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Gottlieb, R.M. (1989). Technique and Countertransference in Freud's Analysis of the Rat Man. Psychoanal Q., 58:29-62.

(1989). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 58:29-62

Technique and Countertransference in Freud's Analysis of the Rat Man

Richard M. Gottlieb, M.D.


Freud's records of his treatment of the Rat Man constitute a unique document in the history of psychoanalysis. Through the years different analysts have used these records to support different theories about analytic technique. Certain non-interpretive interventions of Freud's have especially aroused their interest, and many reasons have been put forward to "explain" Freud's behavior. One reason never yet advanced and documented is that a countertransference tension may have been involved in one of these instances. This is surprising, since countertransference is a necessary part of every analysis. Evidence is presented that Freud's behavior may indeed have been under the sway of countertransference. Some recently discovered details concerning his early life are discussed as constituting a plausible background for this countertransference enactment.

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