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Norman, H.F. Blacker, K.H. Oremland, J.D. Barrett, W.G. (1976). The Fate of the Transference Neurosis after Termination of a Satisfactory Analysis. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 24:471-498.

(1976). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 24:471-498

The Fate of the Transference Neurosis after Termination of a Satisfactory Analysis

Haskell F. Norman, M.D., K. H. Blacker, M.D., Jerome D. Oremland, M.D. and William G. Barrett, M.D.


This paper reports in detail the phenomena associated with the study of one of five subjects who were examined two or more years following completion of an analysis deemed satisfactory by analyst and analysand. This subject's protocol was selected because of its typical character and because of the subject's ability to portray the subjective side of the research experience, thus increasing the amount of information available for examination.

The subjects experienced the follow-up studies as though they were analyses. The interviews seemed to produce recapitulations of their analyses, i.e., transferences: their associated defenses and characteristics appeared, intensified and resolved.

Our studies suggest that following completion of analysis, the transference neurosis remains as a latent structure which may, under certain conditions, be revived, repeated, and rapidly mastered. This capacity, we believe, reflects growth resulting from the analytic experience.

Our observations confirm those made by Pfeffer (1963), who emphasized "the idea that in analysis repetition is not eliminated, but rather the content or substance of what is repeatable is changed. That is to say, the neurotic repeats the conflicts of the infantile past, whereas the satisfactorily analyzed patient in new situations that require mastery is capable, in addition, of repeating the solutions of these same conflicts as achieved in the analysis" (p. 241).

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