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Hinshelwood, R.D. (1995). Psychoanalysis In Britain: Points Of Cultural Access, 1893-1918. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 76:135-151.

(1995). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 76:135-151

Psychoanalysis In Britain: Points Of Cultural Access, 1893-1918

R. D. Hinshelwood

An attempt is made here to organise a body of facts available in the published literature concerning who, when and why Freud and his ideas were first noticed during the early years of psychoanalysis. Specific citations and references mentioning Freud reveal a surprisingly wide range of different kinds of cultural interest. In fact, we can identify seven different cultural locations which adopted some element of the ideas of Freud for specific reasons: (i) the interest in the theory of hysteria, from the Society for Psychical Research, commencing in 1893; (ii) the interest in the psychoanalytic theory of sexuality, from Havelock Ellis, from about 1895, in support of radical attitudes towards sexual freedom; (iii) as part of the reaction against the pessimistic attitude to treatment in British psychiatry, from around 1905 onwards; (iv) the endeavour of W. H. R. Rivers and others to create an empirical science of psychology embracing scientific psychoanalysis, around 1910-15; (v) the application of psychoanalysis to the psychological novel by writers and also to understanding the creative process, using Freud's theory of symbols, around 1913; (vi) the attraction of some progressive educationalists to Freud's outline of child development, from 1913; and (vii) the struggle of philosophers, including Bertrand Russell, to comprehend the implications of the psychoanalytic view of the unconscious. It is claimed that the multivalent quality of Freud's ideas contributed to the success of psychoanalysis over the suggestive therapies, and in the conflicts with dissenters within the psychoanalytic movement.

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