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Countertransference in the treatment of suicidal patients 

Countertransference in the treatment of suicidal patients
Countertransference in the treatment of suicidal patients

Mark J Goldblatt

and John T Maltsberger

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date: 27 January 2022

Countertransference is an inescapable component of all psychotherapy. Intense countertransference reactions often occur during the treatment of suicidal patients. Lack of awareness of countertransference reactions of malice and aversion may be suicide-inviting. On the other hand, awareness of these reactions may enhance the treatment by alerting therapists that the suicidal patient is fomenting issues he is unable or unwilling to articulate. Problems that arise in the course of psychotherapy of suicidal patients may be understood in relation to the therapist’s countertransference reactions. In this chapter, we review case examples of countertransference manifestations and their effects on the treatment of the suicidal patient.

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