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Moore, W.P. (1992). 34th Winter Meeting: Gender Issues on Clinical Issues for Pregnant Psychoanalysts. J. Amer. Acad. Psychoanal., 20(1):149-151.

(1992). Journal of American Academy of Psychoanalysis, 20(1):149-151

34th Winter Meeting: Gender Issues on Clinical Issues for Pregnant Psychoanalysts

William P. Moore, M.D.

In her paper A. R. Turkel enlightens us with her 26 years of personal experience and observation involving pregnancy of the psychoanalyst. The particular issues of transference and countertransference are clearly explained in clinical vignettes.

The climate for the analyst's pregnancy is much changed from 26 years ago to today. Turkel describes the shift from the profession's hostile reaction to pregnancy in the past to a more enlightened awareness at present, facilitated at least in part by the increase in the number of women professionals.

Her conclusion is that the analyst's pregnancy actually enhances the relationship between analyst and analysand. The pregnancy is a violation of analytic neutrality, but it does not seem to inhibit the transference. It is both essential and difficult to find a balance between the patient's interest in the pregnancy and the baby from an analytic standpoint while appropriately appreciating the patient's genuine concerns. Turkel's sometimes courageous disclosures of her countertransference are particularly enlightening.

Twenty-six years ago the male-dominated view that prevailed would be viewed today as prejudicial. Then, pregnant analysts commonly took up knitting afghans or embroidering large tablecloths to conceal the pregnancy. At the time of Turkel's pregnancy she searched, with scant success, for literature to guide her work.

Certainly it is beneficial to the patient that the analyst's private life not impinge on the unfolding transference.

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