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Knafo, D. (1999). Anti-Semitism in the Clinical Setting: Transference and Countertransference Dimensions. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 47(1):35-63.

(1999). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 47(1):35-63

Anti-Semitism in the Clinical Setting: Transference and Countertransference Dimensions

Danielle Knafo

Despite the salient presence of Jews in the history of psychoanalysis, literature on the subject of anti-Semitism in the clinical setting is surprisingly sparse. This paper attempts to comprehend the reasons for the dearth of literature on this important topic. A clinical section then breaks the silence surrounding expressions of anti-Semitism in the consulting room. The major focus is on transference and countertransference reactions that arise with regard to anti-Semitism in the clinical setting. Since the first section is concerned with silence in the psychoanalytic community, its focus is primarily on countertransference issues that may hinder the analyst's understanding and use of anti-Semitic material. The second, clinical section focuses on the ways both transference and countertransference reactions combine and influence one another and how they may, when properly attended to, serve as catalytic tools for advancing therapeutic goals.

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