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Olinick, S.L. (1993). Structural Actualities of the Transference and Their Effects on the Analyst's Functions. Psychoanal. Inq., 13(4):310-325.

(1993). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 13(4):310-325

Structural Actualities of the Transference and Their Effects on the Analyst's Functions

Stanley L. Olinick, M.D.

Countertransference is not the only possible determinant of an analyst's inept or erroneous responses, and surely not of his relevant responses to the patient. This is true whether countertransference is conceptualized in its classic sense, as interference with an orderly process or, more broadly, as a source of information about the patient. An analyst's difficulties or his ease and accuracy of functioning may also follow from his or her reality-oriented response to actual, generic, structural attributes of the transference itself. These structural actualities may impair the analyst's capacity for clinical inference and judgment. They can affect the seasoned analyst as well as the novice, and the consequences to the analyst's functions may contribute to inherent difficulties in the analytic situation. They may become manifest, for instance, in the analyst's relative or absolute failure promptly and accurately to recognize, integrate, and respond to the analytic data.

Structural Effects Distinguished from Countertransference Responses

By “structure,” I refer to the familiar definition, “enduring processes or functions” (Rapaport, 1967).

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