December 1959

Hypnosis and TransferenceA Theoretical Formulation

AMA Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1959;1(6):634-639. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1959.03590060096010

The Dilemma  Ever since Freud identified hypnosis with transference, there has been a general reluctance to accept the notion that hypnotic induction and the trance itself is entirely and specifically a transference phenomenon.Freud himself, in “Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego,” speculated that there is more to hypnosis than transference. He stated: Hypnosis would solve the riddle of the libidinal constitution of groups for us straight away, if it were not that it itself exhibits some features which are not met by the rational explanation we have hitherto given of it as a state of being in love with the directly sexual tendencies excluded. There is still a great deal in it which we must recognize as unexplained and mystical. It contains an additional element of paralysis derived from the relation between someone with superior power and someone who is without power and helpless—which

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