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Adatto, C.P. (1989). The Enigma of the Transference. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 70:513-525.

(1989). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 70:513-525

The Enigma of the Transference

Carl P. Adatto


Through a review of Freud's views of transference and a presentation of case material, various aspects of transference are examined and discussed. Freud used the concept of transference not only clinically as related to the person of the analyst, but also in his theory of psychology. Both are linked by the theory that the origins of the transference lie in the intrapsychic processes and the unconscious conflicts of patients, and account for his repeated emphasis regarding the central aspect of transference resistance. The issues of positive and negative transference, the transference neurosis, and extra-analytic transferences are discussed. In his later writings Freud touched on the issue of transference of the power of the patient's superego on the analyst; this was further elaborated by Anna Freud to include personality structures in general. The importance of distinguishing between object-related and psychic structure transferences is emphasized. The analyst is conceptualized as a vehicle through which the patient resolves his intrapsychic conflicts.

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