Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Arthur Freeman, Ed.D., ABPP

First Advisor

Rosemary Mennuti, Ed.D., Chairperson

Second Advisor

Robert A. DiTomasso, Ph.D., ABPP

Third Advisor

Gina M. Fusco, Psy.D.


The present study surveyed 58 psychologists regarding their countertransference (CT) behaviors, CT management ability, empathy, and working alliances when treating patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD). Common positive and negative CT behaviors were identified when treating their typical patient with BPD. As predicted, results yielded negative correlations between therapists' CT behaviors and their CT management ability, working alliance, and empathy, as well as a positive correlation between therapists' CT management and working alliance, linking CT management to positive treatment outcomes. Therapists' level of experience and theoretical orientation were also examined, finding no significant impact on CT behaviors, CT management, or working alliance. Implications for training and supervision of therapists treating patients with BPD, suggestions for future research, and limitations of the study are discussed.