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Clarke, L. (1988). Transference by Any other Name. Brit. J. Psychother., 5(2):241-250.

(1988). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 5(2):241-250

Personal View

Transference by Any other Name

Liam Clarke

We see things not as they are but as we are.

Immanual Kant (1724-1804)


What follows is a series of possibilities which lie along different levels of awareness. First the article describes a literature search which may be taken at face value. Second this so-called literature search may be seen as a displacement; a safe haven from the ‘real’ search which has - or has not - taken place in therapy. There are suggestions in the article that I may fear my therapist, i.e. fear the dangers inherent in a relationship with him. I am not yet able to describe these fears fully. I am able, as we all are, to control the literature by selection. Third, my decision to write this is a yearning for approval, albeit from a distance. The detailed attention to the literature - rather than to the feeling - search is perhaps an obvious play for respectability via association; I also mention some of my (current) heroes who have aired their feelings in recent publications. Lastly there is my search for a home for this article and my belief that it deserves a home. I do want to be a good father to it. You may well ask therefore why I am giving it away. You may well indeed.

Taking off and the Fear of Flying

I never new my father. The last sentence was meant to read I never knew my father but I made a mistake. You may think this mistake in some way significant. I last ‘saw’ my father when I was eighteen months old at which time he left never to return. I have no memory of his leaving me.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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