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My Potential Patients: Origins, Detection, and Transference in - page 59 / 69





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Cohen 56

repressed material (103-4), and the analyst fights back by enlisting the patient's

positive, conscious transference (106). While the transference presents the greatest

obstacle to treatment, it also does "the inestimable service of making the patient's

hidden and forgotten erotic impulses immediate and manifest" (108). "This struggle

between the doctor and the patient, between intellect and instinctual life, between

understanding and seeking to act, is played out almost exclusively in the phenomena

of transference," and "it is on that field that victory must be won" (108).



Dynamics of Transference" compares transference to a battlefield,

"Remembering, Repeating and Working-Through" depicts it as a playground. In

certain cases, Freud says here, "we may say that the patient does not remember

anything of what he has forgotten and repressed, but acts it out. He reproduces it not

as a memory but as an action; he repeats it, without, of course, knowing that he is

repeating it" (12: 150). Indeed, "as long as the patient is in the treatment he cannot

escape from this compulsion to repeat; and in the end we are to understand that this is

his way of remembering" (150). Since the patient repeats in the analysis both the

repressed material and his neurotic symptoms, experiencing them as "real and

contemporary," they must be treated as such. Yet it is also the analyst's task to

relocate these manifestations firmly in the patient's past


and in the

transferential "playground," the patient's potentially harmful compulsion to repeat

can be satisfied while at the


time exposing the repressed neurotic material to

examination and interpretation. By substituting neurotic symptoms experienced in

real life with a "transference-neurosis" exhibited only in the analysis, the patient's

repressed memories can be made conscious and his illness overcome: "The

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