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Ferenczi's Turn in Psychoanalysis

Ferenczi's Turn in Psychoanalysis

Peter L. Rudnytsky
Antal Bokay
Patrizia Giampieri-Deutsch
Copyright Date: 1996
Published by: NYU Press
Pages: 306
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  • Book Info
    Ferenczi's Turn in Psychoanalysis
    Book Description:

    Sigmund Freud's role in the history and development of psychoanalysis continues to be the standard by which others are judged. One of the most remarkable features of that history, however, is the exceptional caliber of the men and women Freud attracted as disciples and coworkers. One of the most influential, and perhaps overlooked, of them was the Hungarian analyst Sndor Ferenczi. Apart from Freud, Ferenczi is the analyst from that pioneering generation who addresses most immediately the concerns of contemporary psychoanalysts. In Ferenczi's Turn in Psychoanalysis fifteen eminent scholars and clinicians from six different countries provide a comprehensive and rigorous examination of Ferenczi's legacy. Although the contributors concur in their assessment of Ferenczi's stature, they often disagree in their judgments about his views and his place in the history of psychoanalysis. For some, he is a radically iconoclastic figure, whose greatest contributions lie in his challenge to Freudian orthodoxy; for others, he is ultimately a classical analyst, who built on Freud's foundations. Divided into three sections, Contexts and Continuities, Disciple and Dissident, and Theory and Technique, the essays in Ferenczi's Turn in Psychoanalysis invite the reader to take part in a dialogue, in which the questions are many and the answers open-ended.

    eISBN: 978-0-8147-7150-1
    Subjects: Psychology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-x)
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  5. Introduction: Ferenczi s Turn in Psychoanalysis
    (pp. 1-22)

    To those who have come under its spell, the history of psychoanalysis is a subject of inexhaustible fascination. The appeal of psychoanalysis as a guide to living stems ultimately from the way that it enables its adepts to think theoretically about their own experiences. It thus functions, as it were, on amefa–level, not removing one from life, but immersing one in it more deeply by adding a dimension of self-conscious reflection to the fluctuating compounds of love and loss, repetition and regeneration, that are the staples of the human lot.¹ In turning to the history of psychoanalysis, then,...

  6. Part I. Contexts and Continuities

    • One Freud and His Intellectual Environment: The Case of Sandor Ferenczi
      (pp. 25-40)

      Freud has changed our view of human relationships: our present conception of human communication—whether in larger or smaller groups, whether verbal or nonverbal—is inconceivable without the pioneering work of Freud and his circle. In opposition to the widespread image, Freud did not elaborate his thoughts on these problems alone, but beginning with the first flowering of his theory, theProject for a Scientific Psychology(1895), which emerged in correspondence with Wilhelm Fliess, he developed them in close contact with his circle and the friends who surrounded him. His study of human relationships, starting from his observations and his...

    • Two The Founding of the Budapest School
      (pp. 41-59)

      In 1914, Freud wrote that “Hungary, so near geographically to Austria, and so far from it scientifically, has produced only one collaborator, S. Ferenczi, but one that indeed outweighs a whole society (33). In 1923 he added a footnote: “In Hungary a brilliant analytic school is flourishing under the leadership of Ferenczi” (34). When Freud wroteOn the History of the Psycho-Analytic Movement,becoming the first historian of this new field of research, the Hungarian Psycho-Analytic Association had been in existence for only one year and had not yet produced the famous analysts who were later known as the Budapest...

    • Three The Budapest School of Psychoanalysis
      (pp. 60-76)

      It is characteristic of old stories to be continuations of even earlier ones. The beginning of Hungarian psychoanalysis is interwoven with the worldfamous name of Sandor Ferenczi. But he himself inevitably also had a forerunner.

      An international antialcoholism conference took place in Budapest in 1905. There, one of the leading figures of the Hungarian temperance movement, the neurologist Fiilop Stein, met Eugen Bleuler, director of the Burgholzli mental hospital in Zurich and a pioneer in modern psychiatry As a result of this acquaintance Stein traveled a year later to the Burgholzli and took part in C. G. Jungs word association...

