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Treurniet, N. (1987). On Transference Neurosis — The Structure and the Process: A Clinical Study. Psychoanal. Inq., 7(4):511-533.

(1987). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 7(4):511-533

On Transference Neurosis — The Structure and the Process: A Clinical Study

Nikolaas Treurniet, M.D.


There is a difference between psychological structures and events. A structure is a state, an event is an activity, a process. Rosenblatt and Thickstun (1977), in this context, view structure as a “freeze frame” of a process in a system; as an organized product of a process that has reached a “stable steady state.” As soon as we try to catch a concept by isolating it, we risk treating a process as a state. During the last decade, psychoanalytic thinking has moved away from structures toward processes with an emphasis on development. Transference and neurosis are both concepts having a more general and static connotation than the concept of transference neurosis. A transference neurosis is not — it happens. Keeping in mind that transference and neurosis are universal, but transference neurosis is a development unique to psychoanalysis, I shall first approach its interface with the concept of neurosis and then with the side of transference. The intimate relationship between transference neurosis and psychoanalytic process will be illustrated by a clinical case.

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