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(1952). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXII, 1951: On Countertransference. Annie Reich. Pp. 25–31.. Psychoanal Q., 21:577-577.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXII, 1951: On Countertransference. Annie Reich. Pp. 25–31.

(1952). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 21:577-577

International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXII, 1951: On Countertransference. Annie Reich. Pp. 25–31.

Countertransference proper comprises the effects of the analyst's own unconscious needs and conflicts on his understanding or technique. The patient, in such cases, represents an object of the past onto whom past fantasies and wishes are projected. In this paper, countertransference is understood in a wider sense to include all expressions of the analyst's use of the analysis for purposes of acting out.

One of the most frequent forms of countertransference consists of overidentification with the patient who may be seen as a mirror of the analyst's own unacceptable unconscious. Reactions to the patient, technique, and understanding of the situation are then determined by the analyst's own conflict.

Countertransference phenomena may be of an acute nature due to a specific situation; or they may be chronic due to certain characterological problems of the analyst. Of particular importance apparently is the narcissistic countertransference which is characterized by the analyst's need to feel himself a 'magic healer' in order to balance his own shaky narcissistic equilibrium.

Whereas an 'acute attack of countertransference' can usually be handled by means of some self-analysis, the chronic countertransference problems necessitate additional analysis for the analyst.

While unconscious mechanisms result in countertransference, which interfere with the successful fulfilment of the analyst's task, analytic interest and ability are of course equally rooted in unconscious mechanisms. It is important to understand the conditions governing either of these developments. Some clinical material is given to demonstrate how a structure that might easily have led to pathology may be used for successful sublimation and serve as a basis for psychological talent.


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Article Citation

(1952). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXII, 1951. Psychoanal. Q., 21:577-577

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