Academic journal article American Journal of Psychotherapy

Management of Countertransference with Borderline Patients

Academic journal article American Journal of Psychotherapy

Management of Countertransference with Borderline Patients

Article excerpt

GLEN GABBARD AND SALLYE WILKINSON: Management of Countertransference with Borderline Patients. American Psychiatric Press, Washington, DC, 1994, 254 pp., $32.50.

The most distinctive feature of the British school of psychoanalysis is the strong emphasis given to the role of Countertransference in the treatment process. Borderline patients are considered unable to reflect on mental states, which robs them of the chance to free themselves from an inner world dominated by malevolent and dangerous objects.

The book is composed of ten chapters. The first chapter presents a broad overview of Countertransference with borderline patients correlating their use of projective identification to the therapist's reactions. In the second chapter, the authors focus on the need to maintain the frame (optimal distance) in the therapy of borderline patients. The next six chapters address specific kinds of potential disturbances to the frame of the therapeutic setting together with insightful and useful ways of maintaining or restoring the frame. The book closes with two fine chapters on supervision and consultation, and some unifying themes concerning the management of Countertransference.

The thrust of the book is embodied in the concept of the therapist serving as a container for what needs to be contained. …

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