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Seides, S.W. (1996). The Legacy Of Sìndor Ferenczi. Edited by Lewis Aron and Adrienne Harris. Hillsdale, NJ/London: The Analytic Press, 1993. 294 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 65:423-428.
(1996). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 65:423-428
The Legacy Of Sìndor Ferenczi. Edited by Lewis Aron and Adrienne Harris. Hillsdale, NJ/London: The Analytic Press, 1993. 294 pp.
Review by: S. Warren Seides
Renewal of interest in SÌndor Ferenczi's contributions to psychoanalysis has been occasioned by the translation into English and the ongoing publication of the Freud-Ferenczi letters. As a background for that correspondence, the editors of The Legacy of SÌndor Ferenczi have given us a nicely organized compendium of well-written essays, covering many aspects of Ferenczi's personal and professional life. Their aim is to achieve a more balanced view of the Freud- Ferenczi controversy. They attempt to balance the negative repute into which Ferenczi had fallen for decades among mainstream analysts by emphasizing the positive, salient contributions he made to analysis and refuting the damaging personal aspersions on his character which arose in the midst of his disputes with Freud in the final years of his life.
Ferenczi, who is considered by many to have been the warmest, most sensitively human and imaginative of the early psychoanalytic group surrounding Freud, was at the same time childlike, needy, and dependent on others for love and affection. He met Freud in 1908, and they established a close friendship. Over the years, Ferenczi became a pioneering analyst in his own right, writing important papers on analytic theory and technique. He was a founder of the Budapest Psychoanalytic Society and of The International Psycho -Analytical Association. He became the first professor of psychoanalysis at a university, conducted one of the first training analyses (that of Ernest Jones in 1913), and organized The International Journal of Psycho-Analysis.
Freud analyzed Ferenczi for a total of nine weeks in 1914 and 1916. Although he apparently did not resolve his negative transference or ambivalence toward Freud, Ferenczi continued to want more analysis. Freud turned him down, but Ferenczi attempted to continue the analysis through written correspondence with Freud. His own practice grew, and many of his analysands became influential throughout Europe and the United States, particularly in their focus on interpersonal relationships in analysis, the object relations school of thought, and the experiential use of counter- transference in analytic technique.
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