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Blechner, M.J. (1992). Working in the Countertransference. Psychoanal. Dial., 2(2):161-179.

(1992). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 2(2):161-179

Working in the Countertransference Related Papers

Mark J. Blechner, Ph.D.

Ferenczi (1988) described the procedure of mutual analysis, in which the patient and analyst switch roles for part of the time in the analysis. This procedure allowed patients in stalled analyses to make progress and enabled the analyst to overcome certain countertransference blocks but was ultimately rejected for certain drawbacks. Working in the countertransference is a modification of mutual analysis that retains some of its benefits and eliminates some of its drawbacks. In such work, the psychoanalyst's personality and psychodynamics become the center stage of the manifest content of the session; the analyst avoids interpretations of the transference and, instead, elicits the patient's detailed understanding of the analyst's psychodynamics. The analyst does not, however, generally volunteer his free associations or facts about his own life. This process allows deep work with patients with a predominance of projective identification. Working in the countertransference may be preferred in cases of severe psychopathology to other procedures for its lessening of the frequency, severity, and persistence of transference psychoses. The procedure is also a useful supplement to transference analysis with neurotic patients, for whom it can break through blocks caused by anxiety-laden issues or countertransference impediments.

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