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Ferenczi, S. (1949). Confusion of the Tongues Between the Adults and the Child—(The Language of Tenderness and of Passion). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 30:225-230.

(1949). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 30:225-230

Confusion of the Tongues Between the Adults and the Child—(The Language of Tenderness and of Passion)

Sándor Ferenczi

It was a mistake to try to confine the all too wide theme of the exogenous origin of character formations and neuroses within a Congress paper. I shall, therefore, content myself with a short extract from what I would have had to say on that subject. Perhaps it will be best if I start by telling you how I have come to the problem expressed in the title of this paper. In the address given to the Viennese Psycho-Analytic Society on the occasion of Professor Freud's seventy-fifth birthday, I reported on a regression in technique (and partly also in the theory) of the neuroses to which I was forced by certain bad or incomplete results with my patients. By that I mean the recent, more emphatic stress on the traumatic factors in the pathogenesis of the neuroses which had been unjustly neglected in recent years. Insufficiently deep exploration of the exogenous factor leads to the danger of resorting prematurely to explanations—often too facile explanations—in terms of 'disposition' and 'constitution'.

The—I should like to say imposing—phenomena, the almost hallucinatory repetitions of traumatic experiences which began to accumulate in my daily practice, seemed to justify the hope that by this abreaction large quantities of repressed affects might obtain acceptance by the conscious mind and that the formation of new symptoms, especially when the superstructure of the affects had been sufficiently loosened by the analytic work, might be ended. This hope,

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