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Zalusky, S. (2006). The Disappearing (or Ghost) Mother Transference: In Search of the Available Mother Within. Psychoanal. Inq., 26(1):118-136.
   

(2006). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 26(1):118-136

The Disappearing (or Ghost) Mother Transference: In Search of the Available Mother Within

Sharon Zalusky, Ph.D.

As analysts, we speak of maternal transference as if it were a unitary phenomenon. We are trained to expect intense, powerful transference reactions. Yet there is a group of female patients who have a specific type of transference that lacks intensity. These patients often present by not presenting. I term this phenomenon the disappearing (or ghost) mother transference. This transference is quiet and does not create much stress. Using a case example, I will define this particular type of object relationship and discuss an alternative technique in treating these patients. It is my premise that these women must discover for themselves, at their own time and in their own way, the caring, living, available mother in the analyst.

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