Saturday, February 6, 2010

Aimless Reading: The F's, Part 25.6 (Sigmund Freud)

Freud, Sigmund
The History of the
Psychoanalytic Movement

Purchased somewhere, probably Rust Belt Books, for $2.50.

I was flipping through a few old notebooks this morning, trying to find anything I might have written in the summer of 1999 with regard to my reading of Freud. Nothing concrete or specific, though I had at that time apparently begun what would become two years of therapy. I made a few notes about that, but nothing regarding Freud.

I recently watched a season of the HBO series In Treatment. The character played by Blair Underwood, a navy pilot with a chip on his shoulder, reminded me a lot of myself in therapy -- each episode he'd make a really aggressive attempt assert his control over the therapy session. I think I spent the first six months doing the same thing.

I have a memory of using my reading of Freud to test my therapist and to build up my defenses against her. I would ask her all kinds of questions about her opinion of Freud, of psychoanalysis in general, whether she preferred Freud or Jung, etc. I read about ten books by Jung and another ten by Freud. Of course, my therapist was a cognitive-behaviorist whose interest in both schools of analysis went only as so far as some of their techniques proved useful in treatment.

I always seemed to be trying to tell her that if she wanted to get through to me, she was going to have to fight to prove that a) she really wanted to get through and b) she was stronger than me and could hold the fort once we got there. I am not sure we ever did, but I did find it helpful in a lot of small ways.

from The History of the Psychoanalytic Movement

When one thinks of the disagreements between the individual private and public expressions of Jung's utterances one is obliged to ask to what extent this is due to his own lack of clearness and lack of sincerity. Yet, it must be admitted that the representatives of the new theory find themselves in a difficult position. They are now disputing things which they themselves formerly defended and what is more, this dispute is not based on new observations which might have taught them something fresh, but rather on a different interpretation which causes them to see things in a different light from that in which they saw them before. It is for this reason that they will not give up their connection with psychoanalysis as the representatives of which they first became known in the world. They prefer to proclaim that psychoanalysis has changed. At the Congress of Münich I was obliged to clear up this confusion and did so by declaring that I could not recognize the innovation of the Swiss School as a legitimate continuation and further development of the Psychoanalysis which had originated with me. Outside critics (like Furtmüller) had already recognized this state of affairs and Abraham says, quite rightly, that Jung is in full retreat away from psychoanalysis. I am naturally entirely willing to admit that any one has the right to think and to write what he wishes, but he has not the right to make it out to be something different from what it really is.

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