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(1957). Journal of the American Psycho-Analytic Association 4, 1956, No. 2: Lucia E. Tower. 'Counter-Transference.'. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 38:135.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Journal of the American Psycho-Analytic Association 4, 1956, No. 2: Lucia E. Tower. 'Counter-Transference.'

(1957). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 38:135

Journal of the American Psycho-Analytic Association 4, 1956, No. 2: Lucia E. Tower. 'Counter-Transference.'

The phenomena described under the term counter-transference have received a number of varying interpretations. As a rule comments have been of a forbidding type, the implication being that the analyst is consciously able to control his own unconscious. The author suggests that the term counter-transference should be used only for those phenomena which are transferences of the analyst to the patient. These are inevitable and often desirable. Such unconscious interactions between analyst and patient are frequently of vital significance for the outcome of the analysis. Thinking on the subject of counter-transference has become irrational. On the one hand candidates for training are selected on account of their potential libidinal resources while on the other hand every detectable libidinal investment made by the analyst in the patient is cause for criticism. Erotic phantasy and erotic counter-transference are ubiquitous and presumably normal.

Tower advances the theory that in every intensive analysis there develops a counter-transference structure, perhaps even a 'neurosis' which is an inevitable counterpart of the transference neurosis. Such counter-transference structures play an important rôle in treatment. Their understanding by the analyst may be as important to the working through of the transference neurosis as is the intellectual understanding of the transference neurosis. The development of counter-transference structures in the analyst will occur gradually and insidiously over a long period of time. Even under ideal circumstances there are bound to be certain drifts from the set course instituted by the analyst and changes in his understanding of the case. These are caused by unconscious responses in the analyst to hidden pressures and motivations from the patient and constitute the essence of the counter-transference structure.

The clinical material selected to illustrate the views described above comprises four patients who were in analysis for long periods.

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Article Citation

(1957). Journal of the American Psycho-Analytic Association 4, 1956, No. 2. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 38:135

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