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Wilkinson, A. (1988). Samuels, A. (London). ‘Countertransference, the mundus imaginalis, and a research project’. Jahrboek van de interdisciplinaire vereniging voor analytische psychologie, pp. 110-141, 1987.. J. Anal. Psychol., 33(3):306.

(1988). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 33(3):306

Samuels, A. (London). ‘Countertransference, the mundus imaginalis, and a research project’. Jahrboek van de interdisciplinaire vereniging voor analytische psychologie, pp. 110-141, 1987.

Review by:
Agnes Wilkinson

Stated in his own words, the author's ‘overall intent’ is to propose a theory harnessing together the functional realities of the analyst's profession and its implicit value system or ideologya marriage of technique and soul, data and emotion, question and rhetoric, process and content, relationship and image, left and right hemispheric activity (p. 101). He begins with some historical notes on the concept of countertransference in which he refers to the unfortunate polarisation of Freud's and Jung's strongly held conflicting views, each of which, as he demonstrates, had to yield to more fruitful thinking by their respective pupils and others in due course.

As he proceeds, Samuels admits to having felt that Fordham's term syntonic was ‘distant from my experience’ adding often one does not feel in tune with the patient in these countertransferences and there may be dissonance inside oneself (p. 111). These words suggest that Samuels has not arrived at Fordham's meaning of the term. As reference is made to only one work on this subject, and that out of print, may it be added that Fordham's clearest exposition appears in his paper Technique and Countertransference (this Journal, Vol. 14, No. 2, 1969, pp. 110-112) about an analytic episode in which he escapes from an illusory countertransference based on infantile images into a syntonic one by means of a transforming analytic thought process.

The most interesting part of Samuels's paper comes with the introduction of his own terms reflective and embodied countertransference to describe two interpretations of the therapist's identifications.

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