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Perman, J.M. (1998). Transference in Child Analysis: A Developmental Point of View. J. Clin. Psychoanal., 7(4):491-504.

(1998). Journal of Clinical Psychoanalysis, 7(4):491-504

Transference in Child Analysis: A Developmental Point of View

Joshua M. Perman, M.D.

Early ego development under the influence of the vagueness of the boundaries of the self and the object (the child and the mother), prior to the clear inclusion of the object in narcissistic conflicts, will leave its impact on the later development of transference. Early ego impressions of the parental loved object, with but primitive awareness of the object and then only for need satisfaction, will remain to organize and complicate the clinical expressions of transference. When the importance of the object is painfully recognized during the rapprochement subphase, libidinalization of the object begins to replace and neutralize the predominate aggressive cathexes of the loved object. Fantasies of omnipotence are gradually replaced by more realistic strivings.

These fantasies of those early childhood ego object conflicts become important determinants of transference resistances; the clash of the self and the object. What is relived now are the experiences and the memories of how the new object, the analyst, is recognized, comprehended, and then placed within those early steps of self-object relations. In these early transference reactions will be found repetitions of how the object was viewed and understood in terms of need satisfaction. Once again, conflicts become apparent of how comprehension and identification with the parental loved object were solved, or forced to be solved. These conflicts are expressed clinically as another edition of the passive-active conflicts so frequently an accompaniment of early transference.

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