Countertransference is defined as "the emotional reaction of the therapist
to the patient." It may result from "the therapist's own unresolved neurotic
issues or it may be primarily inspired by the power of the patient's attitudes,
affects and behaviors." Frequently it is a combination of both. It can
be obvious or subtle. If unrecognized and dealt with, it often is the reason
for treatment failure.
Do you think all boundary violations are examples of countertransference?
Is there a set of circumstances where you think it is allowable for a therapist
to become sexually involved with a patient?
Do you believe it is possible for a therapist and a patient to form a health
friendship or romantic relationship after the therapy is over?
Sexual countertransference is the one most often depicted. What other ways
can you think of that also might be examples of countertransference ?
What differences are there between the ways in which countertransference
is presented when the therapist is a male and when the therapist is a female?
In the initial credits there are sequences attributed to Salvatore Dali.
Who is he and which sequences are they referring to?
In what ways do you think the music was used to help establish a mood and
actually move the plot along?
Why do you think they put the printed information about psychoanalysis
at the beginning of the film?
Hitchcock is know for his use of various types of camera shots to create
moods and attitudes. Give examples of how he does it in this film.
What is your initial impression of the hospital? How is it similar to and
different from the one's seen in What About Bob, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's
Nest, Titicut Follies, Snake Pit, Mine Own Executioner?
In what ways are the doctors, especially Dr. Constance Peterson (Ingrid
Berman), presented in stereotypical ways at the beginning of the film?
In what ways are they humanized?
Follow each time "Edwardes" gets upset. What do these incident have in
How many diagnoses are given throughout the film to "Dr. Edwardes?"
How does this film contribute to the stereotype of the woman psychiatrist?
Of women in general?
How is her psychiatrist, Alex, portrayed?
How many instances of boundary violations did you notice in the film?
What techniques were used to show that the dream sequences were fantasy
& not reality?
What symbols were in the dream?
How did you feel about the last part of the picture? Did they change the
focus of the film?