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Lothane, Z. (2010). Sándor Ferenczi, the Dramatologist of Love. Psychoanal. Perspect., 7(1):165-182.

(2010). Psychoanalytic Perspectives, 7(1):165-182

Sándor Ferenczi, the Dramatologist of Love

Zvi Lothane, M.D.

Sándor ferenczi, one of the most gifted and most maligned of Freud's students, was a prominent pioneer of interpersonal psychoanalysis. He understood that so-called symptoms are acts of communication between a sender and a receiver, and in 1912 he described symptoms as products of interaction between the analysand and analyst. By extrapolation, all symptoms are disturbed communications—fluid processes in time, not static diagnoses set in stone. Ferenczi also understood that symptoms are communications of love, given and returned.

For decades, psychoanalysts utilized the narrative as the model of the patient's life story as told to the analyst. It was Freud, as taught by Josef Breuer, who revolutionized medicine by introducing the narrative as essential for evaluation of the patient's disorder: “It still strikes me myself as strange,” writes Freud, “that the case histories I write should read like short stories (Novellen) and that, as one might say, they lack the serious stamp of science. I must console myself with the reflection that the nature of the subject is evidently responsible for this rather than any preference of my own” (Breuer & Freud, 1895, p. 160).

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