Counter-Transference When Dealing with 'Morally Objectionable' and Hateful Patients

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| Counter-Transference when dealing with ‘Morally Objectionable’ and Hateful patients | | Lior TalPsychological Skills CourseDr. Eve Lischner-FreudIDC Herzeliya | 16/02/2014 | | | Counter-transference is defined by Merriam-Webster as a psychological transference, especially by a psychotherapist, during the course of treatment; the psychotherapist's reactions to the patient's transference, and the complex of feelings of a psychotherapist toward the patient (Merriam-Webster, 2012). The APA defines countertransference as the conscious or unconscious emotional reaction of the therapist to the patient which may interfere with treatment (APA, 2012). The feelings that arise from counter-transference are as real as the feelings that arise from the ‘real-self’. They are genuine feelings based on the self's interactions with the environment and the people in it, at different points in time. Freud, in his psychoanalytic theory, regarded counter-transference as a “block” that can hinder therapy and the therapeutic relationship which may occur when the patient triggers certain feelings or reactions in the therapist based on the therapist’s past experiences and relationships (Winnicott, 1994). Another form of counter-transference, termed ‘projective-identification by Melanie Klein, occurs when “parts of the self and internal objects are split off and projected into the external object, which then becomes possessed by, controlled and identified with the projected parts” (Segal, 1974). A third type of counter-transference which is also the one I choose to base my paper on is a different kind of counter-transference; a more totalistic, objective form, referred to first by Winnicott in his paper “Hate in the Counter-transference”. Winnicott describes it as “an understandable and ‘normal’ reaction to the patient’s actual personality and behavior” which he ten

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