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The Patient's Impact on the Analyst (1996)
Kantrowitz, Judy
Routledge / The Analytic Press / Softcover / 2019-03-01 / 1138881635
reg price: $71.95 our price: $ 61.16
332 pages
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The question of how psychoanalysts are affected by their patients is of perennial interest. Edward Glover posed the question in an informal survey in 1940, but little came of his efforts. Now, more than half a century later, Judy Kantrowitz rigorously explores this issue on the basis of a unique research project that obtained data from 399 fully trained analysts. These survey responses included 194 reported clinical examples and 26 extended case commentaries on analyst change.

Kantrowitz begins The Patient's Impact on the Analyst by documenting how the process of analysis fosters an interactional process out of which patient and analyst alike experience therapeutic effects. Then, drawing on the clinical examples provided by her survey respondents, she offers a detailed exploration of the ways in which clinically triggered self-reflection represents a continuation of the analyst's own personal understanding and growth. Finally, she incorporates these research findings into theoretical reflections on how analysts obtain and integrate self-knowledge in the course of their ongoing clinical work.

This book is a pioneering effort to understand the therapeutic process from the perspective of its impact on the analyst. It provides an enlarged framework of comprehension for recent discussions of self-analysis, countertransference, interaction, and mutuality in the analytic process. Combining a wealth of experiential insight with thoughtful commentary and synthesis, it will sharpen analysts' awareness of how they work and how they are affected by their work.


"Judy Kantrowitz has ranged like a microscopist across a decade of research using information provided by 399 psychoanalysts about their personal engagements with self-analysis under the impact of their clinical work. The results are an impressive blending of generalizations supported by large numbers and specific detailing etched in individual experience. For every analyst who has ever been caught up in self-inquiry while fretting over its significance as self-analysis, this richly documented and clearly written exploration offers both challenge and comfort."

- James T. McLaughlin, M.D., Pittsburgh Psychoanalytic Institute

"This book has its own impact on the reader, and the best word for that effect is liberating. In her elegant research, Dr. Kantrowitz has explored an issue that has been talked about for many years and presented her findings with clarity and precision. No therapist can afford to ignore this book, and everyone will feel much the better for reading it."

- Arnold Goldberg, M.D., Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis

"Although the idea that the analytic situation is an interactional field is by now a truism, there has heretofore been no in-depth study of the impact of the patient on the analyst and its effect on the analytic process. Dr. Kantrowitz's book is therefore a groundbreaking contribution, and analysts of all persuasions will derive great benefit from it."

- Arnold Richards, M.D., JAPA

“[T]his volume yields deep insights into the considerable impact that patients can have on even the most experienced analysts. If the book can exert a similar impact on analysts, whether in training or advanced in their careers, it will forever change the way we conceptualize the psychoanalytic process, how we teach, and how we view therapeutic outcome.”

- Alan Z. Skolnikoff, M.D., JAPA



I. Prologue

1. The Project

II. Ways of Knowing

2. Forms of Self-Exploration: Different Analysts, Different Modes of Exploration

3. Triggers for Self-Knowledge: How Analysts Recognize an Aspect of Themselves Requiring Further Self-Reflection

4. Pathways to Self-Knowledge: Private Reflections, Shared Communications, and Work with Patients

III. Changes in the Analyst

5. Similarity of Affect, Conflict, Defense, or Situation

6. Admiration for Qualities or Chacteristics of Patients

7. Patients' Interpretations of the Analyst

8. Countertransference Response as Stimuli for Self-Reflection

9. The Therapeutic Process for the Analyst

10. Therapeutic Action of Psychoanalysis: Exploration of Its Impact on the Analyst

11. The Darker Side: The Potential Negative Impact of Patients on Their Analysts

IV. Epilogue

12. Concluding Thoughts

About the Author:

Judy Leopold Kantrowitz, Ph.D., is Training and Supervising Analyst, Boston Psychoanalytic Institute; Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychology, Boston University; and Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychology, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School. She serves on the editorial board of the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association and has written extensively about the analyst-patient match and the outcome of psychoanalysis.

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