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Kernberg, O.F. (1987). An Ego Psychology-Object Relations Theory Approach to the Transference. Psychoanal Q., 56:197-221.

(1987). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 56:197-221

An Ego Psychology-Object Relations Theory Approach to the Transference

Otto F. Kernberg, M.D.


This paper summarizes an ego psychology-object relations theory and its application to psychoanalytic technique, particularly to the analysis of the transference. The relative importance of verbal, nonverbal, and generally relational "channels" of communication in patients with differing degrees of transference regression is examined. The use of countertransference reactions in formulating transference interpretations is reviewed. The relations between unconscious meanings in the "here-and-now" and unconscious meanings in the "there-and-then" are explored in the transferences of patients with varying degrees of severity of psychopathology. Differences with other theoretical approaches are highlighted throughout.

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