One of the more intriguing aspects of our work occurs when our feeling states appear not to match the verbal content or feeling state presented by the patient. As preverbal phenomena, these experiences may manifest as feelings, per se, or as physical sensations (e.g., hunger, nausea, coughing, yawning, a tic, tightness in chest, changes in heart rate, pain, unexplained tears), psychological sensations (e.g. feelings of derealization, depersonalization, changes in body image, feeling larger or smaller, etc.), hard to grasp ethereal fantasies, dreams, impulses, cognitive problems, or behavioral enactments that feel out of character, and more.
These moments may be fleeting or ongoing. They can be disturbing, bewildering or confusing, but are always fascinating.
Developing a sensitivity to noticing and experiencing these countertransference states allows for bringing a raft of new information into the treatment. Dr. Frankfeldt will define and illustrate this phenomenon, grapple with possible meanings, and consider ways of understanding how it comes about.