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Stein, H.H. (1984). Meeting of the Psychoanalytic Association of New York. Psychoanal Q., 53:647-648.

(1984). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 53:647-648

Meeting of the Psychoanalytic Association of New York

Herbert H. Stein

DISCUSSION: Dr. Milton Horowitz said that Dr. Jacobs's observations widen the sphere of "countertransference" to encompass the analyst's reactions not only to the patient but to the large population of the mental representations of objects in the patient's mind. The analyst might react to the patient and his objects in the transference setting not only because of the stirring of old fantasies about persons in his own life but also because he is equating parts of his own personality with those objects. Similarly, the patient's presentation of "objects" may be projections of parts of the patient's personality. Dr. Horowitz compared this with the psychology of dreams and with the structure of novels, in which two or more conflicting portions of the personality are represented as separate characters. What the patient depicts as the "object" may have only a limited historical and developmental validity, in that it may represent aspects of the patient's conflicts presented as persons. With such presentations, the patient may be attempting to seduce the analyst to react to the "pictures" of mother, father, etc., and thus to violate the objective stance by reacting against the patient's drives, defenses, or superego contents appearing in the disguise of "persons." Some analysts have a greater capacity than others for visualization. Dr. Jacobs's descriptions imply a special capacity for depicting or "visualizing" the objects in the patient's life. The descriptions "come alive" under certain circumstances by confluence with objects from the analyst's own past.

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