Least-favored patients. Thoughts on countertransference and its consequences in the treatment of alcoholics
Journal/Book: Psyche Z Psychoanal Anwend. 2000; 54: Rotebuhlstrasse 77, D-7004 9 Stuttgart 1, Germany. Klett-Cotta Verlag. 521-543.
Abstract: In psychoanalysis, as in society in general, addicts are the object of a marked degree of rejection. They are generally held to be largely resistant to therapy. In the author's view, this negative assessment of addictive patients is grounded in the negative countertransference of the therapists dealing with them. In her analysis of various types of countertransference response to alcoholics, the effects they have on the course taken by therapy and on group processes in the institutional environment of a hospital for addictive patients, the author demonstrates that awareness of, reflection on, and active engagement with negative countertransference is indispensable throughout therapy for any attempt to obviate the danger of a rejection of the addictive patient and hence a repetition of the experiences such patients have been through in their lives so far.
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