Little Hans and the thought police: The 'policeman fantasies' as the first reported supervisory transference fantasies

Jerome C. Wakefield

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    The 'policeman fantasies' in Freud's case of Little Hans, famous for being Freud's most direct evidence for specifically sexual oedipal desire by Hans for his mother, are reconsidered. The Hans case is the first recorded instance of psychoanalytic supervision, and recent studies suggest that it is common for patients in supervised treatment to experience fantasies about the supervisor. It is argued that the policeman fantasies are the first recorded instances of such transference fantasies about psychoanalytic supervision and the patient-therapist-supervisor triangle. The explanatory power of this interpretation is supported by the nuances of the features of the fantasies themselves, as well as by the context in which they occurred that might serve as day residues'. Moreover, this interpretation provides an answer to the central mystery of the two fantasies, which goes unaddressed by Freud's oedipal interpretation. Who is the policeman?

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)71-88
    Number of pages18
    JournalInternational Journal of Psychoanalysis
    Volume89
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2008

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    Fantasy
    Police
    Transference (Psychology)
    Mothers

    Keywords

    • History of psychoanalysis
    • Little Hans
    • Oedipal complex
    • Supervision
    • Transference

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Clinical Psychology
    • Psychiatry and Mental health

    Cite this

    Little Hans and the thought police : The 'policeman fantasies' as the first reported supervisory transference fantasies. / Wakefield, Jerome C.

    In: International Journal of Psychoanalysis, Vol. 89, No. 1, 01.01.2008, p. 71-88.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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