......• Counter-transference is the Symptom of the Analyst
.........Thomas Svolos

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I wish to talk today about Countertransference. 1 I will present several different theses on Countertransference, but want to at the outset alert you to three different aspects of the Countertransference that I want to address throughout this paper. The first is the source of Countertransference—whether it results from the analysand or the analyst or some combination of the two. The second is the judgment we make of the Countertransference—is Countertransference, put most simply, bad—some unanalyzed dimension of the unconscious of the analyst, for example—or good, and somehow productive, a dimension of successful psychoanalytic treatment? Finally, I wish to ask—does the Countertransference exist? While this seemingly ontological question would seem primary and worthy of addressing at the outset—I wish to bracket this—and will proceed initially as if it is a given, but I will address this at the end.

Rather than discuss these issues directly through a theoretical discussion, I wish to go directly to casework, so that we can see how these issues may work their way out in the treatment. I have chosen two cases—previously published cases, one of Owen Renik's and one of Thomas Ogden's. These are, of course, not psychoanalysts of the Lacanian orientation, though both are familiar to some degree with the work of Lacan. Both are members of the American Psychoanalytic Association and the IPA, and I think that they are two of the leading psychoanalysts of the San Francisco Psychoanalytic Institute. I chose these cases for a series of very particular reasons, for in both of these cases, it is a particular use of Countertransference that is advocated for, and I wish to examine in these cases the specific details of the case as presented and the claims made within the cases for the utility of the Countertransference in the direction of the treatment. Ogden's case is the case of Mrs. B., from his well known paper "The Analytic Third", 2 chosen because it was distributed by John Hunziker at our Wednesday Evening Meetings here in Omaha for review and led to a contentious discussion of the issue of Countertransference at our Meetings. It is a classic theoretical and technical paper in American Psychoanalysis, which has also drawn the attention of Jacques-Alain Miller, as we shall see later. 3

I will look at the Renik case first. My Berkeley colleague Mitchell Wilson sent me this case, which we discussed at some length in one of our conversations. It is an intrinsically interesting case, and I have chosen this case also in part because of the somewhat seminal role that this case played in a shift in the theorization and use of the Countertransference in the San Francisco Psychoanalytic Institute, as described to me by Mitch Wilson.

In his paper, Renik presents the case of a young male whose treatment he described as stuck. 4 There was an initial period within the case where a first stage in the analysis of the analysand's severe obsessions and compulsions indicated that they were serving to protect the analysand from a series of violent and sadistic fantasies that were disturbing to him. However, once brought to light, Renik was experiencing what he termed as frustration, with the treatment becoming "bogged down." He did not feel he was making progress in elucidating the cause for the now less hidden anger in this seemingly timid man. He detected as well, within the transference, a combination of demandingness and a superficial compliance.

At a critical juncture within the treatment, Renik himself becomes increasingly impatient—particularly with the complaints from the patient seeking recognition (in this case for discontinuing use of hypnotics prescribed by another provider). In the midst of this he stated to the patient: "It's as if you feel like the only person who was ever weaned from the breast." Renik describes his emotions at the time as frustrated and impatient, as noted above, but adds also resentment (feeling sorry for himself and comparing his past to the analysand's, whose degree of distress he felt was disproportionate to his so-called real suffering by comparison). He comments further that the intervention was not kindly meant and was delivered without self-conscious self-analysis of his feelings, but rather was there to fulfill his own needs.

Renik goes on to note that the analysand was apparently affected by this intervention (by virtue of a brief pause). Renik then comments that the analysand did not respond to the hostility apparent within the interpretation, nor did Renik himself comment on it (out of a continued denial—he states--of his Countertransference). What happened was that the analysand responded to the "face value" of the intervention and associated to the content of it. This led to some associations to his own son weaning several years before. Then (significantly in spite of, Renik claims, both of their avoidance of Renik's hostility), the analysand offered some acknowledgment that others have been weaned from the breast and substituted "Gary" for his son's name in his statement. This slip—with some pressure on Renik's part—leads to the analysand commenting that "the only Gary I can think of is the younger brother my parents told me about that was stillborn when I was a year and a half old." This extremely important fact had apparently (to the analysand's surprise) never been discussed in the analysis at all, and Renik felt that this was extremely relevant to their attempts to identify the origin of the analysand's sadistic fantasies. In any case, this represented a significant turning point in the analysis and led to the production of much valuable work—most notably additional early childhood memories of the analysand's mother, her depression, a subsequent separation from the mother because of this depression, and the replacement of the mother with a very generous and adoring aunt who idealized him.

