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Transference countertransference doctor patient sexual harassment


Countertransference in the initial care of victims of sexual and urban violence: To assess therapists' countertransference during initial care of female victims of sexual and urban violence with the aim of investigating influence of therapist's gender, type and moment of trauma. This study used qualitative and quantitative methods of data analysis. Reports were classified into six groups according to therapist's gender and type of trauma.

A content analysis and a statistical analysis of the data were performed. Transference countertransference doctor patient sexual harassment of both genders presented a prevalence of feelings of closeness when providing care to victims of sexual violence. Therapists of both genders presented a prevalence of feelings of closeness when providing initial care to patients victims of sexual violence.

Male therapists who provided care to victims of urban violence presented a prevalence of feelings of distance. Further studies are needed for a better understanding of therapeutic relationships in the care of victims of psychic trauma.


Countertransference, sexual violence, urban violence, psychic trauma, psychotherapy. The concept of countertransference, introduced by Freud 1 and developed by other authors, is essential in current psychoanalytical theory and technique, which consider the feelings awakened by the patient in the therapist as powerful tools to understand the patient's communication and internal world. Based on the growing recognition of the importance of the therapist's mind and of the therapeutic field established between the pair, new theories and empirical research studies have been developed.

Gabbard 8 stresses that nowadays there is a consensus in considering the usefulness of countertransference to understand the patient, being a "joint creation" of the therapeutic pair. In addition, characteristics of the therapist's real person have been widely discussed, such as gender, training stage and age group, which could be associated with constant countertransference patterns and that could have a direct implication in choice of therapists according to characteristics of clinical and patient's situation.

Empirical studies on countertransference are not commonly found in the literature yet, although their importance is clear in a recent article by Betan et al. Despite the singularity of each therapeutic pair, significant correlations have been demonstrated between specific countertransference feelings and symptoms of personality disorders.

This suggests that countertransference responses may occur in coherent and predictable patterns, strengthening their use in diagnostic understanding and in patients' understanding and treatment. The authors Transference countertransference doctor patient sexual harassment the possibility and relevance of screening countertransference patterns aroused by patients with different psychiatric diagnoses or in those who share certain experiences, such as history of sexual violence.

Studying the feelings aroused by patients victims of sexual violence is important, since besides being intense, such feelings are often barriers against treatment success. Therapists can be the first to identify, through themselves, patients' anger, fear, shame and insecurity, since they are not initially conscious of their affective experiences. Such feelings are often intolerable and contradictory, usually reproduced and vividly re-experienced during the treatment by the therapeutic pair, and can threaten both and create impasses if they are not properly recognized and elaborated.

The moment in the patient's life in which a situation of sexual violence occurred is associated with the development of specific forms of psychopathology, especially mood and personality disorders, which could also be related Transference countertransference doctor patient sexual harassment specific countertransference responses. Violence is the second main cause of overall mortality in Brazil, which is the fourth country with the highest prevalence rate of homicides in the world.