Can Religious Communities Become Dysfunctional Families? Sources of Countertransference for the Religiously Committed Psychotherapist

Volume
Volume 22
Issue
Winter 1994
Title
Can Religious Communities Become Dysfunctional Families? Sources of Countertransference for the Religiously Committed Psychotherapist
Abstract

This article examines how the dysfunctional aspects of religious communities can lead to countertransference for the religiously committed therapist. The thesis of this article is that some religious organizations parallel the dynamics of the incestuous family. The rigid distinctions often made in religious groups between "insider" and "outsider" generate problems of rigid family loyalty. In both settings, weak boundaries and ego-fusion lead to inappropriate need gratification, of which incest is one form. Case histories are cited to support the authors' contention that religiously committed therapists need to analyze their own primitive fantasies about their religious affiliations in order to avoid countertransference acting out such as "rescuing" patients, participating in dual relationships, and even sexual activity with patients.

Authors
R. Carbo and Dr. J. Gartner
Pages
264 - 271
Price
Add to Cart $5.00