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The first segment of analysis

These three and a half weeks of analysis with two sessions a day are preceded by a parapraxis that Ferenczi announces in an amused tone on September 30, 1914: “[...] missed train [I have] material for two hours that I request tomorrow afternoon.” The analysis starts on October 1,1914, and is interrupted when Ferenczi is drafted as a military physician in the Hungarian Hussards stationed in the town of Papa, where Freud would later visit him. Of course, we know neither the content nor the dynamics of these approximately 50 sessions - of 55 minutes - and can only surmise something about them by reading what the two men discussed afterwards in their correspondence.

In his letter dated October 27, Ferenczi seems considerably perturbed:

I will - I believe - have to conduct our correspondence, at least in part, on an analytical basis; the sudden breaking off of our doctor-patient relationship (you see, I am writing as if in flee association) would otherwise be all too painful for me. In addition, difficult to cany out.

Under the influence of transference, self-analysis takes another form: “It went smoothly; I imagined I was talking to you” - but it does not replace actual analysis: “I know how much I have lost through the interruption of the analysis.” Ferenczi describes his new activities, his moods and his torments, and his “fierce struggle against masturbation.” He then tries to pull himself together: “Now, I promise not to burden you so much with my case from now on. The time will, must, come when I can continue and terminate the treatment!”

On October 30, Freud offers support, in the face of Ferenczi’s distress: “I take it from your letter how lively your infantile consciousness of guilt still is! The sudden interruption of the treatment at a time when it was most interesting and productive was very stupid. But it couldn’t be helped.” He encourages Ferenczi to stop tormenting himself: “I will now give you the prognosis that the self-analysis will very soon fail, and that’s alright, because self-analysis and that done by another can’t complement each other.” Ferenczi complies: “Your opinion was, for me - an order!” On November 30, he comments on another regrettable effect of the short segment of analysis conducted:

The only - and not totally insignificant - disturbance in our relations as a result of the broken-off analysis is manifested in the fact that I have difficulty in finding the tone for our correspondence. I am vacillating between a normal letter and a literary-analytic confession until the resistance which expresses itself in the vacillation prevails and the letter doesn’t get written at all

On December 2, 1914, Freud expresses both regret and renewed reluctance:

Also regret breaking off the promising analysis [...] On the other hand, if war hadn’t come, you wouldn’t have had any reason to spend your vacation in Vienna, and I might have had reservations about taking you on. Still, the situation remains disagreeable.

On December 18, Ferenczi expresses his hope that, if Freud is willing, his analysis might be continued one day: “It is difficult to tell personal things, once one has tasted psychoanalytic completeness [...] But why bring up all these problems. Maybe you will take me into treatment again; until then one has to muddle through as best one can.” On the last day of the year, Ferenczi seems satisfied: “Looking back [on] the personal events of the year gone by, I must single out the few weeks of analysis with you as the most valuable"; but he regr ets the persistence of neurotic traits in himself:

I - despite my years - have still not reached anything definitive, and am still deeply mired in the juvenile - not to mention the infantile. Perhaps the chronic juvenilism keeps one from aging prematurely; certainly it hinders one from fillfilling one’s personal and social task.

The 1915 correspondence between Freud and Ferenczi dwells on concerns related to the war situation, on personal news and on the research work conducted by each of them in this period when the evolution of the analytic movement has been slowed down. Freud expresses his desire to pursue the understanding of narcissistic neuroses, and to explore the question of mourning and melancholia. On April 28, 1915, Ferenczi reveals that he is engaged in a new type of research:

From purely psychological perspectives, I attempted [...] to approach the problem of coitus more closely. It proved to be unavoidably necessary for me also to seek biological support for my hypotheses; for that reason I had to read embryological, zoological, and comparative physiological material.

This work led, eight years later, to the publication of Thalassa: A Theory of Genitality. On December 16, Ferenczi’s letter announces his transfer to Budapest, through the intervention of Anton von Freund, the husband of one of Freud’s patients - someone who was to play an important role in Freud’s life in the near future, hr Iris last letter that year; Ferenczi writes: “I am getting into a section for cases of nervous ilhress due to war. An opportunity to occupy oneself with Traumatic Neuroses. See you soon, I hope.” It is the fir st time that Ferenczi finally thinks he will be able to see Freud again. Tire year 1916 was going to be that of the last two segments of analysis.

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