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Faimberg, H. (1992). The Countertransference Position and the Countertransference. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 73:541-546.

(1992). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 73:541-546

The Countertransference Position and the Countertransference

Haydée Faimberg

THE COUNTERTRANSFERENCE POSITION AND THE COUNTERTRANSFERENCE

I shall refer in this paper to the psychical activity of the analyst during the session, for which I shall put forward the concept of the countertransference position. I would not use a neologism if I did not consider it more appropriate to the problems raised by the countertransference as I see them at present. After all, the countertransference has been discussed in a wide range of contexts and is not an unequivocal concept.

I shall not offer a historical review of the concept or an enumeration of the bibliographical references, but shall confine myself to some aspects essential for an understanding of my argument.

The term 'countertransference' may denote not only the unresolved neurotic aspects of the analyst but also his unconscious psychical functioning.

Annie Reich and Margaret Little were among the first analysts to use the concept of countertransference, but their respective positions were always very different: Annie Reich reserves the term exclusively for the analyst's unresolved neurotic aspects and affirms in an extremely polemical tone that its semantic field must not be widened, whereas Margaret Little sets out to show that the impersonal analyst is a myth. Heinrich Racker explicitly takes this second position as his starting point.

This polemic has so divided the analytical world that the use of the concept of countertransference inevitably suggests neurosis, and misunderstandings therefore arise

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