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  Transference (Latin, ‘carrying across’), in psychoanalysis, means the displacement on to the analyst or therapist of feelings and ideas which have been part of past relationships. When Freud\'s patients started to project their feelings in this way, he felt that it interfered with the analysis, as it moved him away from the exploration of repressed memories and affected the patient\'s ability to be objective. But by 1912 he had come to see transference as part of the process of free association and as an acting out of the past in the consulting room. People readily transfer and project expectations from the past onto other people, but transference in analysis is heightened by the analyst\'s refusal to reveal anything of himself or herself. This makes him or her a figure onto which many projections can be made by the patient: in the course of treatment the analyst will become mother, father, sister or brother of the person involved. The transference relationship and the analytic relationship are seen as separate but part of a totality of interactions.

Detailed accounts of transference usually include reference to the patient\'s early life with his or her parents, or as a baby and the possible object-relations in infancy that he or she had with early caring figures. All analysts now agree that the work done by the analyst on the patient\'s transference directly addresses situations which have arisen in childhood and infancy, and resolving these conflicts has a profound effect.

Within therapies other than analysis, transference can also mean any feelings that the patient may have for the therapist, or any feelings that are neurotically based, or feelings that are derived from infantile life. MJ



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