How therapists defend against death anxiety
In the course of exploring therapists' attraction to the various modes of therapy, I have alluded to a variety of ways in which therapists defend themselves against death anxiety. Most of these efforts are maladaptive and exert a negative influence on their patients and their symptoms and coping efforts. While both patients and therapists defend themselves mightily against death- related issues, the specific forms through which these defences are effected very much depends, as noted earlier, on their respective role requirements and the constraints placed on them by the ground rules of therapy. This context offers a framework for exploring the favoured ways in which therapists defend themselves against death anxieties.
There is a critical distinction to be made between patients and therapists. The patient can be expected to make use of maladaptive defences against death anxiety, even when they are dysfunctional; their expression, interpretation, and resolution are an essential part of the therapeutic work. On the other hand, because these same defences severely interfere with a therapist's work -- the offer of a sound process of cure through their ability to carry out the neces-