What is “Countertransference”?

What’s interesting about modern psychoanalysis is countertransference. Freud was aware of countertransference. He thought it got in the way of treating patients. Countertransference is the analyst’s feeling for the patient.

Of course, now, there’s subjective and objective: Subjective meaning something happened in my past, so I feel a certain way about the way the patient’s relating to me. That’s subjective countertransference. Objective is if we had 10 analysts in here, all talking to you. We all have the same feeling about you, that would be objective. You know, that … I’m not sure that anything is truly objective. It would be more objective than subjective.

Modern psychoanalysts feel that the feeling engendered in them by the patient is helpful in understanding the patient. Freud felt countertransference was an interference. You should have none, and you should ignore it. Modern psychoanalysts feel that the feelings I’m getting from the patient, there’s a reason for that. What is it, and how can I help use that with the patient. ~ Rafael H Sharón, Psychoanalyst in Princeton NJ

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