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Starovoytov V.V. Kilborne B. Human Foibles and Psychoanalytic Technique: Freud, Ferenczi, and Gizella Palos (Translated by V. Starovoytova)

Published in journal "Psychology and Psychotechnics", 2016-8 in rubric "Continent of the unconscious", pages 664-680.

Resume: This paper explores relations between human conundrums and psychoanalytic technique and theory through the relationship between Freud and Ferenczi. Rather than vilify (or lionize) either figure, Starovoytov seeks to see into their struggles and conflicts, and to draw from correspondence and writings a portrait of a relationship. The author describes not two dusty figures drawn from the closet of history but rather two live, flawed, and struggling human beings whose rational ideas about what they were doing could never keep step with their emotions. There is therefore much to be learned from their relationship: about transference and countertransference, about boundaries and friendship, about rivalry and despair, and about shame. The main method used by the author of the article is the thorough investigation of some excerpts from their correspondence and writings, and also the critical examination of several works of modern foreign authors, who study relations of Freud and Ferenczi. As a result of his investigation the author comes to the conclusion that Ferenczi’s concepts of active technique and of mutual analysis may themselves be seen at least in part a reaction to his shame and humiliation at the hands of Freud. The author hopes that today we can learn more from the Freud-Ferenczi relationship, and from the theories that grew out of it.

Keywords: relationship, Ferenczi, Freud, trauma, idealization, shame, psychoanalytic history, human foibles, psychoanalytic technique, humiliation

DOI: 10.7256/2070-8955.2016.8.20895

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