The Image of Countertransference on the Art Therapist : Self - Awareness and Management Using Response Art

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Snitker, Rhonda
Master of Arts in Art Therapy
Countertransference is a normal part of the everyday personal experience in the therapeutic relationship. For almost a century, much discussion has taken place to determine its definition and presence within the mental health profession. However, few have studied countertransference management. The following arts-based heuristic study allowed the researcher to consider countertransference issues as she interned with a population with whom she has had prior shared experiences.The purpose of this study was to find an artistic means to assist the therapist in identifying and managing countertransference issues. Through reflection, immersion into response art, visual narrative and journaling, and a centering activity, the researcher encountered the countertransference phenomena She experienced increased self-awareness and was able to manage countertransference. Practical implications of this study suggest using art as a way to produce clarity and professional processing of countertransference issues within the art therapist . The process is applicable to other mental health disciplines.