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Peterfreund, E. (1975). Letters to the Editor. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 56:128-129.

(1975). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 56:128-129

Letters to the Editor

Emanuel Peterfreund


Thank you for inviting me to reply to Dr Friedman's letter. I will discuss only one example from the letter to illustrate what I wish to say.

As Friedman himself notes at the beginning of his letter, I objected to his original description of my ideas about resistance (Friedman, 1972); (Peterfreund, 1973). I pointed out that when Friedman originally presented my views on resistance, he actually presented a distorted version of what I wrote about transference. In other words, he took the liberty of substituting the term 'resistance' when I was actually speaking about 'transference'. It is most instructive to follow Friedman's thinking as he now attempts to justify the substitution of terms.

Is Friedman telling us that the substitution of terms is justified because, as he writes in his letter, 'Is transference not a form of resistance? Should we not expect to learn about the nature of resistance from a theory of transference?' If indeed these statements represent Friedman's justification for the substitution of terms, then I must disagree with him. Most psychoanalysts think of transference and resistance as relatively different phenomena (e.g. Moore & Fine, 1968). True, there is a relationship. Most psychoanalysts will probably agree, for example, that transference may be a form of resistance. But the existence of this relationship does not justify an equation of the concepts and certainly does not justify the substitution of one concept for the other.

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