Working in the Transference

Alessandra Lemma, Mary Target and Peter Fonagy

in Brief Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780199602452
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729232 | DOI:
Working in the Transference

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Working in the transference is one of the cornerstones of the psychodynamic technique and its interpretation is held by many to be the royal road to psychic change. A range of techniques is deployed in DIT but working in the transference is considered a fundamental intervention that facilitates the exploration of the interpersonal-affective focus (IPAF). In DIT the therapist makes systematic use of the transference, that is, she monitors her experience of the transference and of her own countertransference in order to inform her understanding of the patient's state of mind and hence how to intervene. In practice this may entail not making a verbal interpretation. Transference should always be ‘used’ as a compass to orient us in relation to the unfolding of the therapeutic process, but we need to carefully consider how its interpretation furthers the therapeutic aims at any given point in time and whether the patient can tolerate it. This chapter therefore outlines how to formulate a transference interpretation and the rationale for doing so within DIT.

Keywords: DIT; interpersonal-affective focus; therapy; psychodynamic technique; transference interpretation; therapist

Chapter.  5322 words. 

Subjects: Clinical Psychology

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