Introduction to Countertransference in Therapeutic Practice
A Myriad of Mirrors
While transference has been fully described in the literature, countertransference has been viewed as its ugly sibling, and hence there are still not as many reflective accounts or guidance for trainees about how to handle difficult emotions, such as shame and envy and conflict in the consulting room. As a counterpoint, this book provides an integrative guide for therapists on the concept of countertransference, and takes a critical stance on the phenomenon, and theorising, about the "so-called" countertransference, viewing it as a framework to explore the transformative potential in managing strong emotions and difficult transactions.
With an explicit focus on teaching, this book informs therapeutic practice by mixing theories and case studies from the authors' own clinical and teaching experiences, which involves the reader in case studies, reflection and action points. Countertransference is explored in a wide range of clinical settings, including in reflective practice and in research in the field of therapy, as well as in art therapy and in the school setting. It also considers countertransference in dream interpretation, in the supervision and teaching environment and in work with groups and organisations.
Introduction to Countertransference in Therapeutic Practice offers psychotherapists and counsellors, both practicing and in training, a comprehensive overview of this important concept, from its roots in Freud’s work to its place today in a global, transcultural society.
Table of Contents
Notes on Contributors
Countertransference in work with individuals
Chapter 1: Between bodies: Working in the liminal zone with traumatised clients
NICOLA DIAMOND AND PAOLA VALERIO
Chapter 2: A therapist goes back to school: Therapeutic experience with three black boys at risk of exclusion
Chapter 3: A case of missing identity: Working with disassociation and 'multiple selves’ in the countertransference
MARIO MARRONE AND NICOLA DIAMOND
Chapter 4: Countertransference, art psychotherapy and the prediscursive abject
Chapter 5: CBT Versus the unconscious: Ignore countertransference at your peril
Countertransference in the wider context in supervision, teaching, group therapy and in organisational work
Chapter 6: "Impossible to do, but possible to say": Using countertransference in the trainer-trainee relationship
RUSSEL AYLING, EGLE MEISTAITE AND PAOLA VALERIO
Chapter 7: 'Just don’t get involved': Countertransference and the group – Engaging with the projective processes in groups
Chapter 8: Can organizations use countertransference to reflect?
Countertransference in reflective practice, research and in case studies co-written with patients in treatment
Chapter 9: Countertransference in reflective practice – An integrative approach to monitor self-awareness in clinical practice
Chapter 10: Countertransference in Research: An intersubjective reflexive approach
SOFIE BAGER CHARLESON
Chapter 11: 'The Recovered Therapist': Working with body image disturbance and eating disorders – Researching the countertransference
Chapter 12: Countertransference and the chance to dream
Chapter 13: The so-called ‘countertransference’ and the mystery of the therapeutic encounter
Paola Valerio is a BPC/UKCP reg. psychotherapist and senior lecturer at Roehampton University, where she convenes the psychodynamic theory and practice module on the Psych. D. She has been a visiting lecturer and supervisor in psychotherapy at Regents’ College, Surrey and Kent Universities and at the Tavistock and East London University.
"Valerio’s book is truthful about the emotional demands of taking countertransference work seriously: the potential shame that can arise when therapists are open about the sleepiness, disgust, anxiety and acting-out that our patients prompt or reawaken in us." – Karen Gold, British Journal of Music Therapy
"Compelling reading, there is much for seasoned practitioners and students." Mog Scott-Stewart, New Psychotherapist
"As psychological therapists, what do you do with your thoughts and feelings that arise in the consulting room?
Are you more 'person centred', only occasionally telling the client how they make you feel? Are you 'relational', thinking it would be wrong not to share something of yourself? Are you a 'Freudian', assuming it is important to maintain that blank screen? Are you a 'Lacanian', who thinks it would be persecutory to interpret the therapeutic relationship? Are you 'existential', valuing phenomenology's bracketing/ the epoché? Are you more 'behavioural', and consider your experiences of the client relatively unimportant? Or, are you none of these? If you ever wondered about any of them - this is the book to find answers! "
Del Loewenthal, Professor of Psychotherapy and Counselling, University of Roehampton, UK
‘A diverse and stimulating collection of essays on countertransference and the therapeutic process. Illustrated throughout with case study vignettes, this book should be a helpful resource for those wishing to deepen their understanding of the client-therapist relationship.’
Mick Cooper, Professor of Counselling Psychology, University of Roehampton, UK