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Lachmann, F.M. (2001). A Farewell to Countertransference. Int. Forum Psychoanal., 10(3-4):242-246.

(2001). International Forum of Psychoanalysis, 10(3-4):242-246

A Farewell to Countertransference

Frank M. Lachmann, Ph.D.

The “discovery” of countertransference provided a much-needed corrective to the one-sided view of transference and a patient's pathology. Even if its usefulness in the development of psychoanalysis was indisputable, its days are numbered. When I present my clinical work at conferences, I am often asked questions about my countertransference. These questions contain numerous assumptions that are challenged in this paper. Treatment is discussed from a self psychological perspective to highlight the therapeutic value of enabling the patient to engage a selfobject transference. The concept of “projective identification” is also challenged. Systems theory, in which the therapeutic relationship is understood as a co-construction between therapist and patient, is proposed as a more effective model to deal with the issues formerly included under transference-countertransference.

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