Renik goes on to interpret the patient's expectations of him within the transference as allied to his attempt to recreate the relationship he had with the aunt and indicates that his deflating remark to the analysand derailed that transference, in that through it he came to reexperience his relationship to his rejecting mother within the treatment. He also goes on to comment on the valuable character of the Countertransferential aspect of that intervention he made for the progress of the case.

I want to offer a different interpretation of this particular moment in the analysis and the impact it had.

Before doing so, I want to take a look at the intervention itself from within another framework. For starters, I would certainly agree with Renik as to the importance of this intervention. One of the simplest standards we might use to evaluate our technical interventions (by this I mean any way in which we directly intervene in the treatment—scansion, interpretation, repetitions of words or phrases of the analysand, and so forth) relates to their effect on the generation of new material. The source for this theory is, of course, the Rat Man case. In the sixth session with the analysand, Freud delivers a fairly lengthy discourse to the Rat Man on the nature of love, a veritable pedagogical lesson, and seemingly very much discordant with the austere and restrained view of the analyst's intervention ascribed to the analyst. Commenting on his technique here, Freud notes that "It is never the aim of discussions like this to create conviction. They are only intended to bring the repressed complexes into consciousness, to set the conflict going in the field of conscious mental activity, and to facilitate the emergence of fresh material from the unconscious. A sense of conviction is only attained after the patient has himself worked over the reclaimed material, and so long as he is not fully convinced the material must be considered as unexhausted." 5 I wish to argue that we might expand on Freud's thoughts on this as elucidating one dimension of the successful speech of the analyst—those interventions are successful which lead to the production of new unconscious material (dreams, further slips, and so forth). In this case, not only did this particular intervention lead to the production of new material, but it dealt with the particular problem Renik was facing of the "rut" into which he felt regarding the case, in the sense that it led the analysis into a new direction. Thus, I would agree the intervention was quite successful.

Why is this intervention successful? Renik will argue that it has something to do with the way in which his Countertransference is implicated in it. But, before examining his views on that, let me draw attention to another aspect of his commentary. He says that—and I wish to quote him here directly—"what happened was that the patient took my interpretation at face value, and began to associate to the content of it." I think this is most critical, for the very success of the interpretation derived from its productivity, and that productivity was itself clearly derived from the actual face value or content of the intervention. Without wanting to digress too far from our topic today of the transference, I would simply note that Renik glosses the truth impact of the intervention—we might say—in its significatory value, the way in which its signification—what he refers to as its "face value"—led to further significatory activity within the analysis. This observation on Renik's part attests to a point which he will not make here, namely that of the power of speech, the very words used within the treatment, to convey meaning and enjoyment and to propel the treatment, beyond any search for any so-called depth beneath the intervention. But, this is the subject of another discussion.

Back to the case: Renik attributes much of the importance of this intervention to the feelings that he had at the time of the intervention, his affects ("feeling sorry for myself," "resentment toward the patient," "grandiose self-pity" and so forth) and analyses in some detail his own feelings about the case and his analysand. Regarding these feelings and thoughts on Renik's part, I think that it is easy to agree that Renik is very self-aware, in this sense, and attuned to the various things operating intrapsychically. This, I would argue, is not without value. And here, I would argue, following Lacan's earliest sustained comments on the Countertransference, 6 that the goal of the analyst is not necessarily to be without feelings. In other words, in contrast to what I think we could only characterize as a kind of straw-man view of the psychoanalyst in which the analyst—following his own analysis—is without any feelings or passion, the analyst after an analysis should if anything be more sensitized and aware of his feelings.

