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Greenson, R.R. Wexler, M. (1969). The Non-Transference Relationship in the Psychoanalytic Situation. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 50:27-39.

(1969). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 50:27-39

The Non-Transference Relationship in the Psychoanalytic Situation

Ralph R. Greenson and Milton Wexler


Ever since Freud's Dora case of 1905, psychoanalysts in general have made the analysis of transference the major focus of psychoanalytic technique. This development has reached such proportions that Kleinian psychoanalysts consider all interactions between the patient and his analyst as transference or countertransference and would make interpretation the only correct intervention. "Orthodox" Freudians often recognize that personal interactions other than transference may occur but tend to treat them as irrelevant or trivial, at least in their writings. They even acknowledge that interventions other than strictly defined interpretations may at times be necessary, but these are mainly considered "parameters" and are to be used sparingly and then eliminated (Eissler, 1953), (1958). On the whole both groups ignore the subject.

Over the years, however, a number of psychoanalysts, too heterogeneous to be classified, have taken a growing interest in what may be broadly termed the non-transference or "real" interactions that take place in the course of psychoanalytic treatment. The sensitive nature of the problem raised becomes readily apparent. For example, while acknowledging the importance of the inevitable non-transference interactions which take place, they tend to be more impressed by the possibility that any non-interpretive measure may become a dangerous parameter. Some raise the issue but then there is a discreet silence as to how such material is to be handled.

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