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Silverman, M.A. (1985). A Secret Symmetry. Sabina Spielrein Between Jung And Freud. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 33S(Supplement):205-209.

(1985). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 33S(Supplement):205-209

A Secret Symmetry. Sabina Spielrein Between Jung And Freud

Review by:
Martin A. Silverman, M.D.

By Aldo Carotenuto. New York: Pantheon, 1982, xix + 250 pp., $16.95.

We stand upon the shoulders of those who have preceded us. Psychoanalysts owe a special debt to the early pioneers who braved the swirling waters and shifting quicksands of the human psyche to map out islands of safety for us to employ in our present-day investigations. The turn-of-the-century picture that emerges from this book is of courageous (and at times foolhardy) men and women whose emotional strength and moral fiber were severely tested by what they unleashed as they plumbed their own and their patients' psychic depths.

The early analysts had only the flickering torches of Freud's initial clinical observations and theoretical constructions to light their way as they conducted their enthusiastic explorations. They were protected from the storms their researches activated within them by self-analyses that were all too brief and much too superficial to provide them with more than an illusion of control over their own human conflicts. As in other fields in which investigators handle dangerous substances, some fell ill themselves and some perished.


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