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Schröter, M. (2004). The early history of lay analysis, especially in Vienna Berlin and London: Aspects of an unfolding controversy (1906-24),. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 85(1):159-177.

(2004). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 85(1):159-177

The early history of lay analysis, especially in Vienna Berlin and London: Aspects of an unfolding controversy (1906-24),

Michael Schröter

Before the First World War, it had been taken for granted that psychoanalysis was carried out by doctors. The IPA, however, also included non-physicians. This corresponded to Freud's view that psychoanalysiswas a basic science (psychology of the unconscious) with manifold fields of application in medicine as well as in the humanities. It was for the latter application that Freud specifically recruited a number of researchers, e.g. Rank. After 1918, helped by a general boom in psychotherapy, these people too began to work as therapists This led to a debate about lay analysis within the ‘Secret Committee’ that has so far received little attention and is one focus of this paper. Abraham had only allowed doctors to become members of his group. Similarly the Berlin Policlinic was established as a place for the postgraduate training of doctors. On the other hand, Freud (together with Rank) continued to maintain his broader view of psychoanalysis In 1920/21, he already wished that analysts would not become a subgroup within the medical profession, but a profession of their own, defined by their special training. The big problem of the late 1920s, that different attitudes to the lay question threatened the autonomy of local or national groups and the integration of the IPA, also became visible at that early time in a conflict between London (Jones) and Vienna/Berlin.

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