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Cremerius, J. (1990). Training Analyis and Power: The Transformation of a Method of Training and Learning into an Instrument of Power in Institutionalized Psychoanalysis. Free Associations, 1U(20):114-138.

(1990). Free Associations, 1U(20):114-138

Training Analyis and Power: The Transformation of a Method of Training and Learning into an Instrument of Power in Institutionalized Psychoanalysis

Johannes Cremerius

When a man is endowed with power, it is hard for him not to misuse it (A. France, cited by Freud, 1937, p. 249)

As Freud explained in 1922, psychoanalysis is best understood when one follows its origins and development (1923, p. 235). Here scepticism is required. How much historical truth does one expect from those who write their own history? Are they not subject to the same mechanisms of repression, wishful thinking and idealization as our patients when they tell the story of their lives? How quickly do they mix up poetry and truth? In the last analysis one sees oneself in a self-portrait as one wants to be seen. Freud began with this kind of tendentious writing. He presented himself to his followers, mythically elevated in an Old Testament fashion, as a lonely figure, a hero persecuted by the whole world. Up to the point when researchers from outside began to write the history of psychoanalysis, the pupils and followers of the master carried on history writing in the same way that Freud had begun. Jones is a striking example here, and the example of Eissler shows that even critical minds have been led down this path. In describing the slowly developing estrangement between Freud and Jung he completely overlooked the meaning of the provocation that lay in the fact that Jung, who was at the time the President of the International Psychoanalytical Association (IPA) was not invited by Freud to the secret committee of the signet-ring bearers.

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