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Prado de Oliveira, L.E. (2001). The Nature of the Transference between Anna Freud and Melanie Kleins: Learning from the Controversies. Int. Forum Psychoanal., 10(3-4):247-258.

(2001). International Forum of Psychoanalysis, 10(3-4):247-258

The Nature of the Transference between Anna Freud and Melanie Kleins: Learning from the Controversies

Luiz Eduardo Prado de Oliveira, Ph.D.

As we work through our theories, we rejoice in discovering the logic of concepts and their articulation in clinical experience. Such joy hides other movements, in which the only stakes are demands for love, sexual curiosity and the satisfaction of hate, transferred from infancy to others worlds, idealised or despised. When we participate in our psychoanalytical institutions, we feel pride or even vanity to be participating in the great historical movement of psychoanalysis. This conceals the working of transference in our institutional life; transference which is crudely sexual at its origins, and implies maternal, paternal or fraternal objects. This is its constraining power. We should be fully aware of this, as Strachey or Balint have already shown, in order to attenuate the violence of transference and stimulate our creativity.

Anna Freud and Melanie Klein's controversies had a reality of their own. This reality was quickly forgotten and trapped in various conflicts, as those existing between Jones and Freud or between Glover and the rest of the British Psychoanalytical Society of his times. These reelaborations gave rise to ideological elements, which have ever since pervaded the history of psychoanalytical theory, influencing psychoanalytical methods and clinics. It is important for us today to elucidate these ideologies in order to improve our achievements.

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