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Brenner, C. (1949). Meetings of the New York Psychoanalytic Society. Psychoanal Q., 18:276-276.

(1949). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 18:276-276

Meetings of the New York Psychoanalytic Society

Charles Brenner

January 11, 1949. PROBLEMS OF TRANSFERENCE. Rudolph M. Loewenstein, M.D.

Transference may be positive or negative, involve id, ego or superego functions, help or hinder analysis, be conscious or unconscious. None of these classifications necessarily corresponds with any one of the others. A positive transference may hinder and a negative one help the analysis. Transference is inevitable, and there are some standard rules for analyzing it. The speaker illustrated the necessity of evaluating and expressing the reality of the analytic situation in a transference interpretation. The special importance of transference interpretations is that the emotion is actually felt at the time by the patient. This emotion, if not too great, facilitates insight. The relation of transference to memory was also discussed: transference is to memory as pantomine is to talking; it is a type of acting out.


Dr. Lewin defined countertransference as the whole of the analyst's attitude to the patient. In this sense analytic technique may be called a sublimation of the countertransference. Most of what is called countertransference difficulty is due to bad technique or stupidity, not to the analyst's emotional involvement with the patient since this has been minimized by adequate training analysis and supervision. For the analyst to react to the patient is inevitable, not necessarily evidence of countertransference trouble. If the reaction gets out of hand the remedy is not advice, but further self-analysis or analysis by a colleague.

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