chapter  3
18 Pages

On Transference Love: Revisiting Freud

WithRobert S. Wallerstein

Most prominent among the places where the impressions of psychoanalytic naivete or datedness can arise in modem readings of the transference-love paper is Freud’s categorization of transference phenomena, actually stated most clearly in “The Dynamics of the Transference.” Sigmund Freud took as his chief focus in the transference-love paper the more “objectionable” repressed erotic transference, and as a central resistance over which the analytic treatment could well founder as a central danger to the susceptible countertransference. H. P. Blum drew a far sharper distinction between the erotic transference described by Freud as an expectable transference development, temptation, and risk and what Blum characterized as the “erotized transference”—again, recalling Freud’s “women of elemental passionateness.” The ego considerations had to do with the disturbance of the sense of reality, the fading of the “as-if” quality of the transference illusion, so that the analyst actually becomes the reincarnated idealized parent, and the consequent borderline character of the patient’s ego functioning.