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Rosner, S. (1986). The Seriously III or Dying Analyst and the Limits of Neutrality. Psychoanal. Psychol., 3(4):357-371.

(1986). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 3(4):357-371

The Seriously III or Dying Analyst and the Limits of Neutrality

Stanley Rosner, Ph.D.

This article discusses a major dilemma that confronts the analyst who suffers from a prolonged or terminal illness. How much factual information should be revealed to patients concerning the illness and the prognosis? Discussion focuses on accounts by four analysts who suffered serious illnesses and wrote about their experiences. Transference and countertransference issues are considered, followed by relevant references to neutrality—its uses and abuses—in analysis when serious illness strikes. Guidelines offered by others are reviewed, and leads for future thought about this topic are suggested.

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