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Steiner, J. (1984). Some Reflections on the Analysis of Transference: A Kleinian View. Psychoanal. Inq., 4(3):443-463.

(1984). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 4(3):443-463

Some Reflections on the Analysis of Transference: A Kleinian View

John Steiner, M.B.

It was encouraging to find such extensive areas of agreement between my approach to the analysis of transference and that described so competently by Merton Gill (1982). He is clearly speaking to those analysts he believes are practicing analysis that is “not of good quality technically” because the centrality of transference analysis is not appreciated or because the implicit reference to transference is not recognized or, perhaps most important of all, because the interpretation of transference is not sufficiently linked to the current reality of the actual analytic situation. I consider all these to be of central importance in the practice of psychoanalysis and appreciate the care and detail with which they, and other related issues, are discussed in this book.

I have of course been influenced by the views of Melanie Klein and her followers, who have emphasized these very points and recognize, as Gill does, that the total defensive organization will be relived in the transference. Mrs. Klein, for example, writes, “For the patient is bound to deal with conflicts and anxieties re-experienced towards the analyst by the same methods he used in the past” (1952p. 55). She goes on to acknowledge that she tends to emphasize the earliest experiences, situations, and emotions from which transference springs, but she does stress that later relationships are of equal importance and insists that our investigations cover “all that lies between the current situation and the earliest experiences. In fact it is


Dr. Steiner is Consultant Psychotherapist at the Tavistock Clinic, London.

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