Alice’s loss of wonderland

Richard A. Epstein*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The current paper discusses issues of transference and countertransference in a psychodynamic psychotherapy of an emotionally disturbed girl in residential treatment. The paper argues that unrecognized rescue fantasies may underlie the strong negative feelings evoked in the countertransference and that projective identification may then be used as a defense against those feelings. The paper also argues that the current emphasis on providing short-term, empirically validated, and cost-effective treatments for emotionally disturbed children and adolescents may be producing residential child-care workers and institutions that are even less prepared to recognize and work through the difficult feelings evoked in the process of working with emotionally disturbed and disturbing young people.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-72
Number of pages20
JournalResidential Treatment for Children and Youth
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 1 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Child psychotherapy
  • Child-care workers
  • Countertransference
  • Projective identification
  • Rescue fantasies
  • Transference

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Law


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