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Gill, M.M. (1979). The Analysis Of The Transference. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 27S(Supplement):263-288.

(1979). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 27S(Supplement):263-288

The Analysis Of The Transference

Merton M. Gill, M.D.

This is a revised and expanded version of a paper read to the Chicago Psychoanalytic Society on May 23, 1978. It is a partial summary of a forthcoming monograph. Its preparation was supported in part by Research Scientist Award, N.I.M.H. Grant #19436. Drs. Samuel D. Lipton, Irwin Hoffman, and Ilse Judas have helped me develop and clarify the ideas expressed in this paper.

THE ANALYSIS OF THE TRANSFERENCE is generally acknowledged to be the central feature of analytic technique. Freud regarded transference and resistance as facts of observations, not as conceptual inventions. He wrote:

… the theory of psychoanalysis is an attempt to account for two striking and unexpected facts of observation which emerge whenever an attempt is made to trace the symptoms of a neurotic back to their sources in his past life: the facts of transference and of resistance … anyone who takes up other sides of the problem while avoiding these two hypotheses will hardly escape a charge of misappropriation of property by attempted impersonation, if he persists in calling himself a psychoanalyst

(1914ap. 16). Rapaport (1967) argued, in his posthumously published paper on the methodology of psychoanalysis, that transference and resistance inevitably follow from the fact that the analytic situation is interpersonal.

Despite this general agreement on the centrality of transference and resistance in technique, it is my impression, from my experience as a student and practitioner, from talking to students and colleagues, and from reading the literature, that the analysis of the transference is not pursued as systematically and comprehensively as I think it could be and should be.

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