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Fordham, M. (1988). Michael Fordham in discussion with Karl Figlio. Free Associations, 1(12):7-38.

(1988). Free Associations, 1(12):7-38

Michael Fordham in discussion with Karl Figlio

Michael Fordham

Karl Figlio (KF): I think what I'd like to do, if it's okay with you, is to let you talk about the early days — how you yourself became involved in analysis, if I can just leave that baldly; also how the Society of Analytical Psychology (SAP) comes into it, but more hearing your personal …

Michael Fordham (MF): Well, yes, I could do that. It's a bit difficult to know where to begin. I never really wanted to be a doctor, that's where it began. When I went up to Cambridge I studied natural science — that's physiology, comparative anatomy and zoology — and duly got a degree. Then I took the Natural Sciences Tripos Part Two in physiology and I began to be interested in neurology. Adrian, my tutor, was influential in this, and I began to be interested in the application of science to medicine. When I went up to Bart's [St Bartholomew's Hospital, London] I worked in a neurological unit organized by Dr Hinds Howell.

KF: What year did you go to Bart's?

MF: Oh, I never can remember. I think it was 1923-1927, no, I think it was 1927-30 and then I had a good chance of becoming a neurologist on the staff. There was an opening for a neurologist at Bart's and there was quite a chance that I could get it if I did the right things. But I got married when I was a student, and I just hadn't got enough money to keep the family going and do the necessary house jobs at the National Hospital. So rather in despair I applied for a post at Long Grove mental hospital at Epsom, and that was awful, but that was the first place that I thought Jung had anything worth saying. I also had a friend, Alan Maberly, who was interested in him.

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