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Ivimey, M. (1945). The Meaning of Transference. Am. J. Psychoanal., 5(1):3-15.

(1945). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 5(1):3-15

The Meaning of Transference

Muriel Ivimey

Under Horney's theory of neurosis our view of transference and our technical approach to these problems have undergone radical changes. We honor Freud, the discoverer of psychoanalysis who gave us fundamental principles of the new science. His original observation that the patient carries over into his relationship with the analyst exaggerated and inappropriate emotional strivings which present serious problems in therapy is one of his basic discoveries we hold to. Freud's theory of neurosis, however, set limitations on understanding the neurosis, and the application of that theory to problems of transference set limitations on therapy. With the greater general illumination that Horney's theory affords, we necessarily have to reorient ourselves completely in respect to transference phenomena and the position of the analyst in his relationship with the patient. While a general orientation has taken shape, it behooves us to work toward greater clarification.

Last year I read a paper here in which I discussed transference in the framework of Freud's theory of neurosis; then I outlined Horney's theory of neurosis and discussed some of the main, outstanding differences in interpretation and technical approach in work with the patient. I want now to take theoretical matters for granted for the most part and go straight to some questions that I believe warrant some consideration.

We say that transference means those manifestations of neurotic elements in the patient's present character structure which find expression in his relationship with the analyst. Our view of the position the analyst takes in his relationship with the patient is that he is plainly physician and human being with his attention directed to the task of conducting a therapeutic analysis.

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