The Therapeutic Relationship: Transference, Countertransference, and the Making of Meaning

The Therapeutic Relationship: Transference, Countertransference, and the Making of Meaning

The Therapeutic Relationship: Transference, Countertransference, and the Making of Meaning

The Therapeutic Relationship: Transference, Countertransference, and the Making of Meaning

Synopsis

While C. G. Jung had a natural intuitive understanding of the transference and countertransference, his lack of a "coherent method and clinical technique for working with transference and his ambivalence and mercurial attitude to matters of method," have, in the words of therapist and Jungian scholar Jan Wiener, sometimes left Jungians who are eager to hone their knowledge and skills in this area "floundering and confused."
Her aim in this important book is to lay the groundwork for the development of a "more contemporary Jungian approach" to working with transference and countertransference dynamics within the therapeutic relationship. Her work is also informed by knowledge from other fields, such as philosophy, infant development, neuroscience, and the arts.

In The Therapeutic Relationship, Wiener makes a central distinction between working "in" the transference and working "with" the transference, advocating a flexible approach that takes account of the different kinds of attachment patients can make to their therapists. She develops her own concept of the transference matrix, a model that honors one of Jung's core beliefs in the development of a symbolic capacity as an essential task of psychotherapy, but at the same time acknowledges that a capacity to symbolize can only emerge through relationship .
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Excerpt

Between doctor and patient, there are imponderable
factors which bring about a mutual transformation
.

—C. G. Jung

Jan Wiener has written a scholarly, creative, and integrative volume that acknowledges the imponderable but focuses on the perceptible factors in the therapeutic relationship. She explores the significance of the processes of transference and countertransference for the therapeutic relationship. She also gives careful consideration to multiple aspects involved in transference and countertransference, as well as the way in which they contribute to the making of meaning in the healing relationship of therapy and analysis. Her book involves unusual depth (symbols from archetypal dreams and myths) and breadth (relational moments of purpose and significance) in examining transference and countertransference. A member of the Society of Analytical Psychology (SAP) in London, Jan Wiener sheds light on transference and countertransference in historical and developmental ways. In addition, she investigates areas in which what we know about transference and countertransference in the field of analytical psychology dovetails well with psychoanalysis and other areas in which it does not. Fortunately, her muse also takes her to both old and new frontiers from Jung’s alchemical approach to neurobiology and therefore makes this text beneficial to a wide range of analytic and therapeutic perspectives. In other words, a member of the SAP, other Jungian analytic . . .

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