Reconsidering the transference paradigm in treatment with the bereaved

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The relationship that develops between client and therapist has been central to the theory of therapy in psychodynamic work. Intervention with bereaved individuals may require a modification of conceptual and practical orientation with regard to transference. In cases where individuals suffer from difficulties in separating and reorganizing the relationship to the bereaved, the relationship to the deceased may take precedence over analysis of the transference. Refocusing the central relationship of therapy upon the deceased may help the work of mourning to continue until a satisfactory conclusion is reached. The specifics of this approach are demonstrated in therapy with a widower who sought assistance informing relationships with women but whose continuing attachment to the deceased interfered with those relationships.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-228
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychotherapy
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology


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