What is the Meaning & Definition of transfer (psychoanalysis)

The theory of psychoanalysis has a wide diversity of concepts. In this article we analyze the concept of transfer. A concept which refers to the so closely that it establishes between a psychoanalyst and a patient during the therapy process.

Transfer properties

A helping relationship through which the patient knows better himself, clarified his ideas and know what you want to. Transfer refers to the feeling that arises in an affective link when someone revives thanks to a new relationship, a feeling of the past.

Understanding the concept from an example

A person may feel good in the company of a new friend, because that friend, remembered an experience of the past. It's a completely unconscious process. Freud used the concept of transfer, in the context of the relationship with the therapist, as an affection through which a person diverts its field of affection to a different person (the therapist). Through the transfer, the analyst becomes a fundamental actor in the process of recovery of a patient, also in complex situations such as the overcoming of a plot.
However, the real key comes in how the analyst manages the transfer since there are also examples of how this can be poorly managed. Thus, it occurs, for example, when the patient falls in love with his psychotherapist.

Idealization of the psychotherapist, not perceived

The analytic relationship refers to the educational role of a person who becomes a benchmark for the patient. The patient creates expectations about his analyst, who offers accommodation in an ideal. The patient idealizes his psychotherapist in a completely unconscious way.

Conflicting emotions

Sometimes, transfer can also show the duality of feelings opposites as love and hatred, an internal struggle in which the patient projects major points of his emotional life in the therapist as if it were a kind of mirror that enhances self-knowledge to look inside oneself with more clarity and to deal with situations of the past that are still pending.
Therefore transfer refers to the emotional tie so significant is set between the analyst and the patient, it is an emotional bond that can also be set in other types of links, for example, between the teacher and the student or between boss and an employee.

Article contributed by the team of collaborators.