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Ferro, A. Basile, R. (2008). Countertransference and the characters of the psychoanalytic session. Scand. Psychoanal. Rev., 31(1):3-10.

(2008). Scandinavian Psychoanalytic Review, 31(1):3-10

Countertransference and the characters of the psychoanalytic session

Antonino Ferro, M.D. and Roberto Basile, M.D.

Translated by:
Philip Slotkin

The authors address the transference-countertransference axis as a central dimension of psychoanalytic work and apply the concept of the “analytic “field” to describe this area. Initially understood as a locus wherein crossed resistances of the patient-analyst encounter are reduced by the analyst's capacity for “second-thought” interpretations, the field today connotes a meeting point of the multiple potentialities of analyst and patient and of the worlds that emerge in their encounter. With a Bioninspired view of the field, enriched with concepts from narratology, a series of countertransference levels can be distinguished. Distinctions are based on the modalities that the field shows and makes use of to modulate its own tensions. Transformations of the characters in the session's narratives are shown to represent the transformations in the analytic field. Explorations of such links elucidate the opening and closing of a ‘channel’ between (the patient's) projective identifications and (the analyst's) reverie.

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