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Rappaport, E.A. (1956). The Management of an Erotized Transference. Psychoanal Q., 25:515-529.

(1956). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 25:515-529

The Management of an Erotized Transference

Ernest A. Rappaport, M.D.

A specific type of transference has been described in the literature under various names, sometimes in a cursory manner and at other times more exhaustively. It is the type of transference Blitzsten used to call erotized transference, or erotization of transference. By the term he meant an excessive libidinization or hypercathexis of the transference. Appearing quite early in the analysis, it is responsible for such a tenacious form of resistance that the patient often must be referred to another analyst, sometimes even against the patient's protest. The term erotization indicates a desire of the patient to overplay the erotic component in the transference. Blitzsten would often remark that he never saw a person who was 'oversexed'. Persons who claimed to be so invariably turned out to be 'undersexed'. In transference, an excess of the erotic component indicates an especially strong resistance. This is not transference neurosis, a term that is often used to imply an especially intense so-called 'dependent transference'. (Freud introduced the term transference neurosis only in juxtaposition to neurosis proper and merely as a synonym for transference.) It is also not the same as primitive dependent transference, characteristic of nearly every transference.

Blitzsten noted that in a tranference situation the analyst is seen as if he were the parent, while in erotization of the transference he is the parent. The patient does not even acknowledge the as if. In the transference, therefore, something takes place between patient and analyst similar to the archaic situation, while in an erotized transference the patient insists on reinstituting the archaic situation itself and refuses to tolerate any deviation from it.

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