Countertransference and the Treatment of Trauma

Pages: 305
Item #: 431748A
ISBN: 978-1-55798-687-0
List Price: $19.95
Member/Affiliate Price: $19.95
Copyright: 2000
Format: Hardcover
Note: This book is out of print and no longer available for purchase.

Understanding strong countertransference reactions can be the hardest part of practice for many mental health professionals-particularly with patients who have experienced great trauma. In a concise and practical format, this book shows mental health practitioners how they can both manage their countertransference reactions and use them as a force for healing in patients suffering from trauma.

The author, a respected clinician and researcher, draws on empirical studies from the Trauma Research Institute and her own clinical experience to establish a set of common countertransference responses for various types of trauma. The author explores actual clinical cases, dissects dialogue transcripts, and goes through the span of treatment to outline the various methods for dealing with countertransference, such as when and how to disclose countertransference reactions to patients.

The types of traumatic experiences included are wide-ranging: child physical, sexual, and emotional abuse; violent assault, such as mugging, rape, torture, and Holocaust experiences; trauma caused by chronic disillusionment, such as chronic community violence and racism; and traumatic loss, such as physical injury and debilitation. An essential and welcome resource for any mental health professional.

Table of Contents


  1. Countertransference in Psychotherapy: Definitional Issues
  2. The Argument for Highlighting, Examining, and Disclosing Countertransference in Trauma Therapy
  3. Speaking Trauma: The Inadequacy of Language in Trauma Treatment
  4. Do You Believe Me? Countertransference Responses to Client Doubt and Reality-Testing Disturbance
  5. It's Not Your Fault: Countertransference Struggles with Blame and Shame
  6. Countertransference Responses to Repetition Compulsion
  7. Countertransference Responses to Anger and Perceived Manipulation
  8. Therapy as a Unique Human Interaction: Management of Boundaries and Sexual Countertransference
  9. Countertransference and Trauma Resolution




About the Author

Author Bio
Constance J. Dalenberg, PhD, is an associate professor of psychology at the California School of Professional Psychology and is recognized as an international expert on trauma disclosure and trauma therapy. As director of the Trauma Research Institute in La Jolla, California, she has designed and supervised over 50 research studies on the consequences of trauma. Her private practice, centered on the treatment and forensic evaluation of survivors of trauma, is located in La Jolla, California.