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Grinberg De Ekboir, J. (1975). In a Private Setting. Contemp. Psychoanal., 11:112-116.

(1975). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 11:112-116

In a Private Setting

Julia Grinberg De Ekboir, M.D.

FROM A DESCRIPTIVE VIEWPOINT, psychoanalytic treatment is carried out between two persons: The two participants are involved in the therapeutic process, which develops according to the dynamics of interaction between them.

From its very beginning, the interest of psychoanalysis was centered on the patient. One of Freud's great contributions was to recognize and use as a therapeutic tool the patient's impulses, desires, and fantasies towards the doctor, instead of considering them disturbing, rejectable obstacles. These impulses, desires and fantasies directed towards the doctor make up what is known as transference; its analysis represents the core of the psychoanalytic work, and it is precisely psychoanalysis which offers the scientific instruments for its study, understanding and use in the most varied areas of human relationship.

The therapist's countertransferential responses towards his patient were pointed out much later with the development of psychoanalytic theory, and, classically, there is a tendency to consider them as a hindrance that should be quickly done away with.

Freud (1912) distinguishes between erotic and hostile transference, but also takes into account erotic sublimated transference, or friendly transference, deprived of its specific erotic content and aim, and deflected towards new goals that are nonsexual in nature and socially acceptable. This sublimated or friendly transference contributes to establishing the work contract and the therapeutic alliance, and enables the doctor to keep up the setting and continuity of the work, so as to resolve the unconscious conflicts by means of insight and working through.

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