UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Patterns of transference interpretation: An empirical study

Hamilton, Victoria Edith; (1991) Patterns of transference interpretation: An empirical study. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

[thumbnail of Patterns_of_transference_inter.pdf] Text

Download (17MB)


This project concerns the investigation of both the explicit and implicit principles which guide psychoanalysts when formulating transference interpretations and the form and content of these interpretations in ongoing clinical practice. 65 practising psychoanalysts of varying orientations were interviewed in Britain and the United States using a semi-structured interview technique. The first part of the thesis consists of a historical review of the psychoanalytic literature on transference interpretation, with particular reference to Freud's views on this subject. Four distinct themes are traced which highlight theoretical and technical developments. In Part II, methodological issues relating to the link between theory and clinical practise in psychoanalysis are discussed. Empirical studies concerning transference are reviewed and their relevance to the present study is discussed. This review indicates that the study of analysts' mental representations of their technique has scarcely been touched. Parts III, IV and V concern the empirical investigation of transference interpretation. This empirical work is reported in five sections. In the first two studies, constructions concerning examples of transference interpretation were drawn from the literature and from recorded interviews with practising analysts. The third study consisted of a semi-structured interview based on questions drawn from the examples provided by the first two studies. The final studies concerned the analysis of the interview material thus acquired. A questionnaire to measure theoretical influences upon psychoanalysts participating in the study was developed and administered. A special rating scale was developed to permit the comparison of analysts' responses to the interview and was applied to the transcripts by independent judges blind to the identities of the analysts. The statistical analysis of the ratings and the inter-relationship between the ratings and responses to the theoretical orientation instrument is reported in three chapters. Results indicated that the sample could be meaningfully subdivided according to analysts' responses to the theoretical orientation questionnaire. Similarly, specific patterns of analytic technique emerged predictably related to the declared orientation of the analyst as well as the orientation that could be assigned to them in terms of their membership of particular analytic groups. Multivariate analyses revealed that all six clusters of theoretical orientation could be linked to unique patterns of beliefs concerning the practice of transference interpretation. The results are discussed in terms of the relationship between theory and psychoanalytic practice and the value of investigations which explore the nature of mental representations of technique.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Patterns of transference interpretation: An empirical study
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Psychology; Psychoanalytic practice
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10107437
Downloads since deposit
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item