The other day, as part of my job, I had a met with a psychotherapist. My people are not generally therapy people, so I feel compelled to explain why I was talking to a shrink.

And yet, I learned a lot in that meeting that’s helped me since. We were talking about a project involving teaching transferrence and counter-transferrence. These words weren’t new to me, but I didn’t understand the concepts behind them. While I’m still not sure I understand them, I have a better sense of what they mean in theory and practice, as well as of some of their constituent parts.

This helped me recently to pay attention to my affect in a situation with my child, a time when I found myself extremely frustrated with what I thought was performance below their abilities. I’m still not convinced they were doing their best, but I also paid better attention to myself at the moment, tried to consider better my child’s perspective and likely thoughts and feelings at the moment, and likely averted a bunch of unpleasantness and reinforcement of exactly their actions and mindset that I want to control. Which is possibly the bigger problem, anyway, my ridiculous expectation that I can control another human being.