Projection and Transference, Different but Still the Same Phenomena


What is the difference between projection and transference? Projection and transference are the same phenomena which is seeing in others outside of ourselves our own unconscious contents. We transfer or project whatever we disown, deny or repress — only this is occurring not of our own volition. The psyche is striving for wholeness so therefore our unconscious projects itself out onto others because it wants to be known. In our relationships, these are three of the ways projections occur. 1) I project something onto you and expect you to carry it for me. 2) I project something onto you. You do it. I do not. I can’t see it in myself. and 3) I inflict my shadow onto you and do not even know I am doing it. I remain completely unaware.

In transference, I transfer my history onto you. I have had a challenging relationship with my parents/environment so now I transfer that history onto you as unconsciously I am still trying to resolve it. So you get to be my Mom and my Dad. That’s why the 2nd chapter of my book is Our Parents, Our Partners and Our 7th House. We marry our parents. Sometimes first one, then the other. Sometimes both at once because what was conscious in one will be unconscious in the other. They were more alike than we thought when we understand this psychological dynamic also called projective identification.

Around mid life we begin to recognize these patterns. We repeat our relationships ad nauseam until we see that we are the common denominator in all of these situations with others. These occur in a spiral— we go round and round with them as we become more and more conscious