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Siegman, A.J. (1963). A Type of Transference Elation. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 11:117-130.

(1963). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 11:117-130

A Type of Transference Elation

Alfred J. Siegman, M.D.


In the treatment situation certain narcissistically oriented neurotics will often stubbornly cling to the conviction that they are "masochists, " i.e., that all unpleasurable experience has resulted from their unconscious strivings. I have attempted to demonstrate that this belief is directed toward sustaining a transference elation based on stabilizing, in a highly overdetermined fashion, an image of the therapist that corresponds to the patient's infantile wish for an omnipotent, indestructible, ideal love object from which he can draw strength and support. In this age of analytic sophistication, such patients often enter therapy with this preconceived belief, but this mechanism can also be suggested by the therapist as an inexact interpretation.

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