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In psychoanalysis, the analyst's emotional reactions to the patient and to the patient's transference, influenced by the analyst's unconscious needs and conflicts. It should be carefully distinguished from the analyst's conscious reactions to the patient. It was first mentioned by Sigmund Freud (1856–1939) in 1910 in an article on ‘The Future Prospects of Psycho-Analytic Therapy’ (Standard Edition, XI, pp. 141–51). Since the 1970s there has been an increasing tendency in psychoanalysis to exploit the counter-transference in a controlled manner as part of the technique of psychoanalysis, support for this approach being drawn from Freud's comment in 1913 in an article on ‘The Disposition to Obsessional Neurosis’ that ‘everyone possesses in his own unconscious an instrument with which he can interpret the utterances of the unconscious in other people’ (Standard Edition, XII, pp. 317–26, at p. 320).

Subjects: Psychology.

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