Religious patients' metaphors in the light of transference and countertransference considerations.

M. H. Spero

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The verbal material of religious individuals in psychotherapy is laden with metaphors, folkloristic themes, and literary allusions whose meanings are generally deemed adequately elucidated by analysis of their symbolic content, generally in terms of the classic psychosexual conflict model. Contemporary psychoanalytic models demand that such material be further examined in terms of the level and quality of object relations and representation that characterize such content, and with an eye toward the influence of early, preverbal intersubjective factors that, by nature, tend to attain a minimal amount of psychic representation. These factors add richness and complexity to our overall understanding of the religious personality. The expanded role of countertransference as a tool for comprehending prerepresentational states, and the modes in which these are communicated, helps to outline new dimensions of religious object experience.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-161
Number of pages17
JournalIsrael Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes


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