chapter  7
16 Pages

One-Person and Two-Person Perspectives: Freud’s “Observations on Transference-Love”

WithMerton Max Gill

This chapter focuses on the one-person/two-person dichotomy, but Sigmund Freud’s remarkable essay introduces, even though only in passing, many more crucial points about analytic technique. Transference love is specific to particular two-person analytic situation. An analysis in which the analyst adopts the “senseless proceeding” of urging the patient to go ahead and fall in love is a different analysis, and even if a falling in love does take place, it is a different falling in love. Martin Stein has shown how one can be deceived by a supposedly “unobjectionable positive transference” into believing that an analysis is going well. It is common experience that just as a seemingly positive transference can serve as a resistance against negative transference, so too can a seemingly negative transference serve as a resistance to a positive transference. Charles Brenner has objected to the misleading advice to wait until the transference has become a resistance.