In line with the theoretical elaboration of countertransference in the trauma clinic, this article addresses the therapist’s relationship to the strangeness of the trauma, as well as his/her interaction with the cultural difference of the other, who is in this case, the traumatized patient. Thirty-one therapists were interviewed about their subjective experiences, using the methodology of interpretative phenomenological analysis. This article shows interesting subtleties in countertransference reactions to trauma narratives and sheds light on processes indicative of trauma transmission. Therapists interviewed could express experiencing moments of strangeness and inner disquiet; resonance in the defense mechanisms deployed by therapists and by patients at certain moments of the therapy; resorting to disregarding cultural interpretations/generalizations to make sense of an utterly painful situation and put a protective distance with the patients’ culture of origin.
Part of the book: A Multidimensional Approach to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder