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Friedlander, K. (1947). 'Telepathy and Problems of Psycho-Analysis.': Jule Eisenbud, M.D. (New York).. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 28:45-46.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: 'Telepathy and Problems of Psycho-Analysis.': Jule Eisenbud, M.D. (New York).

(1947). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 28:45-46

'Telepathy and Problems of Psycho-Analysis.': Jule Eisenbud, M.D. (New York).

Kate Friedlander

Psychoanalytic Quarterly, Vol. XV, 1946, No. I.

The author in his very lucid paper on telepathic phenomena occurring during analysis draws first of all attention to the paucity of psycho-analytic contributions to this and allied fields in contrast to the very extensive scientific literature developing in other quarters. He quotes extensively Freud's important contributions to the subject and his hypothesis that telepathy is an activity of the unconscious mind; although similar observations have been made by other authors, the hypothesis was neither advanced nor attacked. The author believes that this attitude of apathy and disinterest in the subject of telepathy exemplifies a strong resistance against the acceptance of these phenomena due to repression of one's own infantile narcissistic inclinations towards magic and the omnipotence of thought, and he gives as illustration two examples from his analytical experience which as he states can only be fully explained by the hypothesis of the existence of telepathic phenomena. An experiment which he undertook in order to find objective proof for the existence of telepathy failed as such, but revealed the complicated nature of telepathic processes involving not only the two persons used for the experiment but other patients and the two experimenters as well. The author maintains that the phenomena of telepathy are such that analysts would be in a particularly advantageous position to study such functions by virtue of their methodology.

The author maintains that 'the telepathic episode is a function not only of the repression of emotionally charged material by the patient, but of the repression of similar or related emotionally charged material by the analyst as well'. He draws attention to the fact that Hollòs and Servadio have arrived at this same discovery independently, and gives a very clear example from his own analytical material to elucidate this point. He furthermore explains the phenomenon of 'cross-association' during the analytic hour describing with the aid of examples the simultaneity of the patient's association with the analyst's thoughts. There is also a flow from the patient to the analyst. The outstanding characteristic of practically all telepathic occurrences as seen in analysis is the involvement of the analyst himself to the extent that his repressed affect-laden material relates itself dynamically to the repressed material of the patient, and functions in relationship to the other in such a way as to reduce anxiety in one or both. Telepathic phenomena may involve two or more patients and on closer analysis there does not seem to be any exception to the rule that the analyst is always included in these phenomena. It is clearly shown with the aid of examples that telepathy is not merely extra-sensory perception but is part of the total behaviour of the individual.

The promise of the use of telepathic phenomena in the analytic process lies in the deepening of the background of our interpretations, in the greater measure of control of the transference-counter-transference relationship, its limitation in the realization of the widening of the background from which the 'day's residue' in dreams can be derived. The author maintains that there are many instances where the use of the telepathic hypothesis brings to light material that would appear not to be accessible to analytic approach, especially where patients hold back their deeper attitudes and feelings towards the analyst.

Patients when supplied with telepathically perceived data seem immediately to grasp the core of the situation and exhibit the well-known evidence of a correct and effective interpretation. In the author's experience all patients have the capacity to function telepathically. As far as the analyst is concerned too little free floating anxiety would not favour the emergence of telepathic phenomena, whilst too much anxiety might block his perception.

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The greatest advance in the psycho-analytic study of telepathy was made by Freud's observation that psycho-analysis was capable of unmasking a telepathic event which otherwise could not be recognized as such. The author believes that Freud's ambivalence towards the subject which was understandable at a time when psycho-analysis had to fight for the recognition of the data it had revealed need not deter us from studying these phenomena now. The facts of telepathy do not endanger the accepted body of psycho-analytic findings but augment, extend and validate what we already know. When the data of telepathy are explored psycho-analytically it can be shown that all evidences of divine mercy and love can easily be accounted for on the basis of the unconscious telepathic inter-relationships of mankind.

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Article Citation

Friedlander, K. (1947). 'Telepathy and Problems of Psycho-Analysis.'. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 28:45-46

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