Standing in the Abyss: Countertransference and Therapeutic Engagement—Living Through The Feelings That We Must Bear

This clinical presentation will focus on the phenomenon of couNtertransference, in which an aspect of the patient's personal psychology and accompanying feeling states may “hook into” something in the therapist's internal world or personal history that, if unidentified, can lead to a collapse of the analytic/therapeutic space. Clinical material will be presented that demonstrates these phenomena and that provides approaches to recognize and work with these countertransference responses in useful ways for psychoanalysts and psychotherapists.


Friday, April 5, 2013 - 7:30pm to 9:30pm
7:00 PM - Wine & Cheese



4455 Morena Boulevard, Suite 202
San Diego, CA 92117
United States
View Map




Free for SDPC Members
$25 for Non-members
$15 for Students

Educational Objective(s)

  • Recognize how emotional states of their patients can impact the therapist's capacity to emotionally accompany them in the therapeutic process.
  • Work with their own feelings of countertransference contempt and disdain that are generated by shameful states within their patients.
  • Make use of self-analytic approaches to identify countertransference reactions that may illuminate what is going on in their patients' internal and interpersonal worlds.

Presenter Information

Fred L. Griffin, M.D. is a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Dallas Psychoanalytic Center, and a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. His publications include a Book Review essay entitled “Freud's Wizard: Ernest Jones and the Transformation of Psychoanalysis”(International Journal of Psychoanalysis-2009), and a Book Review essay “Teaching psychoanalytic psychotherapy: Voices that have reach” (Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association – 2006).