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(2016). Research digest: transference and countertransference. J. Child Psychother., 42(1):91-97.

(2016). Journal of Child Psychotherapy, 42(1):91-97

Research digest

Research digest: transference and countertransference


‘Interpreting the transference has been considered a core ingredient in psychodynamic psychotherapy,’ write Ulberg et al. (2014), but ‘the concept of transference and the use of transference interpretations in psychotherapy have been highly controversial topics,’ state Levy and Scala (2012). Hayes et al. (2015) warn that while ‘countertransference (CT) can provide psychotherapists with important information about relationship dynamics with clients, the therapy process, and clinical decisions … CT also can lead therapists to view clients and sessions inaccurately, feel unduly anxious, and behave in ways that primarily meet their own needs at the expense of clients.’

This smallish collection of abstracts brings together recent research on the concept of the transference, transference interpretation and countertransference, including definitions, the relationship with outcome and with a range of other factors such as alliance, sexual orientation and patient pathology and personality. It is an eclectic mix and no over-riding conclusion can be drawn, but it is hoped that the reader will be encouraged by the implied message that in the field of psychotherapy, we are moving towards being able to research key psychoanalytic concepts in action.

Transference and insight in psychotherapy with gay and bisexual male clients: the role of sexual orientation identity integration

Jonathan J. Mohr, Jairo N. Fuertes and Thomas I. Stracuzzi

Psychotherapy, American Psychological Association, 2015, Volume 52 (1): 119–26

Special Section: Festschrift for Charles Gelso

Clinical writing has suggested that the therapeutic process and relationship in work with lesbian, gay, and bisexual clients may be influenced by the extent to which clients have accepted their sexual orientation and developed a social network supportive of their sexual orientation, a construct we refer to as sexual orientation identity integration.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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