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Glucksman, M.L. (2005). The Dog' Role in the Analyst's Consulting Room. J. Amer. Acad. Psychoanal., 33(4):611-618.

(2005). Journal of American Academy of Psychoanalysis, 33(4):611-618

The Dog' Role in the Analyst's Consulting Room

Myron L. Glucksman, M.D.

Joe, a Labrador retriever, has accompanied an analyst in the consulting room since the dog was age three. Patients uniformly find him soothing and reassuring. In this capacity, he facilitates the therapeutic alliance and the holding environment. In addition, he often functions as a transitional object and transference displacement. Patients frequently use him as an introject for certain qualities they desire, such as security, strength, and confidence. Sometimes he promotes enactments between the patient and the analyst. At other times, he functions as a countertransference displacement for the analyst. On occasion, he is incorporated into the patient's defensive maneuvers and resistance. In each of these roles, he facilitates key elements of the therapeutic process, including exploration, understanding, interpretation, and working-through. Perhaps his most important role is that of a nonjudgmental, supportive, loyal cotherapist. Case illustrations highlight Joe's various functions in the analyst's consulting room.

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