In contrast with the original idea that the researcher’s subjectivity is a potential hindrance to understanding, it is now commonly accepted that it can also be a valuable instrument in the process of interpreting an objective social, psychological, or intrapsychic reality.
The concept of countertransference is the pivotal concept in the argument that the subjective experience of the researcher is a creation of the subject of study which reflects an essential aspect of its nature.For this reason, I believe that becoming familiar with these concepts may enhance any social or psychological researcher’s understanding.The phenomenon of transference was discovered by Sigmund Freud and became a fundamental tenet of psychoanalytic theory and therapy.In this situation, understanding can be furthered by the psychological commonality of two separate realities (the researcher’s and his subject’s), but these realities do not influence each other.Psychoanalysis offers a profound conceptual twist that implies the researcher’s subjectivity may in fact be a creation of the subject of study which reveals an essential aspect of it.However, not all feelings that are experienced in relation to the patient or the subject of study can be assumed to be countertransferential.
In fact, they could be transferential creations of the researcher, which, if left unrecognized, could become a source of distortion of objective reality.
Instead, a parallel reality is implied which aids the researcher in the process of deriving meaning.
An example of this would be the shared cultural or historical experiences between the researcher and the subject, which could facilitate , a form of grasping the psychological experience of the other.
Everybody has had the experience of inexplicably disliking another person, or being induced with feelings of sadness or hopelessness in the presence of another person.
These are day-to-day examples of the transference-countertransference arena.
This relationship between the researcher’s subjectivity and the subject of study is based on the underlying presumption that the researcher’s subjective reactions are induced by the subject of study precisely because this is one, and sometimes the only way available to the subject to communicate something that is out of its full awareness.