Scientific Meeting | Saturday, January 27, 2018 | Venue: Arbutus Club
2001 Nanton Avenue, Vancouver, B.C.
The literature on countertransference love and hate are reviewed, focusing on the work of Freud, Winnicott, Bion, Ogden, Gabbard, and Slavin. The psychoanalytic psychotherapy of a patient whom the analyst actively hated from the beginning of treatment is described. The analyst believes that his capacity to love and to hate, and his capacity to accept these feelings in himself, was expanded as a result of this work, likely on the basis of being more comfortably able to experience his own hate without needing to defend against conscious awareness of it. He believes that as he became more tolerant of his own capacity to hate, his patient likely was able to tolerate his own hate, with less fear of its becoming destructive. The analyst was surprised by the extent of the warmth he felt for his patient in the last session of therapy. The analyst concluded that tolerating his hate without acting on it destructively enabled him to experience love toward his patient. Perhaps the tacit love which developed between them enabled them to constructively extricate themselves from a crisis which the analyst had precipitated because of his lack of empathy, itself based on his struggling with hating his patient. The analyst’s accepting his/her hate may permit development of love for the patient which can be essential to the treatment’s success. The question, what may be therapeutic about countertransference love and countertransference hate, is addressed. Some expressions of love and hate which the analyst believes had a beneficial effect on the work are reviewed. One might conclude that the more fully we can allow ourselves to experience our hate, the more we have the capacity for love. The patient may have found a way to love through an expression of hate which could be contained by the analyst.
Paul Steinberg is a psychiatrist and clinical professor in the Department of Psychiatry of UBC, where he maintains a practice in psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic psychotherapy. He is a member of the Western Branch of the Canadian Psychoanalytic Society and the International Psychoanalytic Association. He has published on psychodynamic aspects of consultation/liaison psychiatry, group psychotherapy, partial hospitalization, threats of violence, oral examinations, and formulation.
At the end of this program/session/event participants will be able to:
1. Utilize better understanding of the patient’s personality, early experience, and concurrent stresses in guiding the therapist’s interventions within difficult clinical interactions.
2. More readily gain access to, and awareness of, countertransference when dealing with difficult interactions with patients.
3. More readily use countertransference hate to constructively manage difficulties with one’s patients.
4. Better utilize psychoanalytic literature in dealing with difficult interactions with patients
SCIENTIFIC PROGRAM COMMITTEE: Karin Holland Biggs, Ph.D., FIPA. (Chair), Celine Brouillette, R. Psych, Elizabeth Wallace, MD, FIPA. For further information please contact Program Chair: Karin Holland Biggs – firstname.lastname@example.org