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Numberg, H. (1952). Discussion of M. Katan's Paper on Schreber's Hallucination. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 33:454-456.

(1952). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 33:454-456

Discussion of M. Katan's Paper on Schreber's Hallucination

Herman Numberg, M.D.

Our gratitude is due to Dr. Katan for his work on schizophrenia.

Recently we have been hearing more and more about the psychological treatment of schizophrenia—and of cures. Indeed, we seem to be on the threshold of new developments—developments that may lead to a better understanding of schizophrenia. The psychological insight gained in relation to psychotics will probably influence our understanding and treatment of neurotics, as Freud predicted.

The scope of the problems of schizophrenia is enormous, and it is impossible to deal with them all at one time. In the present paper Dr. Katan deals only with the problem of hallucinations. He brings us to the centre of that problem by pointing out the fact that when no longer able to master the influx of homosexual libido, Schreber developed hallucinations in which Flechsig talked to him.

We are accustomed to classify mental disorders into transference neuroses and narcissistic neuroses or psychoses. This classification suggests that transference neuroses develop transference and psychoses do not; in other words, that the psychoses show a specific disturbance in object relations. There is no doubt that, before Schreber's hallucinations set in, he was in a transference relationship with his doctor, the psychiatrist Flechsig.

Is it permissible to assume that all latent schizophrenias become manifest when the tendency to transfer emotions and ideas from a person or a situation of the past into the present is thwarted? I have in mind not only the relationship of the patient to his doctor, but all those situations in which transference should or could be established.

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