The preoedipal patient and the pregnancy of the therapist

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This article is a contribution to the sparse literature on the pregnancy of the therapist. The therapist's pregnancy is viewed as an event that can facilitate progress for some female patients with preoedipal problems. In these cases, it provides a dramatic opportunity to address developmental difficulties, including separation problems and inadequate ego ideal formation, through the analysis of the self-object transference. Clinical material illustrates the working through of these issues for a patient in whom the therapist's pregnancy was stressful but not traumatic. Therapeutic interventions were aimed at fostering greater differentiation between self and object. A contrasting case is also examined in which the pregnancy was felt to be traumatic and feelings about it largely denied. However, underlying transference issues were eventually addressed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-119
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Contemporary Psychotherapy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 1984


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