CHILDREN OF A MORTAL GOD

A Therapy Group's Journey in the Wake of their Therapist's Unexpected Death

União by Perla
The death of the psychotherapist in the midst of an ongoing therapeutic process is a topic frequently avoided by analytic literature. The scarcity of relevant material may be attributed to issues of denial and a compensatory sense of omnipotence arising when therapists are facing illness and mortality. This paper reviews individual and group therapy literature on the topic, and focuses on the experience of a ‘bridging’ group analyst, while working with a therapy group of patients still mourning the loss of their former therapist. The differences in leadership style, as well as emerging transference and countertransference issues that remained unresolved and led to the dissolution of the group, are discussed.

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British Journal of Psychotherapy, Volume 27, pages 93–110, February 2011