Transference of Creativity

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The transference of creativity, whose defining example is Sigmund Freud's transference onto Wilhelm Fliess, is a form of transference whose role is to accompany the fluctuations of creativity in the creator.

Initially implicit in Heinz Kohut's work, this notion was explicitly mentioned by him from 1966 on. The correlative of the importance given to creativity, and a therapeutic factor or the effect of treatment that is not interpreted, it indicates a transformation of narcissism.

Starting with Freud's self-analysis, Kohut stipulated in "Selected Problems of Self Psychological Theory" (1980) that Freud's relationship with Fliess was not transference in the classical sensethere was no dissolution through insightbut rather a transference of creativity that disappeared at the same time as the narcissistic need. Fliess was a function that filled a void and facilitated Freud's creativity. During certain creative periods, creators need self-objects in one sector of the self or another, without this necessarily indicating weaknesses in the self. The creator's narcissistic configurations are more fluid at certain times, and the other person makes possible regulation of self-esteem and confidence possible.

Transference of creativity, a form of narcissistic transference outside of treatment, brings into play all the notions that come out of Kohut's theory.

AgnÈs Oppenheimer

See also: Fliess, Wilhelm; Kohut, Heinz.


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