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Mayer, D.L. (1972). Comments on a Blind Spot in Clinical Research—A Special Form of Transference in the Psychoanalytic Clinic. Psychoanal Q., 41:384-401.

(1972). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 41:384-401

Comments on a Blind Spot in Clinical Research—A Special Form of Transference in the Psychoanalytic Clinic

David L. Mayer, M.D.


A blind spot may exist in our observations of clinic psychoanalyses. Since we have a number of motives for regarding them as we do private analyses, we may selectively omit observations of characteristic differences. As Windholz has indicated, the supervisor may be reluctant to discuss the patient's reactions to the analyst's student status for fear of humiliating the student, and the student and patient reluctant for other reasons. In addition, it is my observation that all three of them, and the entire pedagogical organization of the Institute as well, may wish to view the supervised analysis as a 'real' analysis and, consequently, de-emphasize those elements that make the analysis different from 'real' analysis. The patient is interested in having a 'real' analysis, the student in performing one, and the supervisor in teaching one.

One form of special clinic transference situation is described. A transference split occurs, involving the supervisor, which is related to the historical element of an important parent surrogate in childhood.

When the transference nature of such splits is recognized, they can be used in ordinary analytic fashion and will not be seen as impediments to analytic work.

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