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Fonagy, P. Target, M. (2004). Playing with the Reality of Analytic Love: Commentary on Paper by Jody Messler Davies “Falling in Love with Love”. Psychoanal. Dial., 14(4):503-515.

(2004). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 14(4):503-515

Playing with the Reality of Analytic Love: Commentary on Paper by Jody Messler Davies “Falling in Love with Love” Related Papers

Peter Fonagy, Ph.D., FBA and Mary Target, Ph.D.

Responding to Davies's extension of the classical psychoanalytic description of the Oedipus complex, the authors argue that, in theoretical thinking about the Oedipus complex, attachment and sexual relating must be carefully distinguished, although they ceaselessly interact and—in the end—their separate contributions may be hard to disentangle. Making this distinction enables these authors to suggest that it is less likely to be a refusal of romantic response that triggers the patient's relentless pursuit of love from the analyst than an earlier disorganization of the infantile attachment. Taking the transference situation as a whole, the patient's persistent demand for an unattainable gratification can then be seen as the patient's determination to create in the consulting room another person who is in beleaguered, defensive withdrawal from a relationship. The discussion further elaborates the similarities and differences between the authors' own theoretical position and Davies's relational perspective through a consideration of the case of Roberta presented by Davies in her paper.

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