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Robertson, B.M. Yack, M. (1993). A Candidate Dreams of her Patient: A Report and Some Observations on the Supervisory Process. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 74:993-1003.

(1993). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 74:993-1003

A Candidate Dreams of her Patient: A Report and Some Observations on the Supervisory Process

Brian M. Robertson and Mary-Eleanor Yack


In this paper we argue that a candidate's reporting of her countertransference dream (CTD) in supervision, and its subsequent discussion, had two consequences. Firstly, it enabled the candidate to find her way out of an acute therapeutic impasse with her patient. Secondly, it provided important experiential and cognitive learning for the candidate, especially in the area of countertransference management and in the maintenance of her analytic work ego. This successful use of her CTD allowed her to enhance her self-analytical skills, with particular reference to her ability to monitor her own affective responses, and subsequent interpretive formulations, to her patient's contributions to the on-going transferencecountertransference dynamic. Our findings concur with those of other authors who suggest that CTDs occur at conflict-laden times in analysis. In addition, we postulate a link between the parallelism phenomenon and CTDs as adaptive responses to internal and external challenges in the context of control analyses and supervision.

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