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Freedman, N. Berzofsky, M. (1995). Shape of the Communicated Transference in Difficult and Not-So-Difficult Patients: Symbolized and Desymbolized Transference. Psychoanal. Psychol., 12(3):363-374.

(1995). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 12(3):363-374

Shape of the Communicated Transference in Difficult and Not-So-Difficult Patients: Symbolized and Desymbolized Transference

Norbert Freedman, Ph.D. and Michael Berzofsky, Ph.D.

In this article, we attempt to define a dimension of transference characteristic of “difficult” and “not-so-difficult” patients. The method is systematic–empirical as well as clinical. The conceptual thrust underlying our concept of communicated transference is derived from the literature of the communicative function of the dream. It is a wish to impart the inner objects, the introjects, into the consciousness of the listening analyst as object. Five variables or indices of symbolization were selected, and they yielded an interrelated set of observations. We were able to establish that there is an entity of difficult and not-so-difficult patient regardless of diagnostic category that exists not only in the subjective realm of a therapist experiencing the patient, but in the objective realm of coded text. Two clinical cases described by Bach (1985)—Mrs. Smith and Richard—are presented to illustrate the concepts described.

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