Clinical Social Work Journal

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 150–168 | Cite as

Reflections on ‘The Treatment Relationship, Real or Symbolic?’ by Jean Stewart: An examination of the relationship between countertransference, Langs' concept of the “frame” and compensatory treatment technique

  • Gerald Schamess
Dialogue Between Authors


Clinical social workers have played a leading role in the development of compensatory treatment technique. In working with clients who are characterologically disturbed we use a variety of maturationally oriented techniques that repair or ameliorate early developmental deficits. Other related techniques are designed to reduce environmental stress. These techniques complicate the therapeutic process because they require modifications in the traditional “frame” of treatment, thus making the therapist particularly vulnerable to both induced and personal (neurotic) countertransference reactions. This paper explores the relationship between compensatory technique and countertransference in an effort to identify aspects of treatment that are particular to clinical social work practice.


Environmental Stress Social Work Treatment Technique Work Practice Therapeutic Process 
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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerald Schamess
    • 1
  1. 1.Smith College School for Social WorkNorthampton

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