chapter  4
21 Pages

Five Readings of Freud’s “Observations on Transference-Love”

WithRoy Schafer

This chapter presents five perspectives on or readings of “Observations on Transference-Love.” These are entitled: “The Demolition of Conventional Boundaries,” “Managing the Erotic Transference,” “Counter-transference,” “Sigmund Freud’s Patriarchal Outlook,” and “Positivism, Perspectivism, and Narration.” For technical purposes, transference love is to be regarded as repetition, merely a “new edition” of an old text of love. The breaking of various conventional conceptual boundaries can be discerned in “Observations on Transference-Love.” Freud seems content for some time to develop his technical thesis that transference love must be handled as something unreal, that is, as an irrational, unconsciously motivated repetition of repressed desire and conflict that takes the form of resistance. Although many contemporary analysts continue to take Freud’s problematically narrow and negative position on countertransference, it seems correct to say that the trend in contemporary psychoanalysis is for analysts to approach countertransference more broadly and positively.