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Counter transference

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Assignment Question – Countertransference

  • In 100-200 words, brieflyoutline key features of the history of a patient you have seen and cared for (ideally reviewed progress on at least 3-4 occasions). Choose a patient where there has been an emotional impact on yourself or other team members you are working with, as you will use this case to illustrate the concept of transference.
  • In 1000- 1500 words, Discussthe various transference interactions you have noted between the ranges of clinicians involved in the care of this patient.
  • Thirdly in 500-800 words, reflectupon the impact of the transference interactions upon the team, and upon patient care. Outline strategies that yourself or the team used or could have used to continue to provide best practice care in the context of the described transference.

Some guidelines for answering the above question: 

  • Though the assignment can be broken into sections; prose form is required including for the key features of the case.  You are encouraged to reflect on your own emotional reaction to the situation, and consider how this relates to what you have learned about the psychological management of patients in the acute setting. Use of the first person in discussion is acceptable.
  • Assignments, which do not meet de-identification requirements, will not be marked, and may require re-submission with marking penalties.


Submission details

Length: 2000 words (penalties for >2500 words)


Marking criterion:

Domain Descriptor Weighting
1 •     The candidate demonstrates the ability to communicate clearly

•     Spelling, grammar and vocabulary adequate to the task; able to convey ideas clearly.

3 •     The candidate is able to outline more than one line of discussion as relevant to the question. Reference to the literature is accurate; and the discussion and reflection are described in a writing style that is logical and coherent 15%
5 •     The candidate demonstrates a mature understanding of broader models of health and illness, cultural sensitivity and the cultural context of psychiatry historically, and in the present time, and can apply these to the patient case at hand. 10%
7 •     The candidate demonstrates appropriate understanding of the recovery model and patient centred care within the context of this case discussion 10%
8 •     The candidate is able to apply the arguments and conclusions to the clinical context, and/or apply clinical experience in their discussion 25%
10 •     Concepts of transference and countertransference as they arise in the acute setting within individuals and teams are well elaborated and understood; and applied appropriately to the context of the particular patient described 30%


De-identification and Confidentiality

You must ensure that all data which could potentially identify the patient is removed from the Case History including appendices and acknowledgments.

Each Case History must be accompanied by a Declaration stating that all data identifying the patient has been removed. It is not sufficient to simply use a pseudonym. Locations, names of hospitals, hospital units, supervisors and dates of admission must also be modified.

Case Histories that include data which, in the opinion of the examiner might identify the patient or the candidate will be returned to the candidate as Failed. A case that has been failed on these grounds will NOT be marked and the only feedback the candidate will receive will appear in the ‘Deidentification’ section of the mark sheet. On the next submission, a new declaration form and fee will be required.

Data which has been de-identified must be indicated by an asterisk the first time it appears in the text. Where individually relevant, the country of origin and occupation of the patient must also be modified, that is, where circumstances are so unique or unusual as to allow easy identification.

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