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Mintz, I.L. (1975). Some Thoughts on the Evolution of Otto Rank's Theory of the Birth Trauma. Int. R. Psycho-Anal., 2:245-246.

(1975). International Review of Psycho-Analysis, 2:245-246

Some Thoughts on the Evolution of Otto Rank's Theory of the Birth Trauma

Ira L. Mintz

Analysts are accustomed to dissecting the multilevelled multidetermined motivations of affect, thinking and behaviour. Theoretical constructions, while attempting to adhere to full objectivity, on occasion cannot escape the intrapsychic determinism of the theorist, and as such, their overdetermined constituents can often be recognized.

In a conversation with Jung and Ferenczi in 1909 (Jones, 1957), Freud commented that his greatest concern was for the future of his children and of psychoanalysis, and his hope that the committee which consisted of Freud, Rank, Abraham, Sachs, Eitingen, Jones and Ferenczi, would help in this endeavour. In 1923, after more than ten years of fruitful, constructive work in relative harmony, the committee began to fall apart. Jones (1957) felt that Rank suffered from intense feelings of sibling rivalry. This disharmony was accelerated by Rank and Ferenczi's sudden publication, in 1924, of their Development of Psychoanalysis without the remainder of the committee knowing about it, and by increasing enmity between Rank (in Vienna) and Jones (in London) about the publishing of the International Psycho-Analytic Journal. Freud, obsessed with the thought that he did not have long to live, eagerly awaited publication of the Journal, and was told by Rank that Jones was responsible for the delay.

The split between Rank and the committee was compounded further by Freud's earlier advice and subsequent sense of guilt revealed in one of his letters in which he questions his wisdom in having advised Rank against studying medicine: as a physician, he might have found it easier to deal with the medically trained analysts.

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