Desktop version

Home arrow Psychology

  • Increase font
  • Decrease font

<<   CONTENTS   >>

Finished but not terminated?

On October 24, Freud answers Ferenczi’s letter without delay. He is brief: “When I said the treatment was at an end, I did not mean it was terminated.” The treatment ended when Ferenczi’s leave was over and he had to return to his duties as military physician. Freud does not foresee continuing tire analysis, and he justifies his decision hi no uncertain terms: “[...] it is at an end because it cannot be continued for at least six months and would thus place itself in the service of avoiding the neurotic intention.” Ferencziunderstands quickly that there is not going to be a fourth segment of analysis. He has no choice. He must decide on his own about marriage. Freud also reminds him that his bank has not yet received the payment for the analysis (1245 crowns). Rigorously, Freud is carefill not to engage in more free association that would lead to endless speculation. But by placing his focus on Ferenczi’s neurotic relation to women, isn’t he ignoring the transferential complaint that concerns him?

Ferenczi’s ambivalence is clear on October 30, when he describes his growing discomfort, while defending the position he has taken:

The affects unleashed by the treatment have been undulating up and down in me. Whether I want to or not, I must admit you are right about tire interpretation. -Gizella’s refusal promptly rekindled all symptoms - but [the prospect of] more pleasant hours w'as able to banish them and make me happy with life and more or less capable of w'ork.

On November 13, Ferenczi’s state has worsened:

To tell you the most onerous things right away - [I am going] through tormenting times. Initially only psychically - but for some time the effects have again found their way to corporeality. (Accentuation of the Basedow' symptoms. Breathing disturbances one or two times).

These are the same symptoms he described at the end of 1912, in his letter requesting analysis. He tries to explain his harshness with Gizella: “I recognize in [my angry outbreaks] (at the time suppressed) outbreaks of rage against my mother, w'hom I loved in vain.” And he adds, somewhat ironically: “Frau G.’s refusal is thus at least good to the extent that my analysis can be deepened by it.” In addition, the “incapacity for work” is complete, “except for the analysis in practice, in which I can demonstrate the most beautiful successes.” While commenting on a dream, Ferenczi insists: “Frau G. is now repeating the bad treatment I received from Mother. At the time I said to myself, proudly - and defiantly: ‘It doesn’t hurt [...]’ w'hen my mother hit me.” When Freud plays the role of the father, does he guess that in the transference he is also, in part, this violent mother?

Speaking as Ferenczi’s analyst and faithfill friend, Freud sends an answer on November 16. He confirms his position:

You know' that I consider your attempt at analysis finished - finished, not terminated, but rather broken off because of unfavourable circumstances. If you were still able to make your decision dependent on the continuation of the analysis, then you w'ould have forced it into the service of delay, which shouldn’t be.

And Freud ventrues to confess: “With that I think I have regained my freedom to tell you what you would have been able to hear earlier if you had not come into analysis, namely, that I have no [good] opinion of the whole matter [...]” A feeling he had before the analysis is now confirmed. He goes on to speak of the somatisation: “Now, since you react to Frau G.’s refusal with a renewal of your being sick, I am all the more sure that the matter has long since been exhausted and cannot be redressed.” Finally, Freud feels he must specify that he never intervened in reality: “Naturally, I have never done the slightest thing to influence her, I have only foreseen that she would act that way.” Did Freud know that after being badly treated for so long Gizella would refuse the marriage proposal, just as Ferenczi knew from the start that Freud did not want to be his analyst? We can imagine how shocked he is by this new position taken by Freud, who after encouraging him for so long to marry Gizella, suddenly amrounces that the prospect is definitely lost. Two days later, Ferenczi sends a breathless six-page letter taken up five times in four days.

<<   CONTENTS   >>

Related topics