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Greenacre, P. (1959). Certain Technical Problems in the Transference Relationship. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 7:484-502.

(1959). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 7:484-502

Certain Technical Problems in the Transference Relationship

Phyllis Greenacre, M.D.

In the conduct of an analysis, once treatment is established, the relationship of the analysand to the analyst is traditionally thought of as consisting of two main areas. The first is that of the verbal and other communication of the patient to the analyst, gradually revealing neurotic attitudes and behavior not only as these appear in current and past activity, but as they are reproduced, sometimes with additions, in the special attitudes and behavior toward the analyst himself. This is traditionally spoken of as the area of the transference neurosis. The other is the area of margin, frequently peripheral to this central arena of communication—which consists of the relatively intact part of the ego which is depended upon to cooperate with the analyst in scrutinizing, understanding, and working over and through the communications of the first area. This has been spoken of as the area of the therapeutic alliance, and was clearly described by Richard Sterba in 1929 (5). It is through the work in the therapeutic alliance that interpretation assumes dynamic therapeutic force. This paper will emphasize especially the changing relationships within and between these two areas of contact between patient and analyst. Some questions may be raised; and it is probable that not many will be answered.


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