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Gumbel, E. Heimann, P. (1970). Discussion of 'The Non-Transference Relationship in the Psychoanalytic Situation'. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 51:143-150.

(1970). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 51:143-150

Discussion of 'The Non-Transference Relationship in the Psychoanalytic Situation'

Erich Gumbel and Paula Heimann

INTRODUCTORY REMARKS OF THE AUTHORS (PRESENTED BY RALPH R. GREENSON)

Not all interactions between the patient and the psychoanalyst in the psychoanalytic situation are transference reactions. The very fact that the concept of transference has a very precise meaning implies that it was technically and theoretically necessary to differentiate it from other reactions which are relatively transference-free. Furthermore, we believe that the non-transference or real interactions that take place in the course of psychoanalysis may require interventions other than interpretation.

In 1939 Sigmund Freud wrote about the treatment of a former colleague:

… not every good relation between an analyst and his subject during and after analysis was to be regarded as a transference; there were also friendly relations which were based on reality and which proved to be viable.

Anna Freud in 1954 stated:

With due respect for the necessary strictest handling and interpretation of the transference, I feel still that we should leave room somewhere for the realization that analyst and patient are also two real people, of equal adult status, in a real personal relationship to each other.

A number of other psychoanalysts, too heterogeneous to be classified, have become aware of this phenomenon but they are relatively silent about how to conceptualize it and what to do with it.

With this in mind, we want to offer some further propositions. To facilitate the full flowering and ultimate resolution of the patient's transference reactions, it is essential in all cases to recognize, acknowledge, clarify, differentiate and even nurture the non-transference or relatively transference-free reactions between patient and analyst.

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