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Am J Psychother. 2011;65(4):337-54.

The induction of noninterpreted benevolent transference as a vehicle for change.

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  • 1Weill Cornell Medical College-New York Presbyterian Hospital New York, NY, USA.


It has become widely accepted that nontransference interpretation can have power (Blum, 1983). My intent in this paper is to describe an active, intentionally evoked, but uninterpreted, positive transference that is designed to effect change in the patient in an otherwise psychoanalytically oriented therapy. The changes may range from symptom relief to more significant change, as reflected in modifications in the patient's self-perception, perception of others (self-object constellations), and experience in the world. Apart from interpretation of conflict revealed in the patient's experience of the world, the uninterpreted positive transference offers a new object relationship devoid of significant conflict that may closely approximate an ideal of the good parent (the internalization of a good object). In this respect, it contributes strongly to a change in the representational world. The positive transference is not only the substrate of the ongoing process of therapy, but also a useful product of the process. To implement this change the therapist develops a therapeutic stance through specific actions and an attitude that offers the patient a new and benevolent object.

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