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Haynal, A. Falzeder, E. (1993). Slaying the Dragons of the Past or Cooking the Hare in the Present: A Historical View on Affects in the Psychoanalytic Encounter. Psychoanal. Inq., 13(4):357-371.

(1993). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 13(4):357-371

Slaying the Dragons of the Past or Cooking the Hare in the Present: A Historical View on Affects in the Psychoanalytic Encounter

André Haynal, M.D. and Ernst Falzeder, Ph.D.

While we would all agree that transference is of central importance to psychoanalytic treatment, it remains a matter of continuing controversy as to how much and in what ways the phenomena described with this term are to be attributed to present “reality” or to past “illusion.” In his earliest formulations, Freud tied these affective manifestations to the patient's past. However, this view—which in retrospect may be seen as covertly containing a distancing maneuver included for the comfort of the analyst—did not represent a satisfactory or definitive solution to all of the difficulties present. Ultimately, Freud developed a complex position: on the one hand, he continued to see transference feelings as “new editions” of old “facsimiles” (1905p. 116); on the other hand, he not only acknowledged the actuality of these feelings, but saw them as an important tool for change within the treatment.


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