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Lum, W.B. (1990). The Clinical Diary of Sandor Ferenczi edited by Judith Dupont translated by Michael Balint and Nicola Zarday Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1988, xxvii + 227 pp., $29.95. Psa. Books, 1(4):434-446.

(1990). Psychoanalytic Books, 1(4):434-446

The Clinical Diary of Sandor Ferenczi edited by Judith Dupont translated by Michael Balint and Nicola Zarday Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1988, xxvii + 227 pp., $29.95

Review by:
William Boyce Lum, Psy.D.

Sandor Ferenczi's clinical diary is unique in the history of psychoanalytic theory and technique. During his long career, Ferenczi's contributions to psychoanalysis were second only to Freud's. He influenced a generation of the important early analysts. Many of them, including Alexander, Balint, Jones, Klein, Lorand, Rado, Róheim, and Thompson, were in analysis with him. Of all the early psychoanalytic pioneers, he enjoyed the most intimate relationship with Freud. The exchange of professional ideas between the two men was so extensive that the origin of many of their ideas was lost. Shortly before Ferenczi's death in 1933, Freud described their long relationship as an intimate sharing of life, spirit, and interests.

For eight months in 1932, Ferenczi kept a clinical diary in which he recorded his lonely struggles with a complex variety of issues that only recently have become central to analytic understanding. He came to believe that psychopathology was the result of external, adverse, and frequently traumatic conditions of childhood rather than the child's intrapsychic conflicts and constitutional disposition. As he struggled to obtain therapeutic results with difficult patients, Ferenczi detailed his clinical insights into such problems as the effect of the analyst's abstinence versus gratification.

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