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Novick, J. Novick, K.K. (2000). Love in the Therapeutic Alliance. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 48(1):189-218.

(2000). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 48(1):189-218

Love in the Therapeutic Alliance

Jack Novick and Kerry Kelly Novick

Volumes have been written about the patient's love for the therapist, but there has been relatively little discussion of the therapist's love for the patient. In an attempt to create a theoretical and technical space for discussing the appropriateness and role of love in the therapeutic relationship, a revised concept of the therapeutic alliance is applied to provide technical guidelines and understanding of two kinds of love between patient and therapist, corresponding to two systems of self-esteem regulation: an open, reality-oriented system and a closed, sadomasochistic system organized according to omnipotent beliefs. Examples of the role of love through the phases of treatment illustrate the interrelationship of love and the accomplishment of therapeutic alliance tasks.

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