The Wounded Healer: Countertransference from a Jungian Perspective

The Wounded Healer: Countertransference from a Jungian Perspective

The Wounded Healer: Countertransference from a Jungian Perspective

The Wounded Healer: Countertransference from a Jungian Perspective

Synopsis

Countertransference is an important part of the analytical process. It is concerned with the analyst's emotional response to the patient. As such, it can be a particularly difficult aspect of the analytical setting and especially so because of the threat of possible sexual involvement with the patient. At present there is little available on this difficult topic. Jungian analyst David Sedgwick tackles the subject bravely and shows how to use the countertransference in a positive way. The result is one of the finest Jungian clinical texts of recent years.

Excerpt

As the previous chapter indicated, countertransference discussions generally show the finished products rather than the ways and means of working with countertransference. the actual phenomenology of the countertransference-what the experience is really "like," what is happening "in" the analyst and how it evolves-receives less attention. Yet Jung and his recent followers stress the importance of this dimension of Jungian clinical practice and directly or implicitly call for some real explication of it. the purpose of this chapter is to illustrate how the analyst actually wrestles with his reactions or wounds.

The analyst here is the author. the material is taken from the first two years of supervised work with two very different analysands while the author was an analyst-in-training. This training facet colored the countertransference situation, as will be seen, but also gave further impetus to the author's efforts at selfscrutiny. Furthermore, the training dimension encouraged then and permits now the use of detailed notes taken at the time. the patient and countertransference material presented here are taken verbatim (with slight modifications for style) from these case or personal notes, though the discussion of the content may include present as well as past reflections.

The nature of this material and the training context will invite interpretation of the countertransference and discussion of technique. While that discussion is inevitable, it is perhaps not the most beneficial way to approach this material. This chapter consists of selected contents, from a vast array of material in each analysis, chosen with an eye on countertransference issues in particular. a large amount of analytic data-dreams, fantasies, in- and out-of-session events, memories, history, interpretations

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