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Bénassy, M. (1960). Fantasy and Reality in Transference. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 41:396-400.

(1960). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 41:396-400

Fantasy and Reality in Transference

Maurice Bénassy

Nonsense speech and action as well as nonsense dream images are witnesses, as Freud has shown us, of unconscious desires breaking through the superficial flow of reasonable behaviour. We would like first to show that some of this nonsense behaviour occurring during analysis, and mostly in the transference relationship, bears witness to a direct breaking through of past into present, of fantasy into reality; and secondly to insist on its theoretical as well as practical importance.

It would be easy to give many examples of such behaviour and useful to attempt to classify them. Perhaps I shall do so in detail somewhere else. But as every one of you could recall some as easily as I do, and time is limited, I prefer to call your attention to a few points. Some of our patients are aware that their behaviour in transference could be called nonsense; they feel self-conscious about it and endeavour to explain it. They feel satisified when they have found in their past some memory of having felt and behaved in the same way in a different situation, one where it was reasonable to behave in that way.

'I am anxious about your leaving for your holidays, because that was the way I felt when I left mother', says A. Others are in a state of mild and continuous anxiety related to the transference situation; it is felt as nonsense, for the analyst behaves as he has always behaved. But they are able to get out of it through some real activity. 'You know, I was as anxious these days as I was when I became engaged', says B.

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