Cosima De Giorgi Luisa Masina Antonella Sessarego

Risk and the profession of the psychoanalyst

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The danger associated with the practice of psychoanalysis was emphasized early on by Freud in reference to transference love. Subsequent developments in psychoanalysis have allowed for a deeper exploration and understanding of the complexity of emotions and feelings that are activated in the analytic process involving patient and analyst. Glen Gabbard addressed and explored, evaluating more than three hundred cases, the delicate problem of setting violations as an inherent risk in psychoanalytic therapy, to which all analysts are exposed. He denounced the regularity (Gabbard, 2017) with which they occur. He emphasized the need to raise awareness of these risks in the analytic community especially for the purpose of prevention, stating that he found much resistance to addressing the problem. This paper examines the risks associated with the profession of the analyst by developing some key aspects: transference, countertransference and regulation of the analytic setting; vulnerability of the analyst; boundaries and the Institution


  • risk
  • setting violation
  • transference
  • countertransference
  • vulnerability
  • institution


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