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Ross, W.D. Kapp, F.T. (1962). A Technique for Self-Analysis of Countertransference—Use of the Psychoanalyst's Visual Images in Response to Patient's Dreams. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 10:643-657.

(1962). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 10:643-657

A Technique for Self-Analysis of Countertransference—Use of the Psychoanalyst's Visual Images in Response to Patient's Dreams

W. Donald Ross, M.D. and Frederic T. Kapp, M.D.


An innovation in technique is presented for the self-analysis of unconscious components in the analyst's reactions to his patient and to his patinet's transference. The visual images of the analyst in response to his patient's descriptions of dreams are used by the analyst as the starting point for the uncovering of previously unconscious countertransference.

Pertinent literature on countertransference, self-analysis, and visual imagery is discussed with the explanation of the development of this method.

Four examples of the use of this technique in psychoanalysis are presented; in addition, one example is given from the supervision of psychoanalytically oriented psychotherapy, to illustrate how a modification of this method might have prevented a therapeutic failure.

This technique is consistent with recent emphasis on the inevitability of some countertransference reactions, and even of their being useful when they are recognized, in contrast with earlier tendencies to consider them to be undesirable contaminants.

A suggestion is made for the validation of this technique and for its use in analytical supervision.

Although its use presupposes the skill and motivation of the analyst for the constant pursuit of insight, the method provides a distinct and relatively simple procedure for facilitating the self-analysis of the countertransference.

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