Let us digress and examine Lacan's discussion. The comments of Lacan are made in his Seminar I and are offered apropos of a case of Margaret Little's, published in a well-known paper on Countertransference. 7 In this paper, Little offers a clinical vignette: "A patient whose mother had recently died was to give a wireless talk on a subject in which he knew his analyst was interested; he gave him the script to read beforehand, and the analyst had the opportunity of hearing the broadcast. The patient felt very unwilling to give it just then, in view of his mother's death, but could not alter the arrangement. The day after the broadcast he arrived for his analysis in a state of anxiety and confusion.

"The analyst (who was a very experienced man) interpreted the patient's distress as being due to a fear lest he, the analyst, should be jealous of what had clearly been a success and be wanting to deprive him of it and of its results. The interpretation was accepted, the distress cleared up quite quickly, and the analysis went on.

"Two years later (the analysis having ended in the meanwhile) the patient was at a party which he found he could not enjoy, and he realized that it was a week after the anniversary of his mother's death. Suddenly it came to him that what had troubled him at the time of his broadcast had been a very simple and obvious thing, sadness that his mother was not there to enjoy his success (or even to know about it), and guilt that he had enjoyed it while she was dead had spoilt it for him. Instead of being able to mourn for her (by canceling the broadcast) he had had to behave as if he denied her death, almost in a manic way. He recognized that the interpretation given, which could be substantially correct, had in fact been the correct one at the time for the analyst, who had actually been jealous of him, and that it was the analyst's unconscious guilt that had led to the giving of an inappropriate interpretation. Its acceptance had come about through the patient's unconscious recognition of its correctness for his analyst and his identification with him. Now he could accept it as true for himself in a totally different way, on another level—i.e. that of his jealousy of his father's success with his mother, and guilt about himself having a success which represented success with his mother, of which his father would be jealous and want to deprive him. The analyst's behavior in giving such an interpretation must be attributed to counter-transference. . . . what happened was that the analyst felt the patient's unconscious repressed jealousy as his own immediate experience, instead of as a past, remembered, one. The patient was immediately concerned with his mother's death, feeling the necessity to broadcast just then as an interference with his process of mourning, and the pleasure proper to it was transformed into a manic one, as if he denied his mother's death. Only later, after the interpretation, when his mourning had been transferred to the analyst and so become past, could he experience the jealousy situation as an immediate one, and then recognize (as something past and remembered) his analyst's counter-transference reaction. . .

"Failures in timing such as this, or failures to recognize transference references, are failures of the ego function of recognizing time and distance."

In his commentary on this vignette, Lacan notes that he does not believe that the analyst was necessarily mistaken in his intervention, but states that it is not clear that Countertransference was at issue in this case. In fact, the very content of the interpretation may well have been accurate, according to Lacan. Lacan even goes so far as to say that "If the only analyzing subject, the analyst, had even felt some jealousy, it is up to him to take it into account in an appropriate manner, to be guided by it as by an extra needle on the dial. No one has ever said that the analyst should never have feelings toward his patient. But he must know not only not to give in to them, to keep them in their place, but how to make adequate use of them in his technique. . . . In this particular instance, it is because the analyst thought he should look first in the hic et nunc for the reason for the patient's attitude that he found it in something which, without a shadow of a doubt, really existed in the intersubjective fields shared by the two characters. He was well placed to recognize it, because he felt some hostility, or at the very least irritation in connection with the patient's success. What is serious is to have believed himself authorised by a certain technique to make use of it straightaway and in a direct manner." 8

Thus, in this sense—following what we might refer to as a first formulation of Lacan—what we might term the intersubjective Lacan—, we can say that Countertransference exists, and it is up to the analyst to decide what to make of it. The analyst's responsibility in the treatment is to make the right use of it. Lacan will reformulate this, but let's stay with this for now.

So, going back to Renik, let us look at the case and in particular Renik's use of this. Renik notes that the patient somehow denied and failed to recognize this affective value, and he felt this is important, and he further subtly critiques himself for failing to act based on this affect that he (as analyst) was experiencing. Thus, in contrast to my thesis that the effect of the interpretation rested on its significatory value, and that the affect, while important in some sense, did not have impact on the treatment, Renik ascribes importance to the affect. Let us look further at this.

