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MAY 15, 2014 BY ELI

A Summary and review of Freud, S.

(1915) Observations on Transference-
Love (Further Recommendations in the
Technique of Psychoanalysis III).
A Summary and review of Freud, S. (1915) Observations on Transference-
Love (Further Recommendations in the Technique of Psychoanalysis III).

Freuds third paper on the technique of psychoanalysis deals with the

issue of love in the analytic situation. The paper deals with the
transference of love, its hindrance to recovery, how it needs to be dealt
with, and eventually transformed and used towards the healing process.
The occurrence of falling in love is explored from a practical and
theoretical position.

When the client falls in deep love with the analyst, the analyst is faced
with a specific set of challenges. Should he a) end treatment abruptly? b)
Renounce all love with suppression? c) Or should the love be returned to
the patient?

Freud challenges all three options, the option of termination, Freud

dismisses by asking, and wont love resurface with the new analyst as
well? If so, what would termination accomplish? The second option, to
lecture the patient for having these feelings thus forcing her to suppress
them, Freud suggests, would be futile, in addition, it opposes the core
tenet of psychoanalysis, psychoanalysis facilitates the repressed desires to
enter consciousness and interpret it, only then can they become
renounced, forcing the unconscious memories to return to repression
would defeat the entire purpose of psychoanalysis. The third option, to
allow the analyst to surrender to the patients desire and give her the love
she yearns for, Freud rejects from an analytical perspective. The purpose
of analysis is to help the client deal with their unresolved drives and
conflicts within the psychical parameters of the situation by having them
become conscious and gaining insight via the analysts interpretation.
However allowing the patients love to be played out and returned in
reality would only encourage the patient to act out. In other words,
submitting to the patients urges and allowing her to act out, encourages
her to continue repeating and reiterating past conflicts and re-entangle
the neurosis and avoids working through the pathology.

If we neither a) terminate treatment nor b) suppress the eroticism nor c)

allow them to be repeated and acted upon, how do we tackle this
propelling love?

Freud suggests we need to first investigate the origin of this love, where is
this love coming from, and we need to clarify whats propelling the love
into the current sphere? Whats forcing the love to surface and interfere
with the treatment?

In order to deal with this love objectively, Freud declares, we need to

realize that the love does not belong to the analyst, rather the love is a
product of the situation, the analytic situation, the analytic space, which
in its definition spurs the love transference into play. To answer what
forcing the love into the treatment, Freud suggests, its the resistance
towards recovery, the resistance forces the love-transference into the mix
in order to prevent treatment from progressing, thus neurosis is pushed to
the side and love takes center stage in order to hinder treatment. In
regard to the origin of this love Freud clarifies, the analyst needs to be
clear that this love is not real; its an erotic transference from early
childhood. It is an early unconscious eroticism toward the parent that is
being placed onto the analyst, because of the analytic situation, at a time
when analysis is progressing. The analysts mission is to interpret to the
patient that this love is not real; rather its a past love that is being played
in the moment in order to impede on the healing process. Thus the
patient is able to process the love and work it through and return to the
focus of treatment which is to renounce the neurosis without allowing the
love to paralyze the treatment. Processing the love analytically, helps the
patient understand the dynamics of their childhood psychical formulation
and their defenses, thus change is brought about through the
consciousness of the interpretation of the love-transference and the

These three vital components categorize the nature of the love-

transference, a) the resistance thats entrenches the dynamic of the
analytic treatment, b) the early childhood unconscious memory this love
is repeating, and c) the infatuated love of the pleasure principal which
demands obliviousness to the reality principal.

Freud confirms the love-transference is ingenious and is something that

needs to be worked around and through, the distortion and resistance of
this love entails a key to its resolution, therefore interpretation and
insight is at the center of the treatment process and through
interpretation of the transference and resistance treatment is restored.

Freud, S. (1913) On Beginning The Treatment (Further Recommendations
in the Technique of Psychoanalysis I) SE 12:121-144
- (1914) Remembering, Repeating and Working Through (Further
Recommendations in the Technique of Psychoanalysis II) SE 12:145 -156
- (1915) Observations on Transference-Love (Further Recommendations
in the Technique of Psychoanalysis III) SE 12: 157-171