Transference and Countertransference

  • Peter HartwichEmail author
  • Heinz Boeker


The discovery of the phenomenon of transference as well as later of the countertransference has led to a paradigm shift in the treatment of mentally ill patients by significantly broadening the understanding of the relationship between patient and therapist as well as the range of psychotherapeutic possibilities. The various variants of this phenomenon are exemplified in depression, mania, narcissistic personality disorders, suicidal patients, and schizophrenic and schizoaffective psychoses. This also involves the variants of countertransference and how they can be used as an effective therapeutic instrument. Since these phenomena are mostly unconsciously effective in all therapeutic encounters, it is also necessary to make them aware, even, e.g., in prescribing psychopharmaceuticals.


Relationship between the psychiatric patient and therapist Extension of the transference concept Transference-countertransference pattern Peculiarities of psychotic diseases Countertransference resistance 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, PsychosomaticsGeneral Hospital of Frankfurt am Main, Teaching Hospital University FrankfurtFrankfurtGermany
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, and PsychosomaticsPsychiatric University Hospital Zurich, University of ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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