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Gerson, B. (1994). An Analyst's Pregnancy Loss and Its Effects on Treatment: Disruption and Growth. Psychoanal. Dial., 4(1):1-17.

(1994). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 4(1):1-17

An Analyst's Pregnancy Loss and Its Effects on Treatment: Disruption and Growth

Barbara Gerson, Ph.D.

Previous clinical literature has indicated some ways in which crises in the life of an analyst, such as pregnancy, illness, or death of a loved one, can affect and alter the analytic space. In this paper, the effects on treatment of my second-trimester pregnancy difficulties and consequent pregnancy loss are explored. My experiences indicated that the experiences and reactions generated by this life crisis often provided the field in which the “knottiest” analytic issues between patient and analyst were confronted. To demonstrate this point, clinical material at three different periods over a three-year time span is presented. Two patients with negative reactions to my loss are discussed in detail. The early impact of my pregnancy difficulty on two other patients, for whom the crisis provided a new focal point in their treatment, is also discussed. Issues of self-disclosure are interwoven throughout.

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