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Riess, W.F. (2005). Psychoanalysis and (Auto)Biography: Sabina Spielrein, Forgotten Pioneer of Psychoanalysis. Edited by Coline Covington and Barbara Wharton. New York: Brunner-Routledge, 2003, 320 pp., $52.95.. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 53(4):1349-1354.
  

(2005). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 53(4):1349-1354

Psychoanalysis and (Auto)Biography: Sabina Spielrein, Forgotten Pioneer of Psychoanalysis. Edited by Coline Covington and Barbara Wharton. New York: Brunner-Routledge, 2003, 320 pp., $52.95.

Review by:
William F. Riess

The vicissitudes of the relationship between Sabina Spielrein, C. G. Jung, and Sigmund Freud have generated significant interest ever since Aldo Carotenuto's publication in 1980 of Diario di un Segreta Simmetria: Sabina Spielrein tra Jung e Freud and its translation in 1982 as A Secret Symmetry: Sabina Spielrein between Jung and Freud. John Kerr's widely read A Most Dangerous Method. The Story of Jung, Freud and Sabina Spielrein (1993) heightened interest in this aspect of the history of psychoanalysis. Films and plays have capitalized on the universal themes linking that complicated threesome, and a number of psychoanalytic training centers have focused in their programs on the evident ethical and boundary issues between Jung as doctor and Spielrein as his patient.

Less evident and valued have been Spielrein's contributions to the development of the emerging field of psychoanalysis, some thirty-seven papers and notes, many not available in English. Spielrein was given credit by Freud in a footnote to Beyond the Pleasure Principle (1920, p. 1) for anticipating, in her “Destruction as a Cause of Coming into Being(1912), his conceptualization of the death instinct. She had presented the paper to the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society in 1911, a month after becoming its second woman member.

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