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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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 - Feb 2008

Keywords

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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Little Hans and the thought police: The 'policeman fantasies' as the first reported supervisory transference fantasies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this