Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Re-visioning Countertransference: A Transtheoretical Approach to the Analyst’s Intersubjective Experience
by Roman, Rudy, Ph.D., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2020, 205; 27744180
Abstract (Summary)

The phenomenon of countertransference has been a topic of controversy since its introduction during the early 1900s. Over the past century, the meaning and understanding of countertransference have evolved, as countertransference has evolved from being considered an obstacle to treatment brought on by the analyst’s unconscious conflicts to being understood as a way of communicating and understanding the patient’s unconscious material. Countertransference is an intricate part of psychotherapy, in particular when practicing from a depth psychological approach; however, not all therapeutic approaches focus on its significance and therapeutic value. Although most theoretical perspectives address countertransference to some degree, each theoretical approach uses theory specific language when discussing the phenomenon. This qualitative study focused on exploring the analyst’s countertransference experience from a number of theoretical perspectives in order to develop a transtheoretical definition of countertransference. Although this study initially focused on answering the question “What is countertransference,” additional points of inquiry emerged, in particular surrounding pathological countertransference. How does pathological countertransference develop? How do analysts separate themselves from the patient’s experience? What should analysts do to prevent their countertransference response from interfering with treatment? As a way of answering these inquiries, a philosophical hermeneutic approach was utilized. As part of the hermeneutic process, the interpreter explored philosophical themes within the selected writings as a way of gaining a deeper meaning and understanding of countertransference. Through the reinterpretation of the selected writings, a transtheoretical definition and approach to countertransference was developed.

Keywords: countertransference, transtheoretical, intersubjective, hermeneutics

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Carter, Marybeth
Commitee: Lewis, Christine, Rounds, Edward
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
Department: Clinical Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 81/9(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Clinical psychology, Counseling Psychology, Psychology
Keywords: Countertransference, Intersubjective, Transtheoretical
Publication Number: 27744180
ISBN: 9781658490924
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