IPA Inter-Regional Encyclopedic Dictionary of Psychoanalysis

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patients of just the sort that patients will have to them. (The feelings will be largely unconscious both for the patient and for the analyst). This is also illustrated by a remark in “Analysis Terminable and Interminable” (1937b) where Freud stresses how ongoing contact with the patient’s repression may also arouse drive demands in the analyst that would otherwise be held suppressed, and this may even result in “dangers" for the analyst that would make a periodic self-analysis necessary (1937b, p. 249). Compared to previous statements, this presents a clearly different aspect of the patient-analyst relationship; reactions to the patient’s unconscious could activate processes, and even changes in the analyst . Although early on countertransference was mainly conceptualized as a risk – that the analyst’s transferences onto patients would prevent the analyst from dispassionately assessing the patient and would interfere with the analyst’s objectivity, neutrality and clinical effectiveness – in Freud's later perspective, which is a culmination of the previously only hinted ‘other’ trend in his thinking on the subject, countertransference is not only a matter of merely intra psychic dynamics of the analyst, but the result of inter psychic processes, a perspective that definitely foreshadows later developments. The paradigm shift of countertransference from an impediment to a tool began to emerge in the late 1920s with Sandor Ferenczi’s (1927, 1928, 1932) challenge to the dictum of psychoanalytic neutrality (and abstinence) with traumatized patients, considering the analyst’s position to be rather that of a participant observer . Michael Balint (1935, 1950; Balint and Balint 1939), Ferenczi’s student and translator subsequently distinguished between the 'classical' and 'romantic' descriptions of the aims of analytic treatment: while the 'classical' authors – beginning with Freud – underline advancement of insight, considering aims in relation to structural changes in the psyche to strengthen the ego, the 'romantic' authors – early object relation theorists, Ferenczi and Balint himself with his concept of 'new beginning' – lay emphasis on the dynamic or the emotional factors (Balint 1935, p.190). Ferenczi’s earlier paper on “Introjection and Transference” (1909) presaged this development of seeing the countertransference of the analyst as instrumental in interacting with the transference of the analysand. Affective reactions of all kinds, even love felt towards a traumatized patient, Ferenczi argued, were potential drivers of psychic change . His ‘participant observer’ analytic stance and his ‘elastic technique’ (Ferenczi 1928) could be considered a historical precursor to all later views of countertransference as a co-construction and co-creation, and a consideration of the analyst’s subjective experience as importantly participating in an analytic treatment in multiple ways. Acknowledged as uncommonly creative and continuously influential, especially in regard to analytic work with traumatized patients (Papiasvili 2014), Ferenczi’s presentation of his views on countertransference and his practice of the elastic technique were, however, considered controversial and somewhat excessive from the beginning, as sympathetically yet rigorously reviewed by Balint (1966). The more radical parts of this II. B. Basic Contouring of the Wider Concept (Late 1920’s – Early 1950’s in Hungary, England and Argentina)


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