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J Clin Psychol. 2001 Aug;57(8):983-91.

A contemporary psychoanalytic model of countertransference.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


Over the last 100 years, countertransference has evolved from a narrow construct referring to the analyst's transference to the patient to a jointly created phenomenon that is ever-present in the psychotherapeutic situation. In recent years, a myriad of theoretical perspectives have begun to converge around the view that countertransference is partly determined by the therapist's preexisting internal object world and partly influenced by feelings induced by the patient. Countertransference is now regarded as inevitable, and minor enactments of countertransference may provide valuable information about what is being recreated in the therapist-patient dyad. Self-disclosure of countertransference may be useful in some situations, but the sharing of some feelings will overwhelm patients and burden them in a way that may be destructive to the therapeutic process.

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