Regarding the affect which Renik ascribes to the intervention, it may well be that this Countertransference affect meant more to Renik than to the analysand. The analysand, it is certainly reasonable to suppose, may not even have noticed the affective charge to the intervention. Perhaps the analysand's pause at the intervention (to which Renik gives significance) had nothing to do with the affect, and more to do with the content (which Renik acknowledges was what led to the productivity). One piece of evidence is that the analysand himself ignored the affect. We can also hypothesize that had the affect on the part of the analyst been noticed by the analysand, perhaps any attempt to immediately interpret the affect would have disrupted the productive stream of associations which subsequently resulted from the intervention. Let me elaborate further on this point. Many analysts, especially with regard to a number of trends within the Kleinian school, would have quickly advocated an intervention on the part of the analyst to clarify the issue of what had transpired in the hic et nunc of the analytic session. Such a type of work is demonstrated in some of the numerous clinical vignettes provided by Betty Joseph in her work. 9 This type of approach—characteristic of certain of the neo-Kleinians—would have led—in this case—to a discussion on the part of Renik of how, perhaps, he had been "forced" through projective identification to having the very feelings which he was aware of, and how the analysand needed to become aware of the process by which he was dealing with them, via an analysis of how projective identification had "worked" in this case. By my view, this would only have destroyed the setting through which this very successful intervention on Renik's part succeeded, in other words, by destroying the possibility for productive association on the part of the analysand.

To take another approach to this, I would suggest an examination of what we might term the next stage in Lacan's work, in which the concept of desire comes to the forefront in his elaboration of transference and Countertransference. This would be the proposal Lacan advances in his heretofore untranslated Seminar on the Transference. 10 Here in the chapter "Critique of Countertransference," Lacan argues, in the context of a long discussion of Money-Kyrle's well-known paper "Normal Countertransference and Some Deviations," that, again, yes indeed, the analyst does have passions, wishes, whims, prejudices, and so forth, with regard to the analysand in treatment. The analyst has desires, as it were. But, the analyst also a stronger desire, a desire brought about by the change in his desire through the very process of analysis, which has been dubbed the desire of the analyst. And, further, it is the desire of the analyst, a desire focused on the treatment—the exigencies of the treatment—that maintain the treatment purified, as it were, from these other more pedestrian desires.

It is in this context that I would argue that approaches which focus the analyst's attention to his passions—his pedestrian or pathological (in the Kantian sense) desires—only detract from the analyst's ability to sustain the desire of the analyst, for the treatment itself. And here, an example of this kind of direction frequently given to analysts, can be identified in many non-Lacanian schools of psychoanalysis. As a characteristic example of this kind of practice, I will draw here from a classic paper of the British middle-school, Winnicott's "Hate in the Countertransference." 11 In this paper, we see Winnicott exhorting analysts to pay special attention to their hate, and points out the baleful effects of unrecognized hate. This type of recommendation is often given in practice associated with object relations, a drawing of attention, as it were, from the treatment to the analyst's own affects, which—in the case vignette which we are currently examining—might only distort the very progress of the case in a way analogous to the neo-Kleinian approach.

In this way, what I wish to introduce is the notion that Countertransference—if we're going to stay with that term, i.e., assume it exists in the way in which we have developed it up to now—is constantly in operation. In other words, the analyst has a continuous set of both conscious and unconscious mental processes in operation during the course of any session. In fact, I think that it's fair to say that many of these are in fact unconscious and that the ideal of the unconscious of the analyst as being analyzed away through the course of the analysis seems far-fetched, not only from the contemporary relational perspectives, but more so from the critical point that the unconscious is structural, a function of the organization of the mental apparatus (at least in neurosis). Thus, there are certainly a full range of emotions, thoughts, affects, memories, and so forth constantly in play in the analyst, and to direct attention to them in some prescribed way—as Winnicott would have us do—would only potentially divert us from our desire—and responsibility—as analyst. In fact, another way of conceiving Renik's success in his intervention was his very disregard for such advice as to the proper attention to and use of his Countertransferential affective experience and mobilization of them in the treatment.

