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Farrell, D. (1983). Freud's 'Thought-Transference', Repression, and the Future of Psychoanalysis. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 64:71-81.

(1983). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 64:71-81

Freud's 'Thought-Transference', Repression, and the Future of Psychoanalysis

Dennis Farrell


Psychoanalysts since Freud have largely neglected his important, paradigmatic ideas on the possibility of 'thought-transference' (telepathy) as an influence in mental life. A chance recording of two dreams which proved to coincide in some detail with distant reality events again suggests evidence in favour of the telepathy hypothesis. On interpretation, one of these dreams reveals even greater correspondence with the reality event and shows the mechanism of transformation of the repressed wish from latent dream content into manifest dream, utilizing a number of elements of the dream instigator, an apparently telepathically received day residue. Working with this material proceeded against very strong resistance, most evident in repeated forgetting of one or another bit of the clinical data. This has been the fate of ideas pertaining to the occult since Freud's first formulations, as is documented here by references to the early history of psychoanalysis. The issue now and for the future is whether psychoanalysis will continue to ignore the

crucial question of validity in regard to the telepathy hypothesis. The psychoanalytic method is uniquely qualified to investigate so-called parapsychological phenomena and has the same obligation to do so as with other mental events. We need to examine the evidence in spite of the threat posed to our conventional understanding of the limits of the mind by the very act of acknowledging the question. If we can overcome our resistance to undertaking this task, we may find that, once again, Freud pointed the way towards discovery of a new paradigm in science.

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