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Arlow, J.A. (1952). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXI, 1950: On Countertransference. Paula Heimann. Pp. 81–84.. Psychoanal Q., 21:135.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXI, 1950: On Countertransference. Paula Heimann. Pp. 81–84.

(1952). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 21:135

International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXI, 1950: On Countertransference. Paula Heimann. Pp. 81–84.

Jacob A. Arlow

An emotional response experienced by the analyst toward the patient should not always be considered a source of trouble, but should be regarded as one of the most important tools for analytic work. It is an instrument of research into the patient's unconscious. Often the emotions aroused in the analyst are nearer to the heart of the matter than his reasoning, that is, his unconscious perception of the patient's unconscious is more acute and in advance of his conscious conception of the situation. The analyst's countertransference is the patient's creation. It is part of the patient's personality and should be treated as such. A proper focus on the analyst's own responsiveness is always necessary and this should stimulate him to the continuing analysis of his own problems. For the analyst to communicate such feelings would constitute a burdensome confession to the patient which in any case leads away from the analysis. The emotions aroused in the analyst will be of value to his patient if used as one more source of insight into the patient's unconscious conflicts and defenses. Heimann illustrates this point with an example from her own experience in which an immediate emotional response of apprehensiveness on the part of the analyst, when properly understood, led to the correct interpretation of a complicated acting out on the part of the patient.

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Article Citation

Arlow, J.A. (1952). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXI, 1950. Psychoanal. Q., 21:135

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