    • Four O, Patria Mia
      (pp. 77-88)
      JOHN E. GEDO

      What has been the impact of psychoanalysts of Hungarian origin on America? It is a difficult question to answer. Certainly, it has been nothing like the effect of Hungarian actors, movie moguls, comedians, steel workers, football coaches, physicists, mathematicians, socialites, or musicians—conductors above all. (Every time Georg Sold conducts the Chicago Symphony, I am tempted to yell out, “Eljen a magyar hadsereg!” [Long live the Hungarian Army!] But my very American wife would be mortified . . .) Actually, it would be easier to write about the effect America has had on Hungarian psychoanalysts. It has turned them into...

    • Five Ferenczi’s Early Impact on Washington, D.C.
      (pp. 89-104)

      This chapter outlines the four principal avenues by which Ferenczi initially influenced the Washington, D.C, analytic community These are: (i) his writings, as made available by William Alanson White and Smith Ely Jelliffe (Burnham 1983); (2) his visit to Washington in 1927; (3) his treatment of Harry Stack Sullivan’s close friend and colleague, Clara Thompson (Perry 1982); and (4) perhaps most importantly, his and Georg Groddeck s impact on their junior colleague, Frieda Fromm-Reichmann (Grossman and Grossman 1965; Fromm-Reichmann 1989). The more I learn about Ferenczi and Groddeck, and about how closely Fromm-Reichmann (1889—J 957) worked with Groddeck, the...

  7. Part II. Disciple and Dissident

    • Six Asymmetry and Mutuality in the Analytic Relationship: Contemporary Lessons from the Freud-Ferenczi Dialogue
      (pp. 107-119)

      In this paper I shall view the historical disagreements and tensions between Sigmund Freud and Sandor Ferenczi as metaphors for the conflicts, dilemmas, and tensions experienced by contemporary psychoanalysts in each analytic hour. I shall focus on the third of three areas of disagreement between them. The first area, and probably the best known, finds Freud on the side of abstinence and frustration and Ferenczi on the side of gratification and indulgence. In the second area, Freud’s orientation is more toward the head and intellect while Ferenczi s is clearly toward the heart and feelings. Finally, the third area reveals...

    • Seven Sándor Ferenczi: Negative Transference and Transference Depression
      (pp. 120-144)

      In 1937, at eighty-one years of age and still possessing boundless intellectual curiosity, Freud wrote a monograph in which he attempted to define the principal obstacles to the successful completion of psychoanalytic treatment. Drawing on theory as well as more than forty years’ experience as an analyst, Freud strove to elucidate the psychic forces that can give rise to deadlock or failure in these disastrous “interminable” analyses.

      Among the examples Freud adduces to illustrate his hypotheses is the following analytic narrative:

      A certain man, who had himself practised analysis with great success, came to the conclusion that his relations both...

    • Eight The Tragic Encounter between Freud and Ferenczi and Its Impact on the History of Psychoanalysis
      (pp. 145-159)

      As both the recent volume edited by Lewis Aron and Adrienne Harris (1993) and a series of international conferences attest, a revival of interest in the work of Sandor Ferenczi is currently taking place. One reason for this phenomenon is the appearance of hitherto unavailable documents that afford new insights. These include Ferenczi sClinical Diary(1985), Freud’sPhylogenetic Fantasy(1985)—discovered by Use Grubrich-Simitis among Ferenczi s papers—and the ongoing publication of the full Freud-Ferenczi correspondence. Beyond the confines of psychoanalysis, there is in popular culture, particularly in the United States, an urgent concern with the sexual abuse...

    • Nine Ferenczi’s Mother Tongue
      (pp. 160-169)

      We are all familiar with the wonderful image of a baby captured by its mother s words and gazing at her face with its mouth wide open. The baby is drinking the sounds and swallowing the words; it is ingesting the milk of the “mother tongue.”

      The nature and importance of these first words and their indelible effects on the human psyche are often forgotten in later years along with our preverbal experiences. The consolidation of linguistic skills tends to relegate the accumulated impressions of our earliest years to a realm of somatic and affective memory to which we can...

