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Kulish, N. Holtzman, D. (2003). Countertransference and the female triangular situation. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 84(3):563-577.

(2003). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 84(3):563-577

Countertransference and the female triangular situation

Nancy Kulish and Deanna Holtzman

This paper represents an attempt toward reconciling contemporary changes in psychoanalytic understandingsof female development, particularly in respect to separation issues, with their clinical applications to female patients. Psychoanalytic thinking typically has categorized separation conflicts as pre-oedipal, but the authors suggest that these are an integral part of the triangular situation of the girl. The authors argue that an allegiance to erroneous theory and/or individual blind spots have led to the infantilization, pre-oedipalization or cultural stereotyping of females, which constrains the effectiveness of their analyses. The authors present a selected review of the literature on gender-based countertransference biases in both male and female analysts, with reference to female ‘oedipal’ material. Analytic case material of two women is presented which demonstrates how theoretical misperceptions and countertransfererces to triangular separation conflicts can producean impedimentto progressionin analysis.

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