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Meyers, H.C. Hoffer, A. (1994). The Development of Psychoanalysis by Sándor Ferenczi and Otto Rank (1924). J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 42:851-862.

(1994). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 42:851-862

The Development of Psychoanalysis by Sándor Ferenczi and Otto Rank (1924)

Helen C. Meyers, M.D. and Axel Hoffer, M.D.

IN HER INTRODUCTION, Helen Meyers tied together recent political developments allowing the resurgence of psychoanalytic interest in the Eastern European countries and a very evident revived interest in Ferenczi's work. Citing current symposia on Hungarian-American psychoanalytic dialogue, she also noted Grubrich-Simitis's publication of six letters between Freud and Ferenczi (1980), (1986), Dupont's publication of Ferenczi's Clinical Diary of 1932, and the imminent publication in English of the first of the three-volume Freud-Ferenczi Correspondence. The writings of John Gedo here, of Bela Gruenberger in Paris, and André Haynal in Geneva, showed that Ferenczi had not been forgotten altogether.

Meyers then considered the monograph in terms of three areas: technique, theory, and personal. Both Ferenczi and Rank were proponents of an "active technique" of prohibitions and directives designed to focus the "unwinding libido" onto the analyst. They viewed this technique as being in accordance with Freud's proposals of directing the phobic to enter the phobic situation and of his setting a termination date with the Wolf Man.

Meyers noted the echoes of Ferenczi's therapeutic stance in Alexander's "corrective emotional experience," Kohut's "transmuting internalization," and in Winnicott's and Modell's "holding environment." Ferenczi's arguments for flexibility in technique and for analysis as a process where theory and technique reciprocally inform each other have a contemporary ring. They are in line, for example, with Roy Schafer, who sees analysis as a process where two people create better and better narratives about one of the participants.


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