The Therapeutic Alliance + the Inflammatory Effects of Projective Identification


Projective Identification is a psychological defense mechanism in which sensations and emotions so intense as to unravel someone- think rage, shame, despair, envy, or self-hatred- are forced into someone else (a therapist, teacher, healer, or loved one) without warning or awareness. Unprocessed, it can leave us metabolizing other people’s most difficult feelings and sensations- often indefinitely.

In this class, we explore:

  • what projective identification is, how it works, who’s most vulnerable to it
  • why it’s so important for healthcare professionals to identify it and counter it


We explore how yoga, mindfulness, and body-based practices can help us combat this defense, remaining free to metabolize only what’s ours and discard what isn’t.

Participants will understand what projective identification is, why it happens, how to detect it, and how to manage its effects in themselves as a means of self-care and therapeutic efficacy.