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Sherby, L.B. (2009). Considerations on Countertransference Love. Contemp. Psychoanal., 45(1):65-81.

(2009). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 45(1):65-81

Considerations on Countertransference Love

Linda B. Sherby, Ph.D.

The author considers five types of countertransference love and explores each of them in depth. In its least intense form, countertransference love exists in every treatment and can be seen in the basic analytic attitude of empathy and concern. An intense connectedness that often develops between patient and analyst is the next form of countertransference love, followed by satisfaction and gratification for the work and the patient's progress. The last two forms of countertransference love are usually the most problematic for the analyst and involve intense feelings of maternal or sexual love, or both. Using detailed clinical material, the author highlights the importance of an analyst's self-awareness and demonstrates how the analyst can use her countertransference feelings to the help or detriment of the patient.

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