Envy, contamination and countertransference
DOI link for Envy, contamination and countertransference
Envy, contamination and countertransference book
Envy now becomes a significant factor in the therapeutic relationship. Reference to Kleinian theory brings this most repudiated and shameful of emotions into focus. As the deterioration of the patient became more evident he had to come to terms with the disparity between his hopes and aspirations and the reality of his future. The sense of feeling stuck brought envy to the fore. Hatred of the analyst emerged, linked to his view of the inequality between their respective positions. The need to move out of the parental home became urgent but the stasis meant that this seemed impossible. Embodied countertransference produced extreme bodily experiences in the analyst; these came to be understood as responses to the extreme situation. Abstinence from touch maintains the therapeutic boundaries and the reasons for this are discussed. Violent dreams reveal the patient’s fury at the analyst for not helping with the practical situation. The fear that talking about the disease will potentially contaminate the analyst is eventually expressed. The release of such negative emotions engenders a move into the outer world.