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Cooper, S.H. (2003). The Countertransference Transformation of Oedipal Idealization, Mourning, and Erotic Masochism: Commentary on Paper by Jody Messler Davies. Psychoanal. Dial., 13(1):29-39.

(2003). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 13(1):29-39

The Countertransference Transformation of Oedipal Idealization, Mourning, and Erotic Masochism: Commentary on Paper by Jody Messler Davies

Steven H. Cooper, Ph.D.

The author examines several types of therapeutic action intrinsic to Davies's clinical work. Among these actions was Davies's eventual and careful willingness to ask her patient to hold affective states that the patient had previously been unable to hold; to discover a way to speak to her patient about her own struggles with the patient while risking, and actually knowing, that, inevitably, some of the patient's discovery of what the analyst feels will resonate with painful past experience; to create another countertransference space in which Davies found a way to become a different kind of bad or disappointing object to the patient than the patient's earlier disappointment with parental figures, though one that proved much more helpful and bearable than her previous experience; and eventually, though implicitly, to accept the aggressive and harsh ways in which the patient was already experiencing newness in the context of repetitive disappointment. In each of these types of action, the opportunity for mourning figures prominently.

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