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(1989). Meetings of the New York Psychoanalytic Society. Psychoanal Q., 58:515-516.

(1989). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 58:515-516

Meetings of the New York Psychoanalytic Society


Dr. Jacobs focused on an aspect of the transference neurosis that is often overlooked because it is concealed beneath the surface material. This covert dimension of analysis is related to secrets that have played important roles in the lives of both patient and analyst. Dr. Jacobs presented clinical examples to illustrate the way in which the analytic secret functions in the clinical situation. One patient carried on private investigations of his analyst's status at the institute. Although he never mentioned this behavior, it became clear that he had an overriding interest in knowing whether or not his analyst was a training analyst. This intense curiosity was related to a family secret—something that had occurred during the patient's adolescence: his father had failed to win a key promotion and was forced into retirement. This crushing blow to the patient and his family was handled by denial and avoidance. Behind this secret lay the patient's childhood relationship with his father, which contained much disappointed love as well as rivalry. These oedipal conflicts could not surface and be analyzed until the analytic secret had come into the open. The analyst's need to avoid the distressing affects brought up by his own frustrating situation at his institute, as well as his earlier experiences involving conflict with his father, had led him to collude in the patient's avoidance of exposing the secret being played out covertly in the transfernce.

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