Sigmund Freud - Sandor Ferenczi

Sandor Ferenczi

Sandor FerencziHungarian Sandor Ferenczi (1873-1933) had a complex psychoanalytical career, with the image of a man shining and sensitive who did not scorn to venture on unexplored paths. Graduate of medicine in Vienna, he became neurologist before obtaining the title of psychiatrist at the royal court. Established in Budapest, he met Freud via a colleague, in 1908. Within the group of the pioneers, Ferenczi was that to whom the most difficult cases were addressed. His great sensitivity, his clinical intuition and spirit of adventure predisposed him to assume this difficult role.

His work near these patients of large state-limits and pre-psychotics, in addition to his personal characteristics, supported at Ferenczi the development of an original work, centered on the technique and all the clinical problems raised by these cases, almost on the limits of the analyzable. His innovative spirit and his interest for the dared theorizations led it to develop, in collaboration with Rank, then with the complicity of Groddeck, a technique known as active, which could go until a physical demonstrations of affection or even to a kind of reciprocal analysis, where patient and analyst interchange their roles.

The work of Ferenczi, which consists especially of multiple courts texts, has known for a few years a certain vogue near the French analysts, who discover tracks there to work out solutions with the problems that we meet with patients which, according to several, weigh down themselves.

His text on The Confusion of the Languages between Adults and Children (the language of passion versus that of tenderness) is probably the most frequently quoted. It is remarkable that, if we simplify, for Ferenczi, the child is more or less pure and innocent, point of view often opposed to the vision of other analysts (one may thinks of Melanie Klein) who allots to the child both good and evil feelings.

Ferenczi which was probably the closest of the collaborators of Freud, especially after the death of Karl Abraham, fell in disgrace as well because of his adventure on the side of the active techniques, as of his attitude judged infantile, that of continuously requiring of Freud to reassure him on his affection, attitude exacerbated by the tensions caused by the theoretical divergences.

Copyright René DesGroseillers

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