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Harris, A. (2015). “Language is there to Bewilder itself and others”: Theoretical and Clinical Contributions of Sabina Spielrein. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 63(4):727-767.

(2015). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 63(4):727-767

Plenary Address

“Language is there to Bewilder itself and others”: Theoretical and Clinical Contributions of Sabina Spielrein

Adrienne Harris

There are many ways to begin this story. On August 18, 1904, a young Russian woman of nineteen is admitted to the Burghölzli Hospital. She is described as disturbed, hysterical, psychotic, volatile. She is Jung's first patient and her transference to him was almost immediately passionate and highly erotized. After her release from the hospital that relationship is fatally compromised by Jung's erotic involvement with her. Later she is caught up in the conflicts and breakdown of the relationship of Freud and Jung.

We know this version of Sabina Spielrein's entrance into the medical and psychoanalytic worlds of Europe from films and some early biographies, from her letters and diaries written in the period 1906-1907, and even from her psychiatric records (Covington and Wharton 2003, pp. 79-108).

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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