I will take up another point of Renik's regarding this intervention. That relates to the importance of the affective "charge" given to his interpretation. Certainly, affective coloring by the analyst can certainly draw attention to an intervention—and may well have had some impact here, even when not intended—but other means exist through which this can be accomplished, such as the sparse content of interpretative material or the enigmatic character of the intervention, which can further bring attention to an intervention. But, here again, we would digress on the matter of the nature and forms of psychoanalytic interventions.

I would like, rather, to suggest in fact an alternative view as to the importance of Countertransference in this particular case. What if, in fact, the impact of Countertransference was more operative—more significant—in the development of the case prior to Renik's brilliant interpretation. In introducing the case, Renik comments on the beginning of the case leading to this moment as follows: "After two years or so, our analytic work together had gotten to the point at which we were able to understand that these activities [intrusive thoughts and obsessive rituals] served to prevent him from being aware of violent, sadistic fantasies that would come to his mind and disturb him very much." (145) In as much as this formulation was in some ways partial or inadequate, perhaps even mistaken, perhaps the focus on it as a formulation (a static representation of the case at the very point of stagnation), a misrecognized “successful” formulation, in opposition to the very treatment itself represents the more powerful example of Countertransference in operation in the case.

In making this assertion, I wish to reclaim Lacan's well-known definition of Countertransference from the height of his intersubjective period, that of Countertransference as "sum total of the analyst’s prejudices, passions, and troubles, or even of his inadequate information at any given moment in the dialectical process." 12 Lacan offers this definition in the course of his examination of the Dora case, in which he attributes Freud's failure in the case to Freud's Countertransference, to Freud's failure to recognize Dora's love for Frau K as a function of his Countertransferential belief that Dora ought to have fallen for Herr K, instead of Frau K. Freud's failure—according to Lacan, however, is two-fold—and relates to his failed construction of this aspect of the case, but also—even more significantly—to his failure to put this "Countertransferentially driven" construction into play in an appropriate intervention. In other words, Lacan notes that had Freud utilized this "wrong" material in a transference interpretation (relating Dora's relationship to Freud to that of Herr K), it would have kept the case moving by virtue of her response to it. Thus, Freud's mistake here is twofold: one, the wrong "understanding" of the case, caught up in the limitation of Freud's view of the case; and two, the failure to act decisively, even with that, in his interventions.

I wonder if Renik's account of the rut he was in with this case does not represent a similar (counter)transference in play—his own sense of being stuck, failure for the case to progress and so forth, much in the same way Lacan describes Freud in the case. I will quote here again from Lacan on the Dora case: "Putting this otherwise, transference is nothing real in the subject, if not the appearance, in a moment of stagnation in the analytic discourse, of the permanent ways through which the subject constitutes his objects." 13 Noting this, I think that we can say that perhaps "something" was going on in this treatment at this point of stagnation Renik alludes to, and that the ways in which Renik "felt" he was being affected by the treatment speak to something operative within the treatment. And, in this sense, perhaps what is "Countertransferential" was perhaps not the intensity of Renik's affect at the time, but his inhibition, we might say, with regard to acting, of making some intervention all the while he was feeling that sense of stagnation. It is in this sense that we might say—my first thesis—Countertransference is the inhibition of the analyst.

In fact, let me emphasize again that the very success of the intervention Renik finally made may have very little to do with the Countertransference. The success related to the content of the intervention as relayed to the analysand, and the fact of the strong affect associated with it may well be irrelevant to the progress of the analytic treatment (though perhaps of some relevance to Renik). In fact, his Countertransference may well be what delayed—through inhibition—the delivery of this effective intervention and what kept the critical material that this intervention brought to the treatment out of the treatment for so long. I do not believe it was integral to the generation of this intervention.

