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(1952). Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic. XV, 1951: Freud's Dream Interpretation in the Light of His Letters to Fliess. Edith Buxbaum. Pp. 197–212.. Psychoanal Q., 21:442-443.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic. XV, 1951: Freud's Dream Interpretation in the Light of His Letters to Fliess. Edith Buxbaum. Pp. 197–212.

(1952). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 21:442-443

Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic. XV, 1951: Freud's Dream Interpretation in the Light of His Letters to Fliess. Edith Buxbaum. Pp. 197–212.

In this paper Buxbaum attempts to reconstruct the course of Freud's self-analysis. As the main source of clinical material, the author uses Freud's letters to Fliess written between the years 1887 and 1902. In addition, she carefully pieces together data from The Interpretation of Dreams and The Psychopathology of Everyday Life, as well as some historical findings of Ernst Kris and Siegfried Bernfeld. In a very systematic and disciplined manner Buxbaum connects the clinical material that Freud published in disguised form with the historical data obtained from his letters to Fliess. She is able to demonstrate that Fliess was the important transference object in Freud's transference neurosis during his self-analysis. The friendly relationship was eventually broken off, apparently because of Freud's inability to completely analyze his homosexual transference. Nevertheless, Freud was able to analyze his railroad phobia and other anxieties in this setting. By verifying the findings from his own analysis with those from his patients, Freud discovered during this period such fundamental concepts of psychoanalysis as the Oedipus complex, the anal phase of development, bisexuality, the importance of resistance in analysis, the infantile neurosis and problems of character formation.

Buxbaum works with this material in a true psychoanalytic fashion. Unfortunately,

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her emphasis is preponderantly upon the adverse effects of Freud's neurosis upon his work. It would seem to me her paper would be more complete if it also demonstrated how neurotic conflicts led to creative work.

One comment about the limitations of self-analysis in Buxbaum's paper is worth repeating: 'Do you know what is wrong with self-analysis? It's the countertransference.'

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Article Citation

(1952). Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic. XV, 1951. Psychoanal. Q., 21:442-443

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