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Hanna, E. (1992). False-Self Sensitivity to Countertransference: Anatomy of a Single Session. Psychoanal. Dial., 2(3):369-388.

(1992). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 2(3):369-388

False-Self Sensitivity to Countertransference: Anatomy of a Single Session

Edward Hanna, Ph.D.

This paper describes how a patient's sensitivity to the countertransference sparked a transference regression that generated insight about her core conflict: False-Self compliance at the expense of her needs for love, emotional support, and nurturance.

My patient's regression was important, first, because it produced symptoms that dramatically illustrated to her how much self-denial she was willing to exercise to feel needed by others. Previously, such insight had not been effective because of the extraordinary secondary gains of her behavior. This time was more successful because of the ego-dystonic symptoms that developed, with intense shame and embarrassment. Second, the regression resulted in a transference dream that provided her with new insights into the anxiety she was warding off through False-Self compliance to the narcissistic requirements of her parents.

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