I wish to comment in brief on another, more well-known example, of so-called Countertransference, the case of Mrs. B. in Thomas Ogden's paper on "The Analytic Third," to demonstrate a similar logic in place. In this case, Ogden was treating Mrs. B for various vague complaints with her life and describes the initial several years of treatment also as "vague," along with a sense of "surprise" on his part that she kept showing up. The sessions proceeded to fall apart with longer silences, to which Ogden responded with various attempts at interpretation of transference. He noted that around that time, he would sometimes forget her name, and—more notably—developed a series of somatic feelings of fatigue (which included as well thoughts he might have a brain tumor), a series of anxieties and sensations that occurred only during his sessions with Mrs. B. One day, reaching for a glass of water (a frequent move within a session, he states), Mrs. B turned around and stared at him, which had not happened before. He then felt the conviction that the somatic feelings and anxiety he was feeling were caused by Mrs. B. At the moment she turned, he immediately said to her that he thought "she had been afraid that something terrible was happening to me and that I might even be dying." She responded affirmatively, that she thought he was having a heart attack, and that she was afraid for him. This subsequently was a turning point in the analysis, brought on, Ogden believes, by the richness of the Countertransferential experiences he was feeling. Examining Ogden’s description of his work here, my second thesis is that Countertransference is the anxiety of the analyst.

In his recent analysis of this vignette, Jacques-Alain Miller makes a number of important points worth noting. 14 The first is that he accepts the fact that this intervention was truly generative of the impact that Ogden attests to. (Much in the way that Renik's intervention truly was deft.) However, he also observes that, in contrast to Ogden's claim that this type of work represents a dialectical practice, there is in fact nothing dialectical about this process. Ogden's argument is that through the analytic process and the intersubjective relationship between the analyst and the analysand, a third subjectivity is generated which is somehow a product of the two subjects and an intermediary between them, a process that he refers to as dialectical and that results in the generation of what he terms—following Andre Green—the "analytic third." 15 However, as Miller has observed, the fact remains that the type of practice that Ogden is describing here is hardly dialectical at all, not generative of some new subjectivity, but rather one in which his failure as analyst to properly identify and interpret to the patient her position as an unwanted child (this is after years of analysis) forces her—in a sense—to this regression in which she acts out within the treatment this very state—her very shutting down in the sessions—a state that Ogden himself grows to feel as a kind of shutting down himself, as if he is dying. This state that Miller identifies as one of fusion, a state of fused emotions in which the analyst's very symptoms are perceived as being caused by the analysand, hardly represents the creation of a new subjectivity, but rather a shared emotional state based on an Imaginary identification between the two subjects in the treatment. (The much-valued projective identification—a central theoretical model of analysis in the IPA tradition—is certainly in a sense what is at play here, and this too demonstrates the limitation to this construct as a theoretical model operative only at the Imaginary level.) In this treatment (or at least in this segment of the treatment as presented), we do not see the transference in play, in Ogden's use of the very important clinical material presented to him. (Much as Renik may well have been missing critical transference issues in his own sense of stagnation in that case.) I would argue that Ogden gives us plenty of details about the transference operative in this case, transference which we could define in the most basic Freudian—not Lacanian—sense as a repetition of certain infantile positions. The analysand presented herself as an unwanted child, which Ogden failed to note, only to end up in the situation in which he as analyst didn't want her as analysand by virtue of his being late for sessions, forgetting her name, and other parapraxical details. He failed to make use of this critical material (at least as presented). If one wants to retain this notion of an Analytic Third, we might hypothesize (more clinical material would be necessary) that it was actualized through the transference—a creation of Ogden as an object who did not want the analysand, the unwanted child. Again, Ogden seemed to miss this transference. Failing to interpret this Transference, this analysand ends up acting out the various regressive symptoms within the treatment itself, staging a performance for Ogden in which she shows him that she is unwanted (through her shutting down in the Treatment). This too demonstrates Lacan's theory on Acting Out, in that it is something staged for an Other to create an object and represents Transference without Analysis. 16 We might even generalize beyond this case and conjecture that the importance of regression emphasized in some analytic orientations is a technical imperative to be theorized in this way. In this case, instead of making some proper use of the Transference in his interventions and moving the case forward, the treatment stagnated and he eventually ended up in this state of identification with the analysand through his (Ogden's) symptoms, which is the basis for my claim here—my third thesis—that the Countertransference is the symptom (the Freudian symptom, not the Lacanian) of the analyst. Ogden's failures within the treatment, his very Countertransferential blind spots (which he honestly recognizes and attributes to a series of unconscious fantasies about his position as analyst), present here as a series of symptoms. And finally, when he eventually was able to make use of those, and the case moved forward, rather than claim that this was the moving force of the case as an ideal representation of good practice, I think we must recognize this as a reasonable save of a treatment that was stagnating due to Ogden's Countertransference.

