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Lothane, H.Z. (2014). On: From Psychical Treatment to Psychoanalysis. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 95(5):1007-1008.

(2014). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 95(5):1007-1008

Letter to the Editor

On: From Psychical Treatment to Psychoanalysis

Henry Zvi Lothane

Dear Editors,

In connection with the paper, From psychical treatment to psychoanalysis (IJP 89:827-43, 2008) by the late eminent Freud scholar Gerhard Fichtner, a friend for many years, I would like to offer another hypothesis for dating the composition of this 1905 essay of Freud. Fichtner corrected James Strachey's mistake in the Standard Edition of dating the publication of the paper in 1890. Using among others the external evidence of the year of Röntgen's discovery of X-rays, mentioned in the book Die Gesundheit in which Freud's essay was published, Fichtner correctly concluded that the publication date was indeed 1905 and not 1890. However, the internal evidence of the paper's content does not warrant the conclusion that: “Psychical treatment, then, must surely have been composed between 1895 and 1897” (Fichtner, 2008, p. 838). There are arguments against the date of 1895-1897 and for an earlier dating:

1.   The argument against Fichtner's dating is that Freud would have had no reason to write about hypnosis and suggestion after his 1895 chapter ‘Psychotherapy of Hysteria’ where he stated: “The problem was, however, how to bypass hypnosis and yet obtain the pathogenic recollection” (Freud, 1895, p. 268), which led him to work with “the chain of associations” (p. 271), which he completed in 1900. Freud further elaborated on his transition from hypnosis to free association in 1905: Breuer's “cathartic method of treatment presupposed that the patient could be hypnotized” (Freud, 1905a, p.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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