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  1. Anthony S. Joyce

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy1006

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Joyce, A. S. 2010. Transference. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–4.

Author Information

  1. University of Alberta, Canada

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


The term transference describes a process of displacing or transferring thoughts and feelings originally directed toward significant others from childhood onto a person currently present in the individual's life (Goldstein & Goldberg, 2006, p. 37). Transference thus represents a process of experiencing toward a person in the present patterns of feeling and behavior, and defenses against these patterns, that had their origin in the past. This reliving is held to occur outside the individual's awareness; that is, the expectations and feelings being displaced or projected onto the current other person arise from an unconscious source.


  • transference;
  • unconscious;
  • displacement;
  • projection;
  • resistance;
  • relational theory