Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To see translations of Freud SE or GW…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

When you hover your mouse over a paragraph of the Standard Edition (SE) long enough, the corresponding text from Gesammelte Werke slides from the bottom of the PEP-Web window, and vice versa.

If the slide up window bothers you, you can turn it off by checking the box “Turn off Translations” in the slide-up. But if you’ve turned it off, how do you turn it back on? The option to turn off the translations only is effective for the current session (it uses a stored cookie in your browser). So the easiest way to turn it back on again is to close your browser (all open windows), and reopen it.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Asch, S.S. (1976). Varieties of Negative Therapeutic Reaction and Problems of Technique. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 24:383-407.

(1976). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 24:383-407

Varieties of Negative Therapeutic Reaction and Problems of Technique

Stuart S. Asch, M.D.


1. Freud's concept of the negative therapeutic reaction limited its etiology to a sense of guilt, or a need for punishment. I have found it clinically useful to add the following etiologies: (a) a masochistic ego responding to a special psychopathology

of the ego ideal; (b) a defense against the regressive pull back to symbiosis with a depressed preoedipal object, and (c) an extension of Freud's original category of "unconscious guilt," to include preoedipal "crimes," such as responsibility for birth trauma to mother, mother's castration, etc.

2. These three roots of the N.T.R. are elucidated in terms of structural deformities of both the ego and superego due to pathological introjections related to early experiences with the mothering object.

3. The decisive role of defective separation and individuation is emphasized.

4. The common association of N.T.R. with depression and the connection of these to Freud's concept of "borrowed guilt" is related to the ambivalent identifications.

5. Discussion of the technical management includes: the characteristically difficult transference and countertransference problems with such patients, the unique problems they present in the terminal phase, and the special situations in which it may be essential to break off treatment in order to avoid catastrophic acting out.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2021, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.