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Glucksman, M.L. (2010). Is Love Curative?. J. Amer. Acad. Psychoanal., 38(1):159-179.

(2010). Journal of American Academy of Psychoanalysis, 38(1):159-179

Is Love Curative?

Myron L. Glucksman, M.D.

This article explores the phenomenon of love in the therapeutic relationship and its role as a curative factor. Since Freud's (1915) description of transference love, a major goal of treatment is to understand its developmental antecedents. Most analysts agree that transference love is no different than ordinary love, except that it is overdetermined and requires the patient to view it as simultaneously real and illusory without reciprocity from the analyst. Non-transferential, realistic elements of the therapeutic relationship also play an important role in treatment. An important outgrowth of the therapeutic process is the development of a new object relationship between analyst and patient. This special or transformative friendship is a new object relationship characterized by genuine feelings of mutual respect, trust, caring, and even love. It facilitates the patient's capacity to form and maintain other loving relationships. Two case presentations are illustrative.

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