June 1961

Countertransference Crisis in Suicidal Attempts

Author Affiliations


Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1961;4(6):572-578. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1961.01710120042005

The observations and speculations, which make up the body of this communication, were prompted by a consideration of suggestions for the treatment of patients who had made suicidal attempts. My previous investigations into the characters of patients who make suicidal attempts brought me to the conviction that an exteremely prominent need of such patients has to do with their feelings of oral deprivation. Those studies, which are not inconsistent with the observations of other workers, have indicated that the patient who makes a suicidal attempt has had considerable developmental difficulty in terms of achieving a satisfactory relationship with his mother; that, in many cases, this has resulted in the development of a strong passive and oral orientation on the part of the patient; and that, in most cases, the event which precipitates the suicidal attempt has been a symbolic reexperiencing by the patient of an

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