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Greenacre, P. (1954). The Role of Transference—Practical Considerations in Relation to Psychoanalytic Therapy. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 2:671-684.

(1954). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 2:671-684

The Role of Transference—Practical Considerations in Relation to Psychoanalytic Therapy

Phyllis Greenacre, M.D.

It is my intention to discuss some of the practical considerations in psychoanalytic treatment in their relationship to the role of the transference. I shall not enter into any extensive technical or historical survey but shall confine myself to a few problems expressed in nontechnical terms, and without benefit of quotation. I shall deal with these problems in the following order: (1) a discussion of the essentials of the transference relationship; (2) a brief outline of two different points of view regarding the utilization of the transference in therapy; and (3) a discussion of practical arrangements as they are determined by the transference.


First as to the nature of the transference relationship itself: If two people are repeatedly alone together some sort of emotional bond will develop between them. Even though they may be strangers engaged in relatively neutral occupations, not directed by one or the other for or against the "other one, " it will probably not be long before a predominantly friendly or predominantly unfriendly tone will develop between them. The speed and the intensity of this development will be enhanced by the frequency of the periods in each other's company.


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