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Wagner, M.S. (1995). Counterresistance: The Therapist's Interference with the Therapeutic Process. Gerald Schoenewolf. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, Inc., 1993. 310 pp.. Mod. Psychoanal., 20(1):118-121.

(1995). Modern Psychoanalysis, 20(1):118-121

Counterresistance: The Therapist's Interference with the Therapeutic Process. Gerald Schoenewolf. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, Inc., 1993. 310 pp.

Review by:
Mara Sanadi Wagner

This book is intended as a primer highlighting the range of resistances of therapists, dubbed by the author “counterresistances.” As such, it provides a broad and very practical introduction to the topic. Spotnitz is cited extensively. The author disringuishes three types of therapist' resistances in his interesting slicing of the pie: countertransference resistance, stimulated by a specific patient with a specific transference; characterological counterresistance, brought along with the therapist's defense structure; and cultural counterresistance, leveled at the patient by the therapist as representative of social biases. Chapters on each of these slices illustrate clearly the author's ideas and cite those of others in the field. The chapter on countertransference resistance includes a notable section describing Searless' thoughts on “symbiotic clinging” and a universally recognizable example of “the guilty therapist and the battered patient.” The expectable list of cultural counterresistances is enhanced by the inclusion of what he terms “ideological counterresistance” and is interestingly illustrated by an example of theoretically generated biases levied on a psychotic patient by Lacan.

A distinguishing feature of the book is the author's examination of the characterological counterresistances of specific analysts. Problems encountered by Freud, Jung, and Reich are included, and he is generous in frequently illustrating his own errors as well.

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