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The purpose of this activity is to introduce the concepts of transference and countertransference to experiential students, as well as apply self-evaluation and reasoning skills to assess the impact of these concepts on patient communication.

Learning Objectives
  1. Explain and differentiate the concepts of transference and countertransference.

  2. Identify patient interactions that may be impacted by transference and/or countertransference.

  3. Describe the impact of transference and countertransference on the ability of the interviewer to build and maintain patient rapport.

  4. Devise strategies to overcome patient communication barriers secondary to countertransference.

Foundational Knowledge Required

Patient interviewing skills, Pharmacists’ Patient Care Process, Empathy skills development

  • Pre-Activity Reading

    • Muskin PR, Epstein LA. Help medical colleagues deal with ‘difficult’ patients. Curr Psychiatry. 2009;8(4):25-32.

Suggested Resources
  • Capehart KD. Patient communication: getting the most out of that one-on-one time. In: Schwinghammer TL, Koehler JM, Borchert JS, Slain D, Park SK, eds. Pharmacotherapy Casebook: A Patient-Focused Approach. 10th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2017:chap 3.

  • Fortin VI AH, Dwamena FC, Frankel RM, Lepisto B, Smith RC, eds. Smith’s Patient-Centered Interviewing. 4th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2019.

  • Lauster CD, Srivastava SB, eds. Fundamental Skills for Patient Care in Pharmacy Practice. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning; 2014.

  • Jiménez XF, Thorkelson G, Alfonso CA. Countertransference in the general hospital setting: implications for clinical supervision. Psychodyn Psychiatry. 2012;40(3):435-450.

  • Marshall AA, Smith RC. Physicians’ emotional reactions to patients: recognizing and managing countertransference. AJG. 1995;90(1):4-8.

  • Varcarolis EM. Developing therapeutic relationships. In: Foundations of Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing: A Clinical Approach. 5th ed. St. Louis: Elsevier Inc.; 2006.

Assignment Instructions

This activity requires each student to individually read the pre-activity reading (see Foundational Knowledge Required above) and complete the reflection questions associated with the five Patient Cases. The cases will be discussed as a group with any other participating experiential student(s) and the preceptor.

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