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Summary of D. W. Winnicott on Hate in CountertransferenceIn analyzing psychotics, as oppose to neurotics, treatment is very stressful. The strength of Winnicott’s contribution was to constantly keep in mind the need to respect the antisocial tendency with firmness and compassion rather than to. Hate in the Counter-Transference. D. W. Winnicott. SUMMARY. An analyst has to display all the patienceand tolerance and reliability of a mother devoted to her.

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Notes counrertransference essays from existential books I study to support my work as a psychotherapist. Click here to visit my website. Wednesday, April 28, Winnicott: Hate in the Countertransference. Hate in the Countertransference Contents Countertransferejce 1 What then is countertransference for Winnicott? He sees therapy as the repetition of the maternal relation and as an attempt to correct any of the inadequacies of the initial mother infant relationship. What then is countertransference for Winnicott?

The therapist identifies with what the client says and what is identified with is repressed by the therapist and they react to the client in abnormal or unfamiliar ways 2. Where the client replays a previous relationship with the therapist and the therapist has a very conscious and considered feeling, which can be hate or love What may the therapist feel working with the client?

For Winnicott, the patient understands the therapist in terms of their own way of being in the world. To explain these three terms. Integration is the process of pulling together the soma and the psyche both individually and together. Realisation is orientating oneself within space and time. Personalisation is the process of understanding oneself in ones particularity, as rooted in this mind and this body and distinct from you. Thus the psychotic can have coincident love hate states of feeling, this is to say I believe that there is no integration of feelings in the patients world merely coincidence.

Hate in the countertransference – On Memory and Desire

Thus the therapist who currently shows love could also show hate, countertransgerence reciprocation the client can show love as much as hate to the therapist without rational or integration between the two. Hate from the therapist There are then three aspects of how the therapist may feel hate. Firstly through transference from the client, secondly through the clients behaviour triggering repressed hateful feelings, i.

There are ways that the therapist can assuage these feelings of hate. They can see it as a necessary evil of therapy that can be put up with for the higher cause which they are involved in, the pay, the training or helping people.


However Winnicott sees hate as a sometime necessary reaction that should not be shied away from but should when the client is ready be handed back to them in a manageable form. For Winnicott therapy is the replaying of the inadequate prior mother infant relationship.

The mother who feeds has no relation to the mother who is absent. Gradually integration of self happens, gradually the distinction of the self to world happens and gradually the awareness of the other happens as does the relation between these components. The unintegrated state is for Winnicott, the origins of man; we also carry it with us and is the font of creativity within our lives. For Winnicott we are poor if we are only sane The unintegrated state can only be managed or accessed in later life if there is a stable enough holding environment to support it.

Thus the therapist needs to provide both the acknowledgement of all of the client and to only acknowledge those bits that the client can safely integrate.

Existential Psychotherapy: Winnicott:Hate in the Countertransference

Thus the client can provide feelings of hate in the therapist. As the clients relationships with self and therapist strengthen the this hate can either be acknowledged directly or drip fed until the structure is in place to support this. There is something in all of us that we hate, for Winnicott a client needs objective love and this requires all parts of the client to be acknowledged and this includes the hated part, thus it can be hte for the therapist to hate the client and for the client to be able to access this hate to know the objective love.

The environment of therapy The analyst must be prepared im bear strain without expecting the patient to know anything about what he is doing, perhaps even for a long time.

For psychotics and people who have not had an adequate early maternal relationship the environment that the therapist provides that does more work than the interpretation.

For the neurotic the couch and warmth and comfort may be symbolic of the mothers love for the psychotic it would actually be it. Winnicott sees that people can test their environment and seeks proof that he can be hated to get proof that he is truly loved. This is quite an outlandish thought, to think of the impossibly behaved teenager as wanting to be hated such that he can prove the love of his parents.


Winnicott sees the mother as hating the baby before the baby hates the mother. Thus in the therapeutic relationship the therapist must be open to the ruthless love of the client which may hate him, hurt him use him for his needs then dispense with him when his needs are done. jn

Hate is also seen as a crude way of loving Why the client needs hate. Should the mother get this wrong badly enough then the child can create a false self, a compliant self as they find their own desires too traumatising. In the omnipotent stage the infant is not aware of their mother as a separate being and engages with their mother with ruthless love, in the way they would engage with their own desires.

Hate in the Counter-Transference

At each stage the infant needs to feel safe that they can move onto the next stage and a key element of tthe is when they realise that they are the same infant who loves and hates the mother. The mother makes this real in the infant by hating him. Klein talks about this as the depressive position whereas Winnicott talks about the position of concern.

This position of realising that you hate the person that you also love brings the idea of concern and care. When you realise you hate the person you love, you then start hatr think about caring for them, and developing feelings of guilt to guide this.

Infants, who have been deficient in this stage, show no care of concern for those around them as they were not appropriately hated, and never integrated their love and their hate. Winnicott and Existentialism Winnicott is interesting sure, putting the relationship back into the arena of countertransferfnce and is an interesting development from Freud who had the psyche only as the arena of psychopathology.

The well adjust child who had a good enough mother still has to face death, uncertainty and groundlessness. However there are many areas of pain people suffer that are not to do with the outcome of their parenting.

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