The Clinical Use of Countertransference in Relational and Ego Psychological Psychoanalysis: A Panel on Comparative Technique

March 3, 2014
Presenter: Natasha Chriss, MD
Panelists: Tony Bass, PhD and Ellen Rees, MD

While the critical value of countertransference is broadly accepted across contemporary psychoanalytic models, how it is conceptualized and worked with technically varies significantly between them. If we tend work with our countertransference in one theoretical frame, can our work be deepened or opened up by a shift in perspective? Dr. Chriss presents a case and process material from the termination phase of a long analysis. She discusses the interplay of her work and her countertransference, infused by the experience of the termination of her own analysis. During this informally-structured evening, Dr. Chriss will pause the process material at moments to invite Drs. Rees and Bass to share their reactions to the work and talk about how they understand and work with countertransference, as well as other aspects of process and technique. Audience members are encouraged to participate in the discussion after the presentation.

Natasha Chriss, MD is Clinical Instructor of Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical Center and Lecturer at Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research. Ellen Rees, MD is Lecturer in Psychiatry at the Columnia College of Physicians and Surgeons, and Training and Supervising Analyst at the Columbia Psychoanalytic Center, where she teaches in the Critical Thinking and Psychoanalytic Concepts courses. In addition to teaching at the Columbia Psychoanalytic Center, Tony Bass, PhD is the co-editor of Psychoanalytic Dialogues, and is on the faculty and supervises at several institutes, including the NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, the NIP National Training Program, and The Stephen Mitchell Center for Relational Studies.

Learning objectives: After the lecture, participants should be able to

  • Contrast the concept of countertransference between ego psychological and relational perspectives.
  • Apply different technical theories about the use of countertransference to clinical work with psychoanalytic patients.