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Bollas, C. (1983). Expressive Uses of the Countertransference—Notes to the Patient from Oneself. Contemp. Psychoanal., 19:1-33.

(1983). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 19:1-33

Expressive Uses of the Countertransference—Notes to the Patient from Oneself

Christopher Bollas, Ph.D.

AN ANALYST'S COUNTERTRANSFERENCE IS A CONTINUOUS internal response to the presence of an analysand that necessitates a different kind of attentiveness of the analyst's part from that which he gives the patient. Although many patients create through the transference an environment that is favorable to the analyst's good enough state of mind, we are more mindful these days of those patients who represent their existence through the other's moods and thoughts, and, such a countertransference will compel the analyst to take himself as the object of interest, insight, and quite possibly of "cure".

Like many clinicians these days I entertain the possibility that for differing reasons and in varied ways analysands recreate their infantile life in the transference in such a determined and unconsciously accomplished way that the analyst is compelled to relive elements of this infantile history through his countertransference.

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