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Tower, L.E. (1956). Countertransference. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 4:224-255.

(1956). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 4:224-255


Lucia E. Tower, M.D.


References to countertransference appeared very early in psychoanalytic literature. Originally, they paid mostly lip service to its existence, with unelaborated statements that, of course, analysts could have transference reactions to their patients. Little else was said, other than to imply that these were dubious reactions and should be controlled, and for analysts to discuss their countertransference reactions in public would be somewhat indecently self-revealing. About ten years ago, a moderate number of articles began to appear. The general overtone of these articles has been of a rather embarrassed sort, as though these were major imperfections in our therapeutic procedures, and of course certain countertransference phenomena are considered reprehensible in the extreme.

The literature on countertransference has recently been excellently reviewed by Douglass Orr (18). I shall make only cursory comments about this literature because my main purpose is to present some ideas of my own and some detailed case material. Despite wide agreement among analysts about transference, there has been wide disagreement about countertransference.

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