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    Transference with the borderline client

    Spurling, Laurence (2003) Transference with the borderline client. Psychodynamic Practice 9 (1), pp. 25-42. ISSN 1475-3634.

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    This paper addresses the question of what is involved in psychodynamic counselling with borderline clients. The concept of borderline functioning or structure is explained and the technical difficulties of working in this area noted, especially in the establishment of a working alliance. The types of transference manifestations with borderline clients are then described, looking in particular at the emergence of a psychotic transference. Two case examples are given of working with borderline clients, where the transference was dominated by primitive elements, provoking powerful countertransference reactions in the counsellor. How both the client and the counsellor can be contained in the therapeutic work is then addressed. Finally, some implications of this discussion are drawn out for the training of psychodynamic counsellors, in order to equip them best for working with borderline clients. Three features of what a training should offer are identified: it should provide students with the opportunity for the exploration of the psychotic parts of their own personality; it should allow for and encourage the internalization of psychoanalysis itself as a sustaining internal object; and it should provide students with the experience of working with clients over sufficient time and at sufficient depth so they can learn about the timing and effectiveness of interventions in work with borderline clients.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): borderline, psychotic transference, containment, psychodynamic counselling training
    School: School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Psychosocial Studies
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2017 09:51
    Last Modified: 19 Sep 2017 09:51


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