Dealing with Character, Sex, and Race in Psychotherapy

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This paper looks at the complexity of issues that required analyzing when a Black female patient entered treatment with a White male psychoanalyst. Before the father or mother transferences could be dealt with and traced to their sources in childhood traumas, the cultural transference had to be resolved. In particular, the therapist had to confront the patient’s ambivalent feelings about him as White and male, as well as understand and resolve his own cultural countertransference.

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