Download Countertransference in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy with by John Tsiantis, Anne-Marie Sandler PDF

By John Tsiantis, Anne-Marie Sandler

This choice of papers from psychoanalysts throughout Europe is meant to focus on the similarites and modifications among methods to operating with young children and teens.

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Extra resources for Countertransference in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy with Children and Adolescents

Example text

The direct physical and emotional demands and the empathy required in the face of such direct requests may evoke countertransference reactions related to unconscious sibling rivalry and may revive other infantile needs in the therapist. We also know that feelings from the pre-verbal period of life tend to linger on, though they are probably inaccessible to language. As a result, the child psychotherapist is under the pressure to be responsive and receptive primarily to nonverbal communication and to rely heavily on her counter-reaction and countertransference feelings.

Symbiotic needs expressed symbolically in play or through insistence on physical contact for merglng, demands for need fulfilment, and material related to the oral, anal, and phallic-oedipal phases are additional factors that can arouse unconscious issues in the therapist (Marcus, 1980). The angry. domineering child may elicit retaliatory anger rather than firmness and gentle clarification of what is or is not permitted. The withdrawn, needy child may elicit an inability to reach out and provide an understanding, empathic relationship encouraging exploration and play.

On some occasions, one finds that the child is projecting onto the therapist the feelings of conflict that he or she has experienced with the parent of the opposite sex. The therapist, in turn, may feel sexually stimulated by the child's seductive behaviour. She may also misread the child's hunger for closeness and physical contact a s seduction because of conflicts stemming from her own early childhood (Berlin, 1987). On this point, Piene et al. (1983) suggests that when young children feel free to touch the analyst, crawl into her lap, jump on her from heights, or kiss her, this can create intense reactions regardless of the child's sex.

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