The philosopher Emmanuel Kant speculated that a dove might think it would find flying easier without the encumbrance of air around it. He observed that such a bird would, of course, soon discover flight in a vacuum impossible.
Aldo Carotenuto here demonstrates that, like Kant’s dove, the analyst cannot exclude the transference and countertransference from the analytical field—that movement toward healing is not possible without the medium of relationship, created by the interacting personalities of analyst and analysand.
Carotenuto explores this subject in historical depth, reflecting on the development of depth psychology from its earliest beginnings in mesmerism and hypnotism. He invokes this history as evidence in support of the importance of transference and countertransference despite the long standing cultural stigma attached to deep relationships between doctor and patient. Finally, he defines the fine line to be walked in the deeply emotional, yet strictly verbal, interaction that must develop as a necessary requisite for effective therapy.