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Friedman, J.A. (1995). Ferenczi’s Clinical Diary: On Loving And Hating. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 76:957-975.

(1995). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 76:957-975

Ferenczi’s Clinical Diary: On Loving And Hating

John A. Friedman

The author considers that Ferenczi’s work has had a significant influence both on theorising and on the clinical practice of psychoanalysis. His ‘Diary’, written with such personal candour and presented with such consistency of reflective orientation, reveals many of the assumptions that found Ferenczi’s work and thought. One enormously significant aspect of Ferenczi’s work concerns his rendering of hatred and hate-reactions as ‘insane’ and ‘unreal’. This understanding is based on a view of the infant/child as originally non-instinctually-driven, as gentle, tender and, in a definite sense, wise/omniscient. Love between individuals would be the only emotional tie proper to this natural arrangement. Given such a rendering, the interpretation of the significance of the patient’s own hate/hatred in the treatment setting is inevitably and necessarily foreclosed. In place of this, the analyst’s/Ferenczi’s own hatred is revealed in ‘mutual analysis’ in the hope that through this ‘confession’ the analyst’s emotional failings and limitations may be ‘forgiven’. It is argued that this foreclosure of the interpretation and handling of hate in the treatment only increases its persecutory aspect. It is further argued that ‘love-offerings’ within or even outside of treatment, in any form, are never an adequate response to persecutory hate, and this for precise reasons.

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