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Gochman, E.R. (1992). A Note on Deep-Seated Social Values and Countertransference in Mother-Infant Dyadic Psychotherapy. Psychoanal. Psychol., 9(3):405-408.
  

(1992). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 9(3):405-408

A Note on Deep-Seated Social Values and Countertransference in Mother-Infant Dyadic Psychotherapy

Eva R. Grubler Gochman, Ph.D.

Social values shared by most cultures, and therefore shared by therapist and client, can easily elude conscious awareness. Reflected in countertransference, this can interfere with the therapy process. An example is countertransference in mother-infant dyadic psychotherapy based in the value: “A mother takes care of her child.” Once this deep-seated social value is brought to conscious awareness, the interfering nature of this countertransference is recognized. The therapist is freed to work with the mother toward her underlying treatment goal, which is to “be a good mother.” If she is not emotionally capable of being the child's primary caretaker, the objective of enhanced attachment can be abandoned and “being a good mother” can be translated into “allowing the child to have a competent caretaker.” The treatment objective can become the mother's emotional separation from her infant. Without this clarification of the social values bound in the countertransference, the therapist would continue to work at cross-purposes with the dyad.

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