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Goldberg, A. (2004). Reply to Dr Paniagua. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 85(2):526.

(2004). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 85(2):526

Reply to Dr Paniagua Related Papers

Arnold Goldberg

Dear Sirs,

When the warning light in my automobile flashed on, I brought it in to the service mechanics. They said that the warning could be due to over 100 different things but added, ‘First we check to see if the gas cap is on tight’. So too with analysis. First we check the transference. I agree unequivocally with Cecilio Paniagua that all is not transference, and I certainly did not mean that my interpretation of the dreams would be communicated to the patient without the wonder and pondering that Paniagua advised. However, in the original submission of Vermote (later revised by him) there was absolutely no mention of that problematic word, transference. In fact, Paniagua is being generous in the claim that Vermote's own associations were claimed to be countertransference. In the original communication they seemed merely to pop into Vermote's head, and that is what prompted my question about whether such thoughts were relevant to the patient.

The crucial thing that differentiates analytic work from ordinary conversation is surely not the fact that transference is ubiquitous and universal. Rather it is that we are supposed to know what to do with it.


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