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Article   |    
Countertransference and Clinical Choices in Public-Sector Treatment of a Patient and Her Family
David E. K. Hunter; Lynette Simpson
Psychiatric Services 1992; doi:
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The authors thank Julian B. Ferholt, M.D., and Robert J. Hoffnung, Ph.D., for contributions to this paper and Stephen Fleck, M.D., for comments on earlier drafts.

Cedarcrest Regional Hospital, 525 Russell Road, Newington, Connecticut 06111

Greater Bridgeport (Conn.) Community Mental Health Center

1992 by the American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

Clinical decision making in the treatment of families of individuals with prolonged mental illness can be affected by countertransference that is stimulated by the context of treatment as well as by the family being treated. For clinicians, psychoeducation, the current intervention of choice for such families, can serve defensive functions that are motivated by countertransference; a case example illustrates how such defenses led a clinician to avoid deeper therapeutic work. The authors believe that clinicians must strive to understand their motivations for whatever clinical decisions they make; to facilitate this awareness, intensive psychotherapy should be required as an adjunct to training.

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