Decoding the meaning of transference and countertransference

an integrative perspective

    Research output: Contribution to journalLetter


    Reviews the book, 'Transference and countertransference in non-analytic therapy: Double-edged swords' by Judith A. Schaeffer. According to Boag, the concepts of transference and counter-transference are arguably some of the most important concepts that psychodynamic thinking has contributed to clinical practice. In the context of therapy, this involves the client transferring past attitudes, longings, and feelings onto the therapist. In turn, the therapist may transfer his or her own unresolved past onto the present client (countertransference). This book aims to serve as a resource for non-psychodynamically oriented (nonanalytic) clinicians to help identify transference and countertransference in therapy and provide suggestions for working with such issues. The book aims to be "as devoid of psychoanalytic and psychodynamic terminology as possible" and instead to discuss such psychodynamic concepts in nonanalytic language and thus help the nonanalytic clinician negotiate the issue of transference and countertransference in therapy. The book's scope is broad, addressing the theory and evidence of transference, the manifestations of transference in therapy, and the multitude of clinical approaches to working with transference. Snippets from case studies and vignettes are provided. The discussion is generally limited to nonpsychotic adult therapy, but the book demonstrates an awareness of the important issues of culture, cultural-based expectancies, and their potential impacts.
    Original languageEnglish
    Issue number51
    Publication statusPublished - 2007


    • tranference
    • countertransference
    • therapy
    • clinical practice
    • clinical approaches
    • nonpsychotic adult therapy
    • psychodynamic concepts

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