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Volume 20


Volume XX: 
An Autobiographical Study, Inhibitions, Symptoms and Anxiety, Lay Analysis and Other Works (1925-1926)

1925D 20/3
An autobiographical study (1925). Editor’s note. (1959).
The English translation of the Autobiographical Study, when it was first published in America in 1927, was included in the same volume as Freud’s discussion of lay analysis. This work is commonly, and quite misleadingly, referred to as Freud’s ‘Autobiography’. The aim of its editors was to present an account of the recent history of medical science from the pens of those who had played a chief part in making it. Freud’s study is essentially an account of his personal share in the development of psychoanalysis. Those who wish for the story of his personal life must be referred to the 3 volumes of Ernest Jones’s biography.

1925D 20/7
An autobiographical study (1925).
Part I. Pre-analytic period.
Freud was born on May 6, 1856, at Freiberg in Moravia, Czechoslovakia. His parents were Jews, and he remained a Jew. He came to Vienna at the ageof4 and went through his education there. Freud went to the University. His turning point came in 1882, when his teacher advised him to abandon his theoretical career. Freud left the physiological laboratory and entered the General Hospital as a Clinical Assistant. He became an active worker in the Institute of Cerebral Anatomy. He began to study nervous diseases. In the spring of 1885, he was appointed Lecturer in Neuropathology on the ground of his histological and clinical publications. He became a student at the Salpetriere. What impressed Freud most of all while he was with Charcot were his latest investigations upon hysteria. He had proved the genuineness of hysterical phenomena and their conformity to laws, the frequent occurrence of hysteria in men, and the production of hysterical paralyses and contractures by hypnotic suggestion. His therapeutic arsenal contained only 2 weapons, electrotherapy and hypnotism. During the period from 1886 to 1891, Freud did little scientific work.

1925D 20/19
An autobiographical study (1925).
Part II. Hypnosis, hysteria, actual neuroses.
Freud used hypnosis for questioning the patient upon the origin of his symptom, which in his waking state he could often describe only very imperfectly or not at all. While Freud was working in Brucke’s laboratory, he made the acquaintance of Dr. Josef Breuer. Breuer told Freud about a case of hysteria which, between 1880 and 1882, he had treated in a manner which enabled him to penetrate into the causation and significance of hysterical symptoms. Breuer spoke of the method as cathartic; its therapeutic aim was explained as being to provide that the quota of affect used for maintaining the symptom, which had got on to the wrong lines and had, as it were, become strangulated there, should be directed on to the normal path along which it could obtain discharge (or abreaction). The stage of development which followed was the transition from catharsis to psychoanalysis proper. Freud regarded the neuroses as being, without exception, disturbances of the sexual function, the so-called actual neuroses being the direct toxic expression of such disturbances, and the psycho-neuroses, their mental expression. Freud altered the technique of catharsis. He abandoned hypnotism and sought to replace it by some other method after grasping the mysterious element that was at work behind hypnotism when a patient, with whom he obtained excellent results, threw her arms around his neck after awaking from a trance. However, he retained the practice of requiring the patient to lie upon a sofa while Freud sat behind him, seeing the patient but not being seen.

1925D 20/29
An autobiographical study (1925).
Part III. Basic theories of psychoanalysis.
When Freud was set free from hypnotism, the work of catharsis took on a new complexion. Everything that had been forgotten had in some way or other been distressing. In order to make it conscious again, it was necessary to make efforts on one’s own part so as to urge and compel him to remember. The expenditure of force on the part of the physician was the measure of a resistance on the part of the patient. The ego drew back on its first collision with the objectionable instinctual impulse; it debarred the impulse from access to consciousness and to direct motor discharge, but at the same time the impulse retained its full cathexis of energy. This process is called repression. The theory of repression became the cornerstone of the understanding of the neuroses. Psychoanalysis separates the unconscious into a preconscious and an unconscious proper. The investigation of the precipitating and underlying causes of the neuroses led Freud to conflicts between the subject’s sexual impulses and his resistances to sexuality. He was carried further and further back into the patient’s life and ended by reaching the first years of his childhood. Freud discovered that the seduction scenes reported by his patients so regularly as having happened in childhood were really wishful fantasies. He was thereby led to the conclusion that neurotic symptoms (compromise formations between the regressed impulse striving for satisfaction and the resistance of the ego opposed to it) were not related to actual events but to wishful fantasies. The sexual function is in existence from the very beginning of the individual’s life, though at first it is attached to the other vital functions and does not become independent of them until later. Sexual energy is called libido. It does not pass through its prescribed course of development smoothly and can become fixated at various points as a result. The various stages of object relationship are chronologically described (autoerotic, oedipal) and the diphasic nature of sexual growth is discussed.

