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Gill, M.M. Muslin, H.L. (1976). Early Interpretation of Transference. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 24:779-794.

(1976). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 24:779-794

Early Interpretation of Transference

Merton M. Gill, M.D. and Hyman L. Muslin, M.D.

THE THESIS OF THIS PAPER IS THAT the currently prevalent restraint against transference interpretations during early stages of an analysis has been determined, in part at least, both by the fact that Freud's precept to this effect was stated at a time when his model of analysis underplayed the role of transference resistance in an apparently freely communicating patient and by current misunderstandings of Freud's views on transference. The technical precept to which we refer is the statement Freud made in 1913: "So long as the patient's communications and ideas run on without any obstruction, the theme of transference should be left untouched. One must wait until the transference, which is the most delicate of all procedures, has become a resistance" (p. 139; see also Freud, 1917p. 443).

A later statement of Freud's, to which much less attention has been paid, is in contrast to this well-known formula. In "The Outline," he wrote: "And lest he [the patient] should fall into a state in which he is inaccessible to all evidence, the analyst takes care that neither the love nor the hostility reach an extreme height.

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