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Saul, L.J. (1962). The Erotic Transference. Psychoanal Q., 31:54-61.

(1962). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 31:54-61

The Erotic Transference

Leon J. Saul, M.D.


At least four fundamentals, based on both experience and theory, must be borne in mind in connection with the erotic transference:

1. A patient seeking satisfaction in the professional situation is, of course, in a blind alley and the analyst can only help the patient find satisfactions in real life.

2. The transference is in its essence infantile and incestuous; it expresses the longings of the small child for such love as is entirely and unselfishly interested in his welfare, in his good relationships with family members and in his proper maturing; sexual elements are therefore threatening and causative of conflict in the transference as they were in childhood toward parents.

3. The basis of analytic treatment is the analysis of the transference, which is difficult enough for both analyst and analysand and must be kept as little intensified and as uncomplicated as possible.

4. Hostility and guilt are invariably associated with the frustrated love needs; were it otherwise, these needs would have found satisfactions in real life and the patient would not have come for help.

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