Acting versus Remembering in Transference Love and Infantile Love
Sigmund Freud emphasizes the “immediacy” of the feelings and desires in transference love. Indeed, clinically one gets the impression that transference love is often on the fence between the “state” of being acted out and the state of being a “psychical event”—always pushing in the direction of being acted out. The chapter looks at infantile love, taking into account some of the more knowledge and perspectives gained from infant observations, but holding in mind that the developmental interest will be justified by what it tells about transference love and the theoretical issues raised. Psychoanalysis has come to accept somewhat less abstinence on the part of the therapist in the handling of transference love than Freud recommended in 1915. Many have argued the necessity and desirability of a certain amount of countertransferential love to optimize the therapeutic outcome. There has been an explosion in the acceptance and therapeutic use of the countertransference.