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Karon, B.P. (1984). A Type of Transference Based on Identification with an Abusing Parent. Psychoanal. Psychol., 1(4):345-348.

(1984). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 1(4):345-348

A Type of Transference Based on Identification with an Abusing Parent

Bertram P. Karon, Ph.D.

A type of transference is described in which the patient treats the therapist not as if the latter were his father or mother, but as if the therapist were the patient and the patient reenacts the role of mother and father. This usually occurs when the therapy session seems irritating, exhausting or anxiety-provoking; this is particularly frequent with borderline and schizophrenic patients. An awareness of the significance of this type of transference will allow the therapist to make an unpleasant therapeutic situation into a useful therapeutic intervention.

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