chapter  Six
Slaying the dragons of the past or cooking the hare in the present: a historical view on affects in the psychoanalytic encounter
ByAndré E. Haynal
Pages 17

While we would all agree that transference is of central importance to psychoanalytic treatment, it remains a matter of continuing controversy as to how much and in what ways the phenomena described with this term are to be attributed to present “reality” or to past “illusion”. In his earliest formulations, Freud tied these affective manifestations to the patient’s past. However, this view—which may in retrospect be seen as covertly containing a distancing manoeuvre included for the comfort of the analyst—did not represent a satisfactory or definitive solution to all of the difficulties present. Ultimately, Freud developed a complex position: on the one hand, he continued to see transference feelings as “new editions” of old “facsimiles” (Freud, 1905e [1901], p. 116); on the other, he not only acknowledged the actuality of these feelings but saw them as an important tool for change within the treatment.