was thinking about with transference, is that when I transfer my feelings on to God, He knows what to do with them. If I let Him, He will help me work them out. He is not gonna get frustrated and fire me. He will really set those boundaries, and even when I push them He doesn’t give up on me. He knows that I am a work in progress and He won’t quit on me. He is the best Counselor.


The other thing is, with God countertransference is a good thing! When I can let Him work things out through me, that is what the Kingdom of God is about. When I let Him love through me, others get real love. When I let His fruit grow in my life, it impacts the world around me in ways that I can not even begin to explain. When I really let His light shine in me, others are able to encounter Him.


I know that transference happens. I realize that my view is over simplified. I can let God help me work out negative emotions, and let Him guide my healing process. He can teach me to let His healing power work through me and flow into the lives of those around me. He is an amazing God and counselor.

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