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Piene, F. Auestad, A. Lange, J. Leira, T. (1983). Countertransference – Transference seen from the Point of View of Child Psychoanalysis. Scand. Psychoanal. Rev., 6(1):43-57.

(1983). Scandinavian Psychoanalytic Review, 6(1):43-57

Countertransference – Transference seen from the Point of View of Child Psychoanalysis

Fiffi Piene, Ph.D., Anne-Marie Auestad, Jon Lange and Torhild Leira

Although countertransference is regarded as an important area in child analysis, little has been published on this topic (Kohrman et al., 1971; Marshall, 1979). However, there has been far more discussion about transference in child analysis, whether there is transference in the classical sense and to what extent transference of a more permanent nature occurs – transference neurosis. Comparison is constantly made with the transference situation in adult analysis. Even though this comparison can be of considerable theoretical interest, it can also sometimes act as an impediment to the understanding of what goes on in analysis with children.

We shall attempt to describe some of the phenomena that can be observed in child analysis and discuss the transference and countertransference features as we see them. We shall try to show how a child analytic setting may work out and in what kind of work situation the child analyst may find herself. We shall also discuss aspects which we consider specific for the psychoanalytic process with children. As a basis for this, we shall begin with a few definitions.


As is well-known, transference is a concept taken from and defined in the context of analysis with adult neurotic patients. (Freud, S., 1912).

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