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Guidi, N. (1993). Unobjectionable Negative Transference. Ann. Psychoanal., 21:107-121.

(1993). Annual of Psychoanalysis, 21:107-121

Unobjectionable Negative Transference

Nella Guidi, M.D.

In this paper I propose an alternative to the current theory regarding the problem of the “unobjectionable part of the transference.”

In “The Dynamics of Transference,” Freud (1912) states:

We find in the end that we cannot understand the employment of transference as resistance so long as we think simply of “transference.” We must make up our minds to distinguish a “positive” transference from a “negative” one, the transference of affectionate feelings from that of hostile ones, and to treat the two sorts of transference to the doctor separately [p. 105].

Freud thus breaks down “positive transference” into “transference of friendly or affectionate feelings which are admissible to consciousness and transference of prolongations of those feelings into the unconscious” that “invariably go back to erotic sources.” He does not make a similar distinction for “negative transference,” that is, for the transference of hostile feelings. Freud's conclusion is, therefore, that negative transference, unlike positive transference, is to be detached from the doctor's person insofar as it is transference resistance:

Thus the solution of the puzzle is that transference to the doctor is suitable for resistance… insofar as it is a negative transference or a positive transference of repressed erotic impulses.

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