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Kernberg, O.F. (1992). Psychopathic, Paranoid and Depressive Transferences. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 73:13-28.

(1992). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 73:13-28

Psychopathic, Paranoid and Depressive Transferences

Otto F. Kernberg


This presentation focuses on the superego pathology frequently present in patients with borderline personality organization, an important issue in transference developments that evolve as a consequence and expression of this pathology. I shall describe 'psychopathic transferences' to refer to periods in the treatment when conditions of deceptiveness prevail in the transference, and the importance of systematically interpreting and working through these particular transferences. As a result of such a working through, paranoid transferences usually become dominant, and, in turn, need to be worked through fully. At this point, more advanced transferences characterized by depressive features tend to prevail, signalling the structural transformation of borderline into neurotic personality organization. Clinical case material will illustrate these transformations in the transference.

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