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Böhm, T. (1996). On shame, countertransference, and analytic style. Scand. Psychoanal. Rev., 19(2):132-149.

(1996). Scandinavian Psychoanalytic Review, 19(2):132-149

On shame, countertransference, and analytic style

Tomas Böhm

Some analysands experience a restricted space in the analytic situation with special counter-transferential consequences. The author discusses how shame is involved in these situations, and projected on to the analyst. This leads to an important choice of direction for the analyst regarding counter-transference acting out or conditions for a real analytic situation. Shame plays a special rôle in these choices of direction. The author illustrates the problem with a clinical vignette and shows how integration of shame is accomplished clinically, and continues with a discussion of the connections between the analyst's analytic style, his own communicative style as a defense against shame and the analytic styles of different analytic “schools”. A discussion of Liberman's concept, of “asymmetrical dialogue” and its connection with countertransference acting out and analytic styles, forms a conclusion to the paper.

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