Document Detail

Trauma and the transference-countertransference: working with the bad object and the wounded self.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23350999     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
This paper focuses on the transference-countertransference dynamics that manifest in work with those individuals who experienced severe early relational trauma and, in particular, childhood sexual abuse. The literature is surveyed from Davies and Frawley's (1992a) seminal paper through to more current trauma-related and sensorimotor approaches, which deepen our understanding greatly. The rapidly shifting, powerful, conflicting and kaleidoscopic transference-countertransference dynamics are explored in the light of these views and in relation to a lengthy clinical example. The author elucidates the dual-aspect of the traumatic complex, whereby the abuser figure, which is disavowed by the patient, becomes manifest in prosecuting the analyst for the 'wounds' that the analysis evokes. The paper also explores the particular nature of the splitting processes, whereby pressure is put on the analyst to adopt an idealized role, in particular to act as a self-object, in order to enable the patient to safely express and 'be' themselves in an attempt to make up for what was not possible in childhood; the analyst will necessarily fail in this task. In the context of powerful masochisto-sadistic dynamics, the analyst's masochism is likely to be called up in the spirit of caring 'humanity' (another inevitable enactment), which can impede the progress of the analysis if not addressed. The extreme woundedness, intense affect and moral outrage associated with these dynamics are characteristic and compelling. Issues relating to disclosure, enactment and analytic attitude are also discussed.
Marcus West
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Journal of analytical psychology     Volume:  58     ISSN:  1468-5922     ISO Abbreviation:  J Anal Psychol     Publication Date:  2013 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-01-28     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0376573     Medline TA:  J Anal Psychol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  73-98     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
© 2013, The Society of Analytical Psychology.
Findon, West Sussex, UK.
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