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Jacobs, T.J. (1986). On Countertransference Enactments. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 34:289-307.

(1986). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 34:289-307

On Countertransference Enactments Related Papers

Theodore J. Jacobs, M.D.


This communication focuses on the relation of countertransference to psychoanalytic technique, calling attention not to the more obvious forms of countertransference that have been commented on by previous writers on the subject, but to its subtler ones. Often well camouflaged within the framework of traditional, time-tested techniques, this aspect of countertransference may attach itself to our way of listening and thinking about patients, to our efforts at interpretation, to the process of working through, or to the complex issue of termination. Less recognizable than its more boisterous counterpart and in some respects less tangible, this side of the problem of countertransference is no less important. For it is precisely those subtle, often scarcely visible countertransference reactions, so easily rationalized as parts of our standard operating procedures and so easily overlooked, that may in the end have the greatest impact on our analytic work.

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