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Hoffer, W. (1956). Transference and Transference Neurosis. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 37:377-379.

(1956). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 37:377-379

Transference and Transference Neurosis

W. Hoffer, M.D.

In this brief reflection on the summary report of our conscientious and impartial surveyor, Dr. Elizabeth Zetzel, I shall have to confine myself to the relation of transference and transference neurosis. Dr. Zetzel has already examined the historical development of the use of these terms and the meanings that have been given to them by the various schools or groups of psycho-analysts. The task which I have set myself will be just to bring to the fore such clinical applications of the terms as are easily neglected in a time of intensive demands on our clinical resources, on practitioners and teachers of psycho-analysis alike.

The term 'transference' refers to the generally agreed fact that people when entering into any form of object-relationship and using objects around them for instinct gratification and for protection against anxieties (as a defence) transfer upon their objects those images which they encountered in the course of previous infantile experiences, and experienced with pleasure or learned to avoid (pleasure-pain principle). The term 'transference', stressing an aspect of the influence our childhood has on our life as a whole, thus refers to those observations in which people in their contact with objects, which may be real or imaginary, objects, which may be real or imaginary, positive, negative or ambivalent, 'transfer' their memories of significant previous experiences and thus 'change the reality' of their objects, invest them with qualities from the past, judge them and try to make use of them in accordance with their own past.

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