In the half-century since his death, the Hungarian analyst Sándor Ferenczi has amassed an influential following within the psychoanalytic community. During his lifetime Ferenczi, a respected associate and intimate of Freud, unleashed widely disputed ideas that influenced greatly the evolution of modern psychoanalytic technique and practice. In a sequence of short, condensed entries, Sándor Ferenczi’s Diary records self-critical reflections on conventional theory—as well as criticisms of Ferenczi’s own experiments with technique—and his obstinate struggle to divest himself and psychoanalysis of professional hypocrisy. From these pages emerges a hitherto unheard voice, speaking to his heirs with startling candor and forceful originality—a voice that still resonates in the continuing debates over the nature of the relationship in psychoanalytic practice.
Compelling… Ferenczi was an innovator, an experimenter, someone who was always trying new approaches to the treatment of mental illness, even when his unorthodox techniques placed him in opposition to his analyst and mentor, Sigmund Freud.
Allows the public interested in such matters to assess, far better than before, the range of [Ferenczi’s] professional gifts and the depth of his psychological vulnerability… A welcome addition to the growing number of significant texts illuminating the history of psychoanalysis.
The Diary is the work of a sane mind in full possession of its powers and gives us insight into the day-to-day thoughts of a practitioner whose status as a creative innovator is probably unsurpassed since Freud. It is a very moving book. One is continually amazed by the courage of the man.
Freud criticised his one-time favourite son for advocating the ‘kissing technique’; Ferenczi believed that ‘only sympathy heals’. This is the 1932 record of his analyses. His work was faltering, doubting, and quite possibly, healing.
- 256 pages
- 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
- Harvard University Press
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