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Aron, L. Lieberman, A. (2017). In Memory of Harold Searles: 1918–2015. Psychoanal. Dial., 27(2):182-191.

(2017). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 27(2):182-191

In Memory of Harold Searles: 1918–2015

Lewis Aron, Ph.D. and Amy Lieberman, LCSW

Harold Searles, who died in November 2015 at the age of 97, is not easily placed in the landscape of psychoanalytic history. He was ignored and idealized, dismissed and revered, rejected and extensively cited, and loyal to no single school. Self-described as both outsider and expert, Searles constructed a complex idiom from his work with patients, his personal history, and his extensive psychiatric and psychoanalytic education. Searles took up the analyst’s complex subjectivity and the roles of projection and projective identification, long before such explorations were commonplace.

We are here republishing Searles’s earliest psychoanalytic paper, “Concerning Transference and Countertransference.” The paper was written in 1948–49 but was not published until the late 1970s, when it appeared in Robert Langs’s International Journal of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy. Because the journal was never included in the PEP database, the paper has remained largely unknown and unavailable to the analytic community.

Searles was a controversial figure, and many of his articles were rejected by the analytic journals. He often collected his work in his own books of collected papers. His first authored book, The Nonhuman Environment in Normal Development and Schizophrenia (1960), established him as one of the leading experts on the psychotherapeutic treatment of severe mental illness and brought him recognition for his original contribution to expanding our understanding of transference and countertransference phenomena.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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