The Legacy of Sándor Ferenczi

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Lewis Aron, Adrienne Harris
Analytic Press, 1993 - Psychology - 294 pages

A giant in the history of psychoanalysis, Sandor Ferenczi developed ideas about the analytic situation and the patient-analyst relationship that anticipate key insights of contemporary psychoanalytic thought.  Yet, only in recent years has Ferenczi begun to receive the recognition he deserves. In The Legacy of Sandor Ferenczi, editors Lewis Aron and Adrienne Harris have brought together leading Ferenczi scholars from around the world to specify Ferenczi's place in psychoanalytic history and to reevaluate his contributions in the light of current theory and practice.

The volume begins with a scholarly introduction by Aron and Harris, who argue that Ferenczi's life work is foundational to what has become contemporary relational psychoanalysis.  Their historical overview sets the stage for original contributions that are organized into three sections.  In "Constructing and Reconstructing the Historical Record," contributors examine Ferenczi's work in historical context, relate his ideas to his intimate dialogue with Freud, and explore the life of one of Ferenczi's most important patients, "RN," with whom he collaborated in his technical experiments with mutual analysis.  In "Bridges, Emigres and Inheritors," contributors assess Ferenczi's impact on subsequent generations of analysts.  His influence on British object relations theory and American interpersonal psychoanalysis is clarifed through chapters on his personal and professional impact on Michael Balint, Erich Fromm, and Clara Thompson.  In the final section, "Clinical Implications," and in the "Postscript," contributors consider the diverse ways in which Ferenczi's clinical work continues to inspire and guide analysts in our own time. Individual chapters focus on his ideas on telepathy and parapsychology, his clinical experiments with mutual analysis between analysand and analyst, his understanding of intimacy in the analytic relationship, and his ideas on therapeutic regression.

A richly engrossing contribution to the history of psychoanalysis, The Legacy of Sandor Ferencziis an essential text for locating the roots of contemporary approaches to psychoanalytic treatment.  It will be turned to repeatedly by all who wish to learn about this most brilliant of Freud's early followers, a theorist and clinician who grappled courageously and imaginatively with the very challenges that animate psychoanalysis in the present.  

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Discovery and Rediscovery
Constructing and Reconstructing the Historical Record
Ferenczi and the Origins of Psychoanalytic Technique

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About the author (1993)

Lewis Aron, Ph.D., ABPP, is Director, New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis; President, Division of Psychologists-Psychoanalysts of the New York State Psychological Association (NYSPA); Editorial Board, Studies in Gender and Sexuality; and Series Co-editor, Relational Psychoanalysis Book Series.

Adrienne Harris, Ph.D., is Clinical Associate Professor, New York University Postdoc-toral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, and Associate Editor, Psychoanalytic Dialogues.  She is the author of Gender as Soft Assembly (TAP, 2005).

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