Transference and Countertransference in Addressing Islamophobia in Clinical Practice

  • Neil Krishan AggarwalEmail author


Ever since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the subsequent declaration of the global War on Terror, clinicians and researchers have reported growing concerns about Islamophobia in mental health settings. This chapter begins by defining Islamophobia and presents examples of its deleterious effects on mental health. Next, the chapter discusses common types of Islamophobic transference and countertransference reactions that can be elicited whenever a patient or clinician is perceived to be Muslim. Finally, the chapter discusses practical strategies for clinicians to address such situations constructively. Without making any excuses for Islamophobia, clinicians may find that working through such impasses with patients can lower psychological defenses that advance therapeutic work.


Cultural psychiatry Transference Countertransference Islam Muslim Islamophobia 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.New York State Psychiatric InstituteNew YorkUSA

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