But, as we can see here, in discussing this case, and the Renik case, we end up falling back to the issue of Transference itself, rather than Countertransference. And, in fact, this becomes Lacan's final statement on Countertransference, first hinted at in the paper on the Dora case, then more fully articulated later in his extended discussion on Countertransference from Seminar VIII cited above (his last lengthy discussion of Countertransference—which subsequently disappears as a critical concept in his work), and occasionally cited, through to the end of his work (see his brief comment on Michel Neyraut's book on Transference in Seminar XXI). 17 This is his statement that the countertransference doesn't exist. There is only one transference operative in psychoanalysis, between the analysand and the analyst, a transference in which the analyst comes to occupy the position of object a, the real object as object-cause of the desire of the patient, as supported by the fundamental fantasy of the patient. 18 To the extent that the analyst can enable to the fantasy to manifest itself in the treatment, to properly recognize his placement as object a, and be presumed as someone who knows something about what to do with this in the subsequent management of the treatment, the Transference will be operative. Everything else to the analyst—inhibitions, symptoms, and anxieties with regard to the treatment—do not have a relationship to the treatment as such—and in this sense I think we can say: Countertransference does not exist in the treatment, but relates to the analyst as person, and not as analyst.


1 This paper was presented at the Workshop "(En)countering Transference," Omaha, Nebraska, April 16, 2004.

2 Ogden, T., "The Analytic Third: Working with Intersubjective Clinical Facts," in International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 75 (1994): 3-19.

3 Miller, J-A. "Countertransference and Intersubjectivity," in Lacanian Ink. 22 (2003): 8-53.

4 Renik, O., "Countertransference enactment and the psychoanalytic process," in Psychic Structure and Psychic Change. Essays in Honor of Robert S. Wallerstein, M.D., ed. M. J. Horowitz, O. F. Kernberg & E. M. Weinshel. Madison, CT: Inter. Univ. Press, 1993, pp. 135-158.

5 Freud, S. "Notes Upon a Case of Obsessional Neurosis," Standard Edition, Vol. 10, (1955[1909]) p. 181.

6 Lacan, J. The Seminar of Jacques Lacan: Book 1, Freud's Papers on Technique, 1953-1954, New York: Norton, 1988.

7 Little, M., "Counter-Transference and the Patient's Response to It," International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 32 (1951): 32-40.

8 Lacan, J. Seminar, Book I, p. 32.

9 Joseph, B. Psychic Equilibrium and Psychic Change: Selected Papers of Betty Joseph, London and New York: Routledge, 1989. Joseph, B. Psychic Change: Some Perspectives. International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 73 (1992): 237-243.

10 Lacan J. Le séminaire, live VIII: Le transfert, 1960-1961, Paris: Éditions du seuil, (second édition corriggée), 2001.

11 Winnicott, D. Hate in the Counter-Transference. International Journal of Psychoanalysis 30 (1949): 69-74

12 Lacan, J., "Intervention sur le transfert," Écrits, Paris: Éditions du seuil, 1966, p. 225.

13 Ibid, p. 225.

14 Miller, J.-A., "Countertransference and Intersubjectivity," ibid.

15 Green, A. "The Intuition Of The Negative In Playing And Reality," International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 78 (1997): 1071-1084

16 Lacan J. Le Séminaire, livre X: L’angoisse, 1962-1963, Paris: Éditions du seuil, 2004.

17 Lacan, J. Le Séminaire, livre XXI: Les Non-Dupes Errent, 1973-1974, Session of March 19, 1974.

18 Svolos, T., "Fundamental fantasy as the axiom of the unconscious," Journal of Lacanian Studies. 2,1 (2004): 4-17.


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