152 Slices
Medium 9781855750869

2. Actual- and Psycho-Neuroses in the Light of Freud's Investigations and Psycho-Analysis. [1908]

Ferenczi, Sandor Karnac Books ePub

ON the occasion of the third Hungarian Psychiatric Congress in Budapest I delivered several years ago a lecture on’ neurasthenia’, in which I asked for the correct nosological classification of this far too varied clinical picture, this cloak for so many wrong or wanting diagnoses. And although I was in the right when I maintained that real exhaustion neurasthenia is to be sharply distinguished from all other nervous states, amongst others from those only explicable on psychiatric grounds, nevertheless I made a mistake difficult to remedy when I left out of account Professor Freud’s investigations of the neuroses. This omission was all the greater as I was acquainted with Freud’s work. Already in 1893 I had read the paper he wrote, along with Breuer, concerning the psychic mechanism of hysterical symptoms, and, later, another independent paper in which he discusses infantile sexual dreams as the causes or starting-points for the psycho-neuroses. To-day, when I have convinced myself in so many cases of the correctness of Freud’s theories, I may well ask myself why did I reject them so rashly at that time, why did they from the first seem to me improbable and artificial, and particularly, why did the assumption of a purely sexual pathogenesis of the neuroses rouse such a strong aversion in me that I did not even honour it with a closer scrutiny? In excuse I must at any rate mention that by far the greater number of men of my profession, amongst them men of the eminence of Kraepelin and Aschaffenburg, take up a similar standpoint even to-day in opposition to Freud. The few, however, who nevertheless did attempt later to solve the peculiar problems of the neuroses by means of Freud’s laborious methods, became enthusiastic followers of the hitherto quite unnoticed movement.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781855750876

11. Child-Analysis in the Analysis of Adults (1931)

Sandor Ferenczi Karnac Books ePub

I FEEL I ought to say a few words to explain or excuse the fact that I, a stranger, have been chosen to speak at this celebration by a society that includes so many who are worthy—more worthy than myself—to fulfil this honourable task. It cannot be merely the precedence accorded to those twenty-five years during which I have had the privilege of being in close contact with Professor Freud and under his leadership—for there are amongst you some of our colleagues who have been his faithful disciples even longer than I. Let me therefore look for some other reason. Perhaps you wanted to take this opportunity of giving the lie to a certain statement which is widely current and much favoured by the uninitiated and the opponents of psycho-analysis. Over and over again one hears irresponsible remarks about the intolerance, the ‘orthodoxy’ of our master. It is said that he will not suffer his associates to criticize any of his theories, and that he drives all independent talent out of his circle in order tyrannically to impose his own will in matters scientific. People talk of his ‘01d Testament’ severity, and even account for it on racial grounds. Now it is a sad truth that in the course of time certain men of conspicuous talent and many lesser lights have turned their backs on Freud after following him for a longer or shorter period. Were they in leaving him really actuated by purely scientific motives? It seems to me that their sterility in scientific work since then does not testify in their favour.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781855750876

22. Psycho-Analysis and Education (1908)

Sandor Ferenczi Karnac Books ePub

[A Hungarian version of this paper was printed first in Gyogydszat (a Hungarian medical weekly journal) in 1908, and subsequently included in UUktlemiis (a collection of Ferenczi’s early psycho-analytical papers, printed in book form) in 1909. This version differs considerably from the German version found in manuscript among Fcrenczi’s papers after his death: (a) The social consequences of repression are described more in detail, (b) The second half of the paper is a completely new version. The most likely explanation is that the manuscript version is the original paper as read at the Congress; when translating it into Hungarian Ferenczi included in it some ‘second thoughts’. These two differing parts are printed here as Appendices. In the text of the original it is indicated where they should be inserted.—Editor]

A CLOSE study of Freud’s work together with psycho-analyses conducted by ourselves, teaches us that faulty education is not only the source of faulty character development, but is also the source of serious illnesses; moreover, we find that present-day education is literally a forcing house for various neuroses.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781855750869

70. An Anal-erotic Proverb. [1915]]

Ferenczi, Sandor Karnac Books ePub
Medium 9781855750876

18. On Epileptic Fits. Observations and Reflections (c. 1921)

Sandor Ferenczi Karnac Books ePub

As registrar in a hospital for incurables, the Budapest Salpe-tricre, I had in my time to observe hundreds of epileptic fits. This turned out to have been a useful experience during the war years, when I became medical superintendent of a department of a military hospital, where one of my duties was the ‘verification’ of such fits. I do not propose here to go into the difficult and sometimes insoluble problems presented by individual cases in which we were called on to decide whether we were confronted with malingering, hysteria, or true, ‘genuine’ epilepsy, but shall confine myself to a few observations and reflections on those cases in which the typical picture of true epilepsy was presented without any doubt—that is to say, dilated, reactionless pupils, tonic-clonic spasms, complete extinction of sensibility, including corneal sensibility, biting of the tongue, noisy, laborious breathing, foaming at the mouth, ejection of the contents of the bowels, and post-epileptic coma. The impression made on the psycho-analyst by these fits is of a regression to an extremely primitive level of organization in which all inner excitations are discharged by the shortest motor path and all susceptibility to external stimuli is lost. In observing such cases I was continually reminded of the first attempt2 made by me long ago to classify epilepsy among the psycho-neuroses. I then suggested that an epileptic fit signified a regression to an extremely primitive level of infantile ego-organization in which wishes were still expressed by uncoordinatcd movements. It will be remembered that this suggestion was subsequently taken up by the American psychoanalyst McGuidy, who modified it by showing that the epileptic’s regression went back even further, to the intra-utcrinc situation, that of the unborn child in the womb. A similar opinion was expressed by my colleague Hollos, who in a paper read to the Hungarian branch of the International Psycho-Analytical Association compared the mental state of an epileptic during a fit to the unconsciousness of an unborn child.

See All Chapters

See All Slices