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Countertransference

Countertransference is a core psychoanalytic construct and phenomenon that has generated significant debate in the professional literature since its inception by Sigmund Freud a century ago. Although numerous definitions and approaches to its handling have been proffered over the years, a commonly accepted and broad-based definition is the totality of the clinician's conscious and unconscious affective and behavioral reactions to the client, including reenactments and transferential perceptions. Unlike other constructs introduced to address the clinician's response to working with traumatized populations, such as secondary traumatic stress, compassion fatigue, and vicarious traumatization, the term countertransference predates these terms and refers solely to the clinician's experience of what is taking place in the therapeutic relationship.

Countertransference is confined to the therapeutic setting, whereas the other trauma-based reactions describe ...

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