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Pearson, M. (1995). Problems with Transference Interpretations in Short-Term Dynamic Therapy. Brit. J. Psychother., 12(1):37-48.

(1995). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 12(1):37-48

The Use of Transference

Problems with Transference Interpretations in Short-Term Dynamic Therapy

Mark Pearson

In this paper, I examine some problems which have arisen when I have attempted to make transference interpretations during short-term individual and group psychodynamic psychotherapy, and suggest an alternative style of working, which involves monitoring the transference but making comments using the material which the patient brings to the therapy session. This material is often not about the therapist-patient relationship, and I will argue that patients will frequently prefer to work in other areas for reasons of space and safety. For the therapist, the dangers of becoming intrusive and driving the patient into an impasse often outweigh the advantages of the directness that comes from examining the here and now relationship. I call this alternative style of working, ‘staying within the patient's metaphor’.

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