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CHAPTER EIGHT: Ferenczi and trauma: a perilous journey to the labyrinth

Tom Keve Karnac Books ePub

György Hidas

The interpersonal context of trauma, its effects on the psyche, and resolution of its consequences were fundamental problems for Sandor Ferenczi in his psychoanalytical career. The topic of trauma was central in his therapeutic activity, especially in his healing experiments in the last decade of his life. The innovations of his healing work, the method of child analysis with adults, relaxation analysis, and mutual analysis were grouped around the concept of trauma. Considering Ferenczi’s analytical life’s work, a hypothesis offers itself, which is that the trauma concept and the associated neocatharsis were a return of the repressed in his personal world. Taking a look at the personal, the subjective aspect, a touch of “psychologising”, seems to be permissible in this case; making the reservation, however, that the role of this problem in Ferenczi’s world might have been over-determined in several aspects.

Ferenczi was a medical student in Vienna, and graduated there in 1894. In the spring of 1908, soon after he met Freud personally, he delivered a lecture in Budapest with the title “Actual and psycho-neuroses in the light of Freud’s investigations and psychoanalysis”. In this paper, Ferenczi wrote,

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CHAPTER NINE: The Enid files

Tom Keve Karnac Books ePub

Jennifer Johns

My knowledge of Enid Balint and her style is based primarily on the eight years I spent in analysis with her in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Later, I talked with her, of course (but not nearly enough), and read her papers—both the ones she published with Michael Balint and her own published ones—and the book she was beginning to prepare for publication when she died in 1994 (at the age of ninety).

Michael Parsons, in his introduction to Enid’s book, Before I was I, writes about his experience of having been in supervision with Enid. He was advised to go to her by his own analyst, who said, “Supervision with Enid is a rather particular sort of experience.” Writing about the supervision, Michael felt what he especially gained from her was something about how to be with an analytic patient, rather than simply being told how to frame an interpretation or relate what he was observing with theory (though he was told both those things as well). My own experience with her was that of being her patient, and, on reading what Michael had written, I recognised the reciprocal of it: she as my analyst had been with me, and though there were interpretations I remembered as having been incisive and accurate, sometimes rather alarmingly so, it had been the “being with”, that undoubted attention and reliable concern for me, that had helped me shed whatever it was that made me so intolerably tense and unforgiving of myself.

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CHAPTER ONE: From patient to founder of a psychoanalytic school: Ferenczi’s influence on the works of Melanie Klein

Tom Keve Karnac Books ePub

Gábor Flaskay

Nobody within the psychoanalytic community doubts that Melanie Klein was one of the most influential contributors to our discipline after the first great generation of psychoanalysts. Her findings on the early mental development of the child and the derived theoretical conclusions have had a great impact on general psychoanalytical theories and practice.

Life and work of Melanie Klein (1882–1960)

Melanie Klein was born in Vienna in 1882. She married in 1903 and moved to Rózsahegy (Rosenberg, Ruzomberok), a small town in the region of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy with a Hungarian, Slovak, German, and Jewish population. She became acquainted with the languages spoken there. She had an unhappy marriage, with significant periods of separation, and she divorced in 1922.

Klein moved to Budapest in 1910 and enjoyed the intellectual vitality of the “big town”. Sandor Ferenczi saw her for the first time in 1912, in order to treat her depression. Her sporadic visits to Ferenczi’s office were changed to a formal psychoanalytic treatment in 1914; soon after that, Ferenczi was called up to serve in the army, stationed 120 km away from Budapest. He visited Budapest occasionally and continued sporadic analysis with his analysands (including Géza Róheim and Klein). Ferenczi was transferred back to Budapest in 1916.

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CHAPTER THIRTEEN: Close to the body: an analyst’s daily work with cancer patients

Tom Keve Karnac Books ePub

Ágnes Riskó

This chapter is a result of my experiences at the National Institute of Oncology in Budapest. Since 1990, I have worked as a psychoanalyst with an oncohaematology team. I treat in-patients and outpatients suffering from malignant lymphomas with psychoanalytical psychotherapy, and treat some survivors with psychoanalysis.

When I began to work at the oncohaematology department, my medical oncologist colleague, Tamás Fleischmann, noted that oncology is a difficult field for psychologists and psychiatrists. They find working with cancer patients complicated; it is easy to get lost because there are no well-beaten paths of treatment for them to follow. I would like to talk about some of my observations at the oncohaematology department—observations concerning cancer patients undergoing oncological treatment, medical doctors and nurses, and the main psychoanalytical experience gained from our common work.

Entering any oncology department, you can feel that somehow every phenomenon, event, and act is in a very deep connection with the body, with the body-ego, or (after Ferenczi) with the “archaic part” of the personality (Ferenczi, 1955). The cause of these special psychic processes and this atmosphere is the sudden and overwhelming bodily and psychic crisis evoked by learning of the diagnosis of cancer. As Balint wrote (1957), the cancer disease represents the basic fault and the fearful inner “bad”, which attacks and fills the diseased person from the inside with oral aggressiveness. That is the main reason for the patients’ anxiety—especially their growing death-anxiety—and psychic regression, which are independent from their actual knowledge about the chances for recovery.

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CHAPTER FOUR: Ferenczi in context

Tom Keve Karnac Books ePub

Edith Kurzweil

Much has been written about Ferenczi’s and Freud’s relationship, their close personal friendship and theoretical disagreements, but not much attention has been paid to the influence on them of their surrounding milieu, the contradictions within the Kaiserreich, its rampant anti-Semitism and hypocrisy hidden beneath a veneer of politeness and Gemütlichkeit, which they took for granted. Of course, both Freud and Ferenczi were delving into individuals’ psyches to reach their unconscious, but I am wondering to what extent Ferenczi’s subsequent influence, or neglect, by psychoanalysts—on the European continent, in the UK, and the USA—has been due to cultural factors. Therefore, I am using my sociologist’s viewpoint, that is, a so-called “scientific bird’s eye perspective”, that requires a knowledge of psychoanalysis but focuses on the differing cultural circumstances.

So, when asking, for instance, “Why were Ferenczi’s innovative techniques forgotten or even maligned?”, I cannot zero in on the validity or the details of the disagreements between him and Freud, on the rivalry between the disciples for succession, or on unconscious motives for these. Instead, I have to examine the social context within which these questions arose. This is not to say that sociologists know more than psychoanalysts: they are just as tempted to go beyond their professional expertise, as are psychoanalysts.

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