oa South African Family Practice - Autogenic reactions : peripheralia

Volume 54, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 2078-6190
  • E-ISSN: 2078-6204



Autogenic reactions are feelings or reactions which arise in the doctor while observing or listening to a patient ( = self, = to produce). We are subliminally aware of these reactions, and usually, they are mostly background sensations and feelings that are suppressed while trying to diagnose and manage the patient. Mostly, the reactions that I notice are the negative ones, which are followed by a feeling of guilt that I, as a putatively benevolent healer, should succumb to such judgmental thoughts, and that they might affect my objectivity. Autogenic reactions are a part of countertransference whereby we become aware of features in the patient that are similar to our own characteristics or experiences. We often have an uncomfortable resonance with what the patient is saying or has experienced.

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