Transference is “…a tendency in which representational aspects of important and formative relationships (such as with parents and siblings) can be both consciously experienced and/or unconsciously ascribed to other relationships”.1 Specifically, transference refers to the process by which the feelings that you had for someone (such as a parent) become directed to someone else (such as a therapist or psychoanalyst).2 The phenomenon of transference may be triggered when a new person resembles someone else, physically or in terms of their personality characteristics. Transference also occurs in everyday life.
For example, a few of my friends have displayed transference when dealing with their significant others. One in particular, who had been cheated on in the past, would transfer the feelings she had for her previous romantic partner to her current boyfriend. After finding out that he was going to be stuck late at work, which was quite often, she would secretly check his email and phone messages. Her feelings of mistrust, which were caused by her previous partner, led to trust issues with and resentment toward her current partner. This eventually created a rift between them. If experiences with the past can influence our future, how might this impact our relationships?