Mallory’s behavior in this interview exemplify transference, psychodynamic case scenario help


Psychodynamic Case Scenario

For this activity, watch the video: Psychodynamic
Case Scenario
. Use the information in the scenario to answer the following

  • To
    what extent does Mallory’s behavior in this interview exemplify
    transference (see Chapter 12)?
  • To
    what extent does Dr. Santos’ behavior during the session influence your
    judgment regarding Mallory’s behavior as transference?
  • If
    it is transference, what, exactly, is Mallory transferring? From whom,
    might you speculate, is she transferring it?
  • If
    it is transference, and Dr. Santos is a psychodynamic psychotherapist,
    what is an ideal way for Dr. Santos to handle it? What if Dr. Santos was a
    humanistic psychotherapist, would she handle this situation differently?
  • Describe
    several of the defense mechanisms. (Please select several that have not
    all been described already by other students if possible.) Do any of those
    you described seem to be applicable to Mallory? How so?

1 Response:

I think that Mallory’s behavior in this
interview exemplifies transference by her displaying behaviors that have no
apparent signals for her to react the way that she is. Dr. Santos is displaying
active listening and showing interest in what Mallory has to say by asking her
to elaborate on her feelings and encouraging her to stay in the session so she
can help her. Because Dr. Santos is not giving Mallory signals of disinterest,
the reason Mallory is acting the way she is must come from an unconscious issue
which can be the signs of transference. Transference is when the client may
treat the relationship with therapist on a similar basis of the reactions the
client may have had with an important person in their past. Mallory may be
distorting her view of Dr. Santos by prejudging her on the basis of the way she
could have been treated by someone else previously in her life. I think that
because Dr. Santos is a woman that is older than Mallory, Mallory could be
transferring behaviors of her mother onto Dr. Santos. Mallory’s mother may have
always been too busy to listen to Mallory, had more important things to do, and
demeaned any concerns Mallory may have brought to her mother. As a
psychodynamic psychotherapist, Dr. Santos should help Mallory be aware of her
transference tendencies and how this can affect her relationships with others
and with her life and offer interpretation of the transference. If Dr. Santos
was a humanistic psychotherapist, she may not act differently but see Mallory’s
transference as a chance to grow toward self-actualization and psychological
wellness (Pomerantz, 2014).

There are many defense mechanisms that
Mallory may be using. Repression is when the ego will repress the conscious
awareness of the conflict of the id and superego as it never happened. If
Mallory has repressed some memories about where her transference is coming
from, it may be harder to bring awareness to her transference. Projection is
when the ego projects the id impulse onto other people rather than ourselves.
Mallory may be projecting the feelings she has from her mother onto Dr. Santos.
Displacement is when the ego displaces the id impulse onto someone else rather
than who it should be aimed at. Mallory may be displacing her feelings onto Dr.
Santos rather than her mother which is where the feelings come from (Pomerantz,

Pomerantz, A. (2014). Clinical
psychology: Science, practice, and culture
(3rd ed). Thousand Oaks,
CA: Sage Publications.    

2 response:

Mallory’s behavior in this interview
exemplifies transference by her behavior with Dr. Santos. For instance,
Mallory keeps assuming her complaints are boring Dr. Santos. She constantly
wants to leave, and Dr. Santos keeps asking her to stay. Dr. Santos is simply
listening to Mallory, and Mallory is thinking she is not intrested in her
story, but she is trying to understand her story.  It seems like Mallory
is reflecting on what has happened in her past and putting her feelings on the
Doctor. It seems like Mallory is taking her past experiences and is judgmental
by detecting the doctor would have similar quality as someone who may affected
her in her past.  For instance, maybe Mallory was neglected, mistreated,
or hurt in her past by someone.  Mallory could be affected about her
relationship status. She may look at others that are happy, married, or settled
down, and it may reflect on her life at the moment. Mallory feels that problem
that is going on is something that is abnormal with herself. Mallory is putting
her own insecurities by thinking the doctor thinks the same, but that is
not the case.
I think Dr. Santos could administer a form of transference by
speaking a little more. I think if Dr. Santos would say things in the middle of
her speaking, or making good eye contact to try and make Mallory feel she cares
more. Mallory is looking to feel calm and cared about. If Dr. Santos was
a humanistic psychotherapy, Dr. Santos could listen to Mallory’s issues,
and then trying to reach some form of conclusion. Mallory needs to understand
that Dr. Santos is there to help her, not judge her. Good active listening
skills on both parts should be applied. 
Defense mechanisms are as followed:
Repression- An ego that prevents effective awareness of conflict between
the id and superego.
Projection-ego that directs an id impulse onto other people
Reaction formation-“In which the ego forms a type of reaction against
the id impulse, in which behavior has an opposite of the original id
impulse” (Pomerantz, 2012).
Displacement-the ego that directs s an id impulse toward a much safer target
Sublimation-“In which the ego redirects the id impulse in a way that
the outcome behavior benefits others” (Pomerantz, 2012).
I think Mallory is displacing her feelings towards Dr. Santos, because she is
looking for that safe comfort. Mallory is also projecting her behavior on Dr.
Santos, because she is opening up to her about her past. 

Pomerantz, A. (2014). Clinical psychology: Science, practice, and
(3rd ed). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. 

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