This month our reading group begins a new set of papers on the topic of countertransference. We will be reading Listening with the Body: An Exploration in the Countertransference (Field, 1989). This paper explores the significance of physical sensations in the countertransference.
Paper abstract: This paper describes a specific but little-discussed manifestation of the countertransference: namely the spontaneous arousal of physical feelings in the therapist. It considers three questions arising from this phenomenon: (1) Are they meaningless bodily sensations or evidence of unconscious communication from the patient? (2) If the latter, do they have any therapeutic relevance? (3) What sort of psychological mechanism might enable such messages to be transmitted?
Mirroring the questions explored in this paper we might ask: What do our physical reactions during organizational interactions mean? Do they convey something about “what it’s like to work here”? If so, how might they inform our approach to studying and intervening in organizations?
The CPOS Reading Group meets every third Thursday, September through May to discuss the papers we are reading.
If you’d like to join our discussions please email Mindy Duncan: firstname.lastname@example.org.