IPA Inter-Regional Encyclopedic Dictionary of Psychoanalysis

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is an extension of the ego or introjection (“Introjection and Transference”, 1909). His view is centred on the child’s individual history and elaborated on the basis of the child’s auto-erotic investment of his organs: there lies the matrix of what is being repeated in the transference. “The first ‘object-love’ and the first ‘object-hate’ are, so to speak, the primordial transferences, the root of every future introjection” so that transference is not a characteristic of neurosis but the exaggeration of a normal mental process (p. 41). In his “Clinical Diary” and later writings, Ferenczi pleads in favour of deepening the theorisation of technique and for metapsychological reflection on the analyst’s psychic processes, thus paving the way for the forthcoming developments of many analysts. III. A. James Strachey How important, then, was the identification and “interpretation” to the qualities and outcomes of psychoanalytic treatments? Leaving aside what might be meant by the activity of “interpreting,” the degree of attention an analyst paid to indications of his patient’s transference became a matter of controversy. In 1934 Strachey famously argued that in his view the “ultimate instrument of psychoanalytic therapy” (1934, p. 142), the only class of “mutative” interpretations is the one comprised solely of transference interpretations. (p. 154) By transference interpretations he meant those comments made by an analyst that helped to make unconscious aspects of his patient’s transference conscious. No other kind (extra-transference) could have a mutative effect. Notably, according to Strachey, the mutative effect derived from its creating an opportunity for the analysand to correct his error when confronted by the contrasts between his unconscious transference image of the analyst and the “real nature of the analyst”. (p. 143) Of course Strachey’s simple and straightforward assertion of the “real” nature of the analyst will later collapse (to some extent) in the face of more contemporary views of contingency, reality, and the power of the analytic field to induce “real” feelings of, say, hostility toward the patient that in fact may match the analysand’s transference image. III. B. Ida Macalpine Ida Macalpine can be credited with having underlined, for the first time, the fact that psychoanalysis does not merely “reap” the transference (“The development of transference”, 1950). Through the frustrating and infantile environment that it creates, the analytic situation “produces” the transference and reaps what it sows. Accordingly, some of Freud’s major successors, such as Melanie Klein, Bion and Winnicott, each develop perspectives on transference that contribute meaningfully to the current understanding of the transference phenomena in the treatment.


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