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Ivimey, M. (1944). Developments in the Concept of Transference. Am. J. Psychoanal., 4(1):122-133.

(1944). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 4(1):122-133

Developments in the Concept of Transference

Muriel Ivimey, M.D.

At the present stage of development of psychoanalysis I think it is unprofitable to discuss transference without relating it to the theoretical framework in which one is thinking. I shall therefore have to make a rather long preface to the discussion of transference, in which I shall review, perhaps all too briefly, some points in the old, or classical, theory of neurosis which affect the classical concept of transference, and will outline the new theory of neurosis, as worked out by Dr. Karen Horney, together with the new concept of transference under that theory.

Freud's libido theory of neurosis held that neurosis is the consequence of unsolved conflict between instinctual sexual drives, as represented by the primitive Id, and repressive forces exerted by cultural, educational and moralistic influences, internalized and represented by the superego. The consequences of this unsolved conflict show in limitations and distortions of ego function and satisfaction and were manifested in symptoms, patently or symbolically sexual in nature. In order to account for tensions not specifically sexual and to substantiate the theory that neurosis is due to sexual frustration, Freud hypothecated sexual significance for many of the psychological phenomena he observed. He elaborated upon what was to be assigned to the sexual instinct and evolved several corollary hypotheses to bring practically all that he observed into the category of sexual frustration, or, as he later termed it, frustration of libidinous drives. I am omitting his introduction of a death instinct in his theoretical scheme, since, as far as I know, it never played much part in his thinking on therapy and transference. Some of his clinical observations suggested unsatisfied longings for dependency and cravings for love. Some anxieties and tensions suggested tendencies to rebel, to be spiteful, to vent anger and to withhold love from others as a punishment. The first resembled the infant's dependency on the mother and needs for tender nurturing love; the latter seemed to resemble reactions to difficulties experienced in the stool training period of the young child. Freud assigned sexual significance to these reactions and hypothecated pregenital sexual components in the sexual instinct which he called respectively oral and anal drives.

To

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