Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The nature and frequency of countertransference reactions in psychoanalysts
by Walker, Michelle, Psy.D., Pepperdine University, 2015, 78; 3681820
Abstract (Summary)

Psychotherapist personal factors, often referred to as countertransference reactions, are widely believed to impact the therapeutic process. While the existence of the countertransference is commonly accepted by contemporary psychotherapists, there is continued debate over its nature, quality and therapeutic utility. Further, there have been relatively few empirical studies on the countertransference reactions of practicing psychologists and other mental health professionals. This study aimed to address this lack by examining the frequency and nature of countertransference experiences as reported by psychoanalysts. Additionally, this study sought to explore the relationship between countertransference reactions and patient symptomology as suggested by recent findings (Betan, Heim, Conklin, & Western, 2005; Brody & Farber, 1996; Rossberg, Karterud, Pedersen, & Friis, 2007, 2008, 2010). Seventy psychoanalysts with memberships to national psychoanalytic organizations completed a brief, web-based survey on countertransference. The results of this study indicated that psychoanalysts report constantly experiencing countertransference reactions and that these reactions are mostly positive in nature, independent of the clinician's background or demographic information. The results also showed that most psychoanalysts defined the CT phenomenon as "all of a therapist's reactions," during the psychotherapy, reflecting the "totalist" perspective of CT. A small but significant association was found between CT definition and reported CT frequency, suggesting the role of theory in shaping clinical experience. While respondents were just as likely to report CT reactions with patients diagnosed with Axis I and Axis II disorders, Cluster B personality disorders were most specified amongst the Axis II endorsements. The findings of this study provide a contemporary outlook on the countertransference phenomenon. This study's limitations relate to its homogenous sample population and abnormal distribution rate.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Shafranske, Edward P.
Commitee: Cozolino, Louis, Spiegel, Susan
School: Pepperdine University
Department: Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 76/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Behavioral psychology, Clinical psychology, Cognitive psychology
Keywords: Clinical psychology, Countertransference, Psychoanalysis, Psychoanalyst reactions, Psychodynamic psychotherapy, Therapeutic relationship
Publication Number: 3681820
ISBN: 9781321548082
Copyright © 2019 ProQuest LLC. All rights reserved. Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy Cookie Policy