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Sat 1:10 PM

> From:
        "Larry Lyons" <[log in to unmask]>

>Subject: Re: Eating Disorders

Hello Elio:

You wrote:

> you think of blaming society as a transference which could
>evolve into
> an awareness of blaming the parents, then in the context of
> an
>exploratory therapy, this could evolve even further into an
> awareness that
>what the patient is blaming society and parents (and
> presumeably at some
>point the therapist) for is a projection of the
> forbidden sinful desire to
>have the sexual power/charisma to launch a
> thousand ships.

That may be true in therapy, but transference is
> never therapeutic if
unattended by a therapist.  It is an effective
> weapon created by the
neurosis itself in order to defend itself from
> therapy.  Only a highly
trained therapist is qualified to make use of
> it. If it is instigated by TV,
I think it could be
> disastrous.

Leaving aside the specific discussion of eating disorders, the Nova program,
etc., I want only to address the sweeping statement that transference is never
therapeutic if unattended by a therapist.  On the contrary, Freud himself
recognized what he called the "transference cure" in which a person's
idealization of and identification with another, not necessarily an analyst,
effects symptom relief on an essentially magical basis.  He was aware, for
instance, of the religious cure.  Freud, of course, disparaged this type of cure
in favour of the rational cure offerred by analysis.  But the point is that he
recognized that transference often cures outside of a therapeutic context.

Believe it or not, human nature is more complicated even than psychoanalysts
know.  The love of a good woman, or man, can often achieve remarkable
transformations in the recipient of such love--though in many cases the
destructive power of the repetition compulsion is such that the cure through
love is seriously threatened without therapeutic analysis of the destructive
forces that threaten it.

My point is not at all to celebrate the transference cure as opposed to the
analytic cure, but merely to argue for a more nuanced,less formulaic, and more
accurate deployment of psychoanalytic ideas.


Don Carveth
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