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Jeffrey M. Burda is a 2014 graduate of the PsyD Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, New England

James Fauth, PhD, Committee Chair
Lorraine Mangione, PhD, Committee Member
Lynn Catlin, PhD, Committee Member

Document Type

Dissertation

Publication Date

2014

Abstract

This study explored Jungian analysts' experiences of countertransference (CT) using the qualitative method interpretive phenomenological analysis (IPA). The purpose of this study was to better understand how Jungian analysts experience, understand, make use of, and manage CT in daily practice. Six certified Jungian analysts were interviewed about their CT experiences from their analytic work with a past client. The study's main findings were that CT originated primarily from analysts' personal wounds and tended to manifest as analysts' disengagement or withdrawal from the client. Furthermore, analysts often used awareness and understanding of their CT to better manage CT. The nature of the therapeutic relationship was often influenced by CT and also emerged as an important factor in analytic process and outcome. Finally, this study found that contextual factors such as time, culture, and spiritual elements were key influences in the transference-countertransference dynamic. Overall, this study represents a step towards developing an empirical understanding of CT in Jungian models and hopefully facilitates a long-overdue dialogue between Jungians and mainstream practitioners, particularly those adhering to relational or interpersonal approaches.

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