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Dysart, D. (1977). Transference Cure and Narcissism. J. Amer. Acad. Psychoanal., 5(1):17-29.

(1977). Journal of American Academy of Psychoanalysis, 5(1):17-29

Transference Cure and Narcissism

Dorsey Dysart


Freud made the original statement on transference cure in 1913 in a quotation from “On Beginning the Treatment:”

Often enough the transference is able to remove the symptoms of the disease by itself, but only for a while only as long as it itself lasts. In this case the treatment is a treatment by suggestion, and not a psychoanalysis at all. It only deserves the latter name if the intensity of the transference has been utilized for the overcoming of the resistance. Only then has being ill become impossible, even when the transference has once more been dissolved, which is its destined end.

This statement, coupled with two later directives: analytic treatment should be carried through, as far as is possible under privation in a state of abstince, (Freud 1919) and we must see to it that the patient's suffering, to a degree that is in some way or other effective, does not come to an end prematurely, (Freud 1919a) left the phenomenon of transference cure one that is viewed in the light of being undesirable, abortive, and a superficial attempt at therapy. Since then, many authors (Gitelson 1962, Nacht 1962, Oberndorf 1946) have attempted to remove the taboo that suggestion has received in regard to transference, especially after its degradation as an analytical tool when utilized as a key component in hypnosis.

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