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Spruiell, G. (1992). Meetings of the Psychoanalytic Institute of New England, East. Psychoanal Q., 61:328-330.

(1992). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 61:328-330

Meetings of the Psychoanalytic Institute of New England, East

Graham Spruiell

DISCUSSION: Dr. Jacob A. Arlow pointed out that there is much confusion and controversy about the term "countertransference." Defining it becomes useful for the discussion. Countertransference is first a derivative concept of transference, which means literally, from its Latin roots, "to carry over." An instinctual wish for a scenario involving a primary object is "carried over" in experience, not as an abstraction. Dr. Arlow asked, "From whom to whom?" The answer determines the term for consideration. Recently, some have considered any thought or feeling occurring in the analysis to be a manifestation of transference. Dr. Arlow sees such conceptions as simplistic, because many communications exist outside the sphere of transference. Yet elements of transference, in both directions, are present in all relationships. In psychoanalysis the setting and the relationship are unique. Analysts neither endorse nor reject what is projected upon them by the patient; hence "transference manifestations stand out in bolder relief."

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