Children can project their feeling onto us

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This may appear a little weird at first, but let me explain. The process is called counter-transference and was initially written about by Freud when he noticed feeling the same way as his patients as they somehow transferred their feelings to him. This was further explored by other psychoanalysts in the 1950s and has developed into a process of assisting patients and clients of psychoanalysts.

Let me give you an example you will recognise. Imagine an educator comes into work and they’re moving house or going through a messy personal issue like a divorce. Their emotional energy gets transferred over to the children and then the whole room is a mess, behaviour problems, off the air children, educator breaking down and crying and complete chaos. What has occurred is the educator has transferred her emotional state onto the children. Anyone who spends some time in the room will begin to feel the same way as the children, as the educator’s feelings are transferred to them as well.

How can we use this technique?

When a child can’t talk or has language that is difficult to understand we can use this process to help understand what is happening. The child’s feelings will be transferred to us too.

As educators we need to constantly see things from a range of perspectives. This particularly applies to children with Autism and their families.

Allow yourself to become a part of a child’s world, take the time to know and work closely with families to support them to achieve the best results for families.


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