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Edwards, A. (1977). Groddeck, George. The meaning of illness. Selected psychoanalytic writings, including his correspondence with Sigmund Freud. Hogarth Press, London 1977. Pp. 270. £7.50.. J. Anal. Psychol., 22(4):369-371.

(1977). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 22(4):369-371

Groddeck, George. The meaning of illness. Selected psychoanalytic writings, including his correspondence with Sigmund Freud. Hogarth Press, London 1977. Pp. 270. £7.50.

Review by:
A. Edwards

Edited by:
Kenneth Lambert

George Groddeck was a physician who had his own clinic in Baden-Baden where he treated patients with chronic organic illness which had proved resistant to the usual forms of therapy. He combined physical methods, massage and an analytical approach. He searched for the symbolism that might be present in the symptoms, and understood transference and the resistance, and how these focused on the doctor. Freud recognised his brilliance and originality without accepting the theoretical background and the concept of the unconscious that he had developed.

Groddeck was fifty-one when he first wrote to Freud in 1917, and the correspondence published here continued until the year of his death in 1934. He expressed his gratitude to Freud for the insight he had gained from his work, and his own conviction that ‘the distinction between body and mind is only verbal and not essential, the body and mind are one unit, and that they contain an It, a force which lives us while we believe that we are living’, and went on to explain, ‘from the first I rejected a separation of bodily and mental illnesses, tried to treat the individual, the It in him, and attempted to find a way into the unexplored and inaccessible regions. I am aware of the fact that I am at least close to the mystical approach, if not actually engaged in it. And yet simple facts force me to continue on this way’ (p. 33).

The

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