Perception or Fantasy?
A New Clinical Theory of Transference©

By V. A. Bonac

(Copyright (c) V. A. Bonac;

(Apr. 1996; Aug. 1998,
Origin. Engl. article)

The author claims that the clinical phenomenon of transference has never been correctly observed and that this is the reason for the loose and inconsistent definition of the concept of transference throughout psychoanalytic literature. A further problem was identified as a basic issue of technique: While communicative psychoanalysis has developed clinical means for identifying unconscious perceptions (Langs, 1982), there has been a curious neglect of transference. On the other hand, traditional psychoanalysis appears to all but ignore the need for a clear clinical separation and identification of both, transference and unconscious perception, while transference seems to be interpreted without verification. The paper reports findings of the author's three-year empirical study (Bonac, 1998) of the therapeutic process with adult patients in private communicative psychoanalysis using the research method of sequential analysis (Langs, 1984). Author claims that transference proper can only become observable during a particular sequence of states of the analytic frame. The author found that transference proper, as originally conceptualized by Freud, occurs only as a manifestation of such patient's fantastical expectations of a future event which are driven by a past trauma and which contradict all existing patient's own perceptions-driven expectations of this future event. The author claims to have empirically confirmed both of Freudís hypotheses about transference: the seduction and the illusion theories. The paper offers clinical examples and a new definition of transference proper as well as six formal propositions for a new theory of transference.
(Copyright ©1996 by V. A. Bonac)
(Reprinted in the IJCPP, Vol. 11, Nos. 2-3)