chapter  3
23 Pages

Patients’ Reactions to Therapists’ Pregnancies

ByApril E. Fallon, Virginia Brabender

This chapter explains not only the range of reactions patients have but also their multiple roots. It is important to help therapist to know what to anticipate. Therapists might ask themselves whether the client's reactions concern the realities posed by the pregnancy, the client's own dynamics, the therapist's reactions to aspects of the pregnancy, or the culture of the relationship. When patients show an increase in resistance upon having heard of the therapist's pregnancy, it is very likely that the resistance relates to issues activated by the pregnancy. Although many themes might emerge in relation to the therapist's pregnancy, three have particular salience: symbiosis and separation; envy and competition; and sexuality and jealousy. Although the patient explored themes related to abandonment, it might also have been the case that the therapist's pregnancy activated that part of her that did want to proceed with the pregnancy.