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Steiner, J. (2002). Commentary on Tomas Böhm's ‘Sara in her Fourth Analytic Year’. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 83(5):1012-1015.

(2002). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 83(5):1012-1015

Commentary on Tomas Böhm's ‘Sara in her Fourth Analytic Year’

John Steiner

Dr Böhm's clear and detailed account of his session allows us to compare different approaches to analysis. I think that my style of work differs from his chiefly in the importance it gives to the analysis of transference: I also tend to pay close attention to the effect a patient's problems and defences have on the analytic atmosphere and particularly on the capacity of the analyst to work freely and productively.

Dr Böhm explains that the way he prefers to work is to wait ‘for cues from my or the analysand's own awareness before interpreting transference’. By contrast, my approach to a patient's material is to try to focus my attention on the transference and to use my perception of the mood of the session, the background events such as changes in the schedule, and my countertransference, to interpret the content of the session as far as it can be understood in transference terms.

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