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Craig, A.G. (2020). Approaching the Transference Relation in Cognitive-Behaviourism: Applying a Lacanian Logic. Brit. J. Psychother., 36(2):232-247.

(2020). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 36(2):232-247

Approaching the Transference Relation in Cognitive-Behaviourism: Applying a Lacanian Logic

Angus G. Craig

Authors aiming to conceptualize a ‘cognitive countertransference’ continue to search for the most effective way to integrate psychoanalytic theory, and a coherent definition for such a concept. This paper first argues that authentic attempts at integration of the concept of transference into cognitive-behaviourism require a return to seminal work on Übertragung (transference) and Gegenübertragung (countertransference). References to these terms throughout the work of Sigmund Freud and Jacques Lacan are discussed in the context of the overall progression in the work of both theorists. With regard to two fundamental psychoanalytic concepts that underlie a Freudo-Lacanian understanding of transference - the unconscious and repetition - this paper subsequently explores how a Lacanian logic may inform the emerging ‘cognitive countertransference’ literature. This paper contextualizes such thinking within the ongoing psychoanalytic debate regarding the utility of the analyst's participation in the transference relation. Ultimately, this paper argues that a cognitive countertransference may be redundant in favour of an understanding of shared cotransference, or transference relation, which begets simple theoretical conclusions, and technical recommendations. Implications for cognitive-behavioural theory and practice are examined.

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