103 Chapters
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23. Sensations of Giddiness at the End of the Psycho-Analytic Session [1914]

Ferenczi, Sandor Karnac Books ePub

MANY patients have a sensation of giddiness on rising from the recumbent position at the end of the psycho-analytic session. The explanation—in itself rational—that this is the result of the sudden change of posture (cerebral anaemia) proves on analysis to be a successful rationalization; in reality the sensation on change of posture is only the means of expression of certain feelings and thoughts still under censorship. During the session the patient gave himself up wholly to free association and to its preliminary stipulation, transference to the doctor, and lives in the phantasy that he will always enjoy such well-being. Suddenly this (unconscious) phantasy is destroyed by the doctor’s warning that the session is ended; he suddenly becomes conscious of the actual facts; he is not’ at home’ here, but a patient like any other; it is the paid doctor and not the helpful father that stands before him. This sudden alteration of the psychic setting, the disillusionment (when one feels as’ though fallen from the clouds’) may call up the same subjective feeling as is experienced in sudden and unexpected change of posture when one is unable to adapt oneself suitably by compensating movements and by means of the sense organs —that is to say, to preserve one’s’ equilibrium’ —which is the essence of giddiness. Naturally at the moment of this disillusionment that part of the belief in the analysis that did not as yet rest on honest conviction but only on a filial trust disappears very easily, and the patient is again suddenly more inclined to regard the analytic explanations as a’ swindle’ ,2 which word association may also facilitate the appearance of the symptom. The problem, however, is not solved but merely displaced by this discovery, for the question at once arises of why does one call the deceiver a swindler, that is, take him for a person who knows how to rouse feelings of giddiness in others? Probably just because he is able to waken illusions that at the moment of disillusionment will call up the feeling of giddiness (in the manner just described).

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25. The Compulsion to Symmetrical Touching. [1916/17]

Ferenczi, Sandor Karnac Books ePub

A GREAT number of nervous, but also many otherwise quite normal, people suffer from a superstitious compulsion; if they touch one part of the body by accident or purposely they are compelled to touch also the symmetrically corresponding part in exactly the same way. For instance, if they have reached up to the right ear with the right hand, they must immediately catch hold of the left ear with the left hand in a perfectly identical fashion. Should they omit to do this they feel restless, as is usually the case when an obsessional manifestation is checked.

I only had the opportunity of analysing one such case, a girl, who, besides other neurotic symptoms, suffered also from this peculiarity (of which as a symptom, however, she was not subjectively aware). Direct interrogation of the origin of this symptom brought, as usual, no explanation. The first associating idea led to childish scenes. The very severe nurse, of whom she was much afraid, was very strict that the children when washing themselves should always wash both ears and both hands properly and not content themselves with the cleansing of one half of the body. On this information one would have been inclined to consider the symmetrical’ compulsion to touch’ simply as a sort of’ post-hypnotic command automatism’ that might have been maintained so many years after the admonition was received.

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SYMBOLISM—SHORT PAPERS: The Symbolism of the Bridge. [1921]

Ferenczi, Sandor Karnac Books ePub

IN establishing the symbolic relation of an object or an action to an unconscious phantasy we must first have recourse to conjectures, which necessarily undergo considerable modifications and often complete transformation with wider experience. Indications flooding in on one, as they often do, from the most diverse spheres of knowledge offer important confirmation; so that all branches of individual and group psychology can take their share in the establishment of a special symbolic relation. Dream-interpretation and analysis of neuroses, however, remain, as before, the most trustworthy foundation of every kind of symbolism, because in them we can observe in anima vili the motivation, and further the whole genesis, of mental structures of this kind. A feeling of certainty about a symbolic relation can in my opinion be attained only in psycho-analysis. Symbolic interpretations in other fields of knowledge (mythology, fairy-tales, folk-lore, etc.) always bear the impress of being superficial, two-dimensional: they tend to produce a lurking feeling of incertitude, an idea that the meaning might just as well have been something else, and indeed in these fields there is always a tendency to go on imposing new interpretations on the same content. The absence of a third dimension may well be what distinguishes the unsubstantial allegory from the symbol—a thing of flesh and blood.

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34. The Dream of the Occlusive Pessary. [1915]

Ferenczi, Sandor Karnac Books ePub

A PATIENT recounted the following dream: I stuff an occlusive pessary into my urethra. I am alarmed as I do so lest it might slip into the bladder from which it could only be removed by shedding blood. I try, therefore, to hold it steady in the perineal region from outside and to force it back or to press it outwards along the urethra… . Here it struck him that in a dream fragment preceding this dream the pessary was stuffed into his rectum. Supplement: in the dream I was aware that the elastic thing would spread itself [sic] in the bladder and then it would be impossible to get it out again.

To the patient who is otherwise quite a masculine person, this dream in which he—like a woman—takes precautionary measures against impregnation seemed quite nonsensical, and he also was curious to learn whether this painful dream was a wish-fulfilment.

Asked for the actual conditioning of the dream he at once related:’ I had an assignation yesterday. Naturally it was the female partner and not I who took precautionary measures; she does actually protect herself from consequences by means of an occlusive pessary.’

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19. Discontinuous Analysis. [1914]

Ferenczi, Sandor Karnac Books ePub

FREUD has already pointed out that therapeutic success is often a hindrance to the thoroughness of the analysis; I was able to substantiate this in a number of cases. It may easily happen, if the irksome symptoms of the neurosis disappear during analytic treatment, that the still manifest indications of illness seem less troublesome to the patient than the continuation of the work of the analysis, which is often so hard and so full of renunciations. Should, however, the treatment really become peior morio, the patient hastens (mostly also compelled by material considerations) to break it off and directs his interest to real life which he already finds satisfying. Such half-cured people in any case are usually still attached to their doctor by the bonds of transference; one learns that they talk somewhat exaggeratedly about | the treatment and the person of the doctor, and they give indications, too, from time to time of their continued existence by picture postcards or other little attentions, in contradistinction to those patients who broke off the treatment in the midst of the resistance and wrap themselves in obstinate silence. The really cured, whose transference was dissolved, have no need to bother themselves particularly about their doctor, and do not do so.

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