    • Ten Mutual Analysis: A Logical Outcome of Sandor Ferenczi’s Experiments in Psychoanalysis
      (pp. 170-186)

      Psychoanalysis has a history of advancing through artful failures. For example, the fact that a number of Freud’s case histories, notably Dora and the Wolf Man, are literary successes but therapeutic failures has not reduced their importance to psychoanalysis.

      Sandor Ferenczi’s recently revealed experiment in mutual analysis (Ferenczi 1985), in which he agreed to be analyzed by one of his patients, is generally viewed as a psychoanalytic misadventure—a rash and radical act by an overzealous and undisciplined “wild analyst.” As Arnold Modell writes: “Today this experiment now strikes us as naive and imprudent” (1990, 143). What possessed Ferenczi, this...

  8. Part III. Theory and Technique

    • Eleven Hermann’s Concept of Clinging in Light of Modern Drive Theory
      (pp. 189-208)

      Born in Budapest in 1889, Imre Hermann became a member of the Hungarian Psychoanalytic Association in 1919 and was one of the founders of the “Budapest School.” As one of the few analysts w h o remained in Budapest during the totalitarian regime, he was a pillar of the Hungarian psychoanalytic movement until his death in 1984. He published over 150 works in several languages, many of which have provided a valuable impetus to other studies. Among other subjects, his writings dealt with the theory of clinging, latent and manifest thought processes, the analyses of artistically gifted people and philosophers,...

    • Twelve Castration and Narcissism in Ferenczi
      (pp. 209-223)

      Ferenczi occupies an increasingly important place in contemporary psychoanalytic thought and clinical work. His writings shed light on numerous current pathologies, including borderline conditions, somatizations, and narcissistic frailties. Indeed, Ferenczi is the grand theorist of narcissism. He not only developed Freud’s views on the subject, but made his own original contribution.

      The notion of narcissism becomes pivotal to Ferenczi’s writings during the decade from 1917 to 1927. It therefore seems worthwhile to investigate his understanding of the relationship between the castration complex and narcissism.¹ We know that for Freud the castration complex provides a structure in much the same way...

    • Thirteen The Influence of Ferenczi’s Ideas on Contemporary Standard Technique
      (pp. 224-247)

      Not only in the scientific literature but also in the “common sense” of psychoanalysis are Freud and Ferenczi often polarized, in that their views on technique are set in opposition, and their standpoints are played off against each other.

      An alternative is frequently postulated in the analytic situation between the therapeutic effectiveness ofinsight,which arises in the patient through recollection, interpretation, and reconstruction, andexperience,which is made possible by the patient semotional participation in the analytic relationship. In a milder form, which can be traced back to Ferenczi and Rank’sDevelopment of Psycho-Analysis(1923), this formulation presupposes that...

    • Fourteen A New World Symphony: Ferenczi and the Integration of Nonpsychoanalytic Techniques into Psychoanalytic Practice
      (pp. 248-265)

      One night last winter, after having purchased a guidebook that day to eastern Europe, I was planning my trip to Prague and the Ferenczi conference in Budapest. Having seen the movie,The Music Box,with many scenes of Budapest about a year before, images from the film came to mind as I perused the travel guide. The images from the film were the only pictures of Budapest I had ever seen. The movie starred Jessica Lange. Not surprisingly, Jessica Lange was in a dream of mine that night. (I won’t discuss what dissociated and/or wished-for aspect of myself she might...

    • Fifteen The “Wise Baby” Grows Up: The Contemporary Relevance of Sandor Ferenczi
      (pp. 266-286)

      Despite the certainty with which its theory is frequently presented, psychoanalysis is not a fixed body of knowledge; it is rather many theories, some compatible with what Freud wrote, some not, and with many hiccups and inconsistencies, particularly as infant research and neurobiology have been incorporated into the analyst s working vocabulary. Nor is it a single established technical practice; it is, again, many techniques, despite persistent efforts to “uphold standard” and to distinguish the “pure gold” of psychoanalysis from the serviceable but cheapened “alloy” of psychotherapy. Psychoanalysis now comprises over a hundred years of accumulating, hard-won (and painfully lost)...

  9. INDEX
    (pp. 287-292)
  10. Back Matter
    (pp. 293-293)