1925D 20/40
An autobiographical study (1925).
Part IV. Technique of psychoanalysis.
The theories of resistance and of repression, of the unconscious, of the etiological significance of sexual life and of the importance of infantile experiences form the principal constituents of the theoretical structure of psychoanalysis. Freud asked his patient to abandon himself to a process of free association. The factor of transference was discovered. An intense emotional relationship develops between the patient and the analyst which cannot be accounted for by the actual situation. It can be positive (to the extreme of unbridled love) or negative (to the extreme of hatred). Transference is the mainspring of the joint work of analysis. It can become a major resistance. Analysis without transference is an impossibility. With the help of the method of free association and of the related art of interpretation, psychoanalysis succeeded in proving that dreams have a meaning. The latent dream thoughts contain the meaning of the dream, while its manifest content is simply a make believe, which can serve as a starting point for the associations but not for the interpretation. The unconscious impulse makes use of the nocturnal relaxation of repression in order to push its way into consciousness with the dream. But the repressive resistance of the ego is not abolished in sleep but merely reduced. Some of it remains in the shape of a censorship of dreams and forbids the unconscious impulse to express itself as the fulfillment of a repressed wish. Dreams have access to the forgotten material of childhood, and so it happens that infantile amnesia is for the most part overcome in connection with the interpretation of dreams. In the same way that psychoanalysis makes use of dream interpretation, it also profits by the study of the numerous little slips and mistakes which people make, symptomatic actions, as they are called.

1925D 20/48
An autobiographical study (1925).
Part V. Collaborators, defectors and new instinct theory.
For more than 10 years after his separation from Breuer, Freud had no followers. The main obstacle to agreement lay in the fact that Freud’s opponents regarded psychoanalysis as a product of his speculative imagination and were unwilling to believe in the long, patient and unbiased work which had gone to its making. The result of the official anathema against psychoanalysis was that the analysts began to come closer together. Official disapproval could not hinder the spread of psychoanalysis either in Germany or in other countries. If the preliminary cathartic period is left on one side, the history of psychoanalysis falls, from Freud’s point of view, into 2 phases. In the first of these, he stood alone and had to do all the work himself: this was from 1895 until 1906 or 1907. In the second phase, the contributions of his pupils and collaborators were growing more and more in importance. Increasing experience showed more and more plainly that the Oedipus complex was the nucleus of the neurosis. In the Oedipus complex, the libido was seen to be attached to the image of the parental figures. The picture which life presents to us is the result of the concurrent and mutually opposing action of Eros and the death of instinct. The neuroses were the first subject of analysis. However, Freud was able, very early (1896) to establish in a case of paranoid dementia the presence of the same etiological factors and the same emotional complexes as in the neuroses. Freud also discussed the concept of narcissism. This was a state where the subject’s libido filled his own ego and had that for its object. Narcissism developed at an earlier period than the Oedipus complex. Narcissistic libido was part of the ego instincts (those of self-preservation) as opposed to the libidinal instincts. This was later replaced by the contract between narcissistic libido and object libido. He also postulated a death instinct as opposed to Eros (self-preservative instincts). In his latest speculative work (The Ego and The Id) Freud outlined the structural aspect of the mental apparatus by describing the id, ego and superego.

1925D 20/62
An autobiographical study (1925).
Part VI. History of applied analysis.
From the time of the writing of The Interpretation of Dreams, psychoanalysis ceased to be a purely medical subject. Between its appearance in Germany and in France, lies the history of its numerous applications to departments of literature and of esthetics, to the history of religions and to prehistory, to mythology, to folklore, to education, and so on. A number of suggestions came to Freud out of the Oedipus complex, the ubiquity of which gradually dawned on him. From understanding of the Oedipus Tragedy of destiny, it was only a step further to understanding a tragedy of character, Hamlet. It could scarcely be a chance that this neurotic creation of the poet should have come to grief, like his numberless fellows in the real world, over the Oedipus complex. Freud set a high value on his contributions to the psychology of religion, which began with the establishment of a remarkable similarity between obsessive actions and religious practices or ritual. The obsessional neurosis is described as a distorted private religion and religion as a kind of universal obsessional neurosis. It is only a step from the phantasies of individual neurotics to the imaginative creations of groups and peoples as we find them in myths, legends, and fairy tales.

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An autobiographical study (1925).
Postscript. (1935).
An Autobiographical Study first appeared in America in 1927. Two themes run through these pages: the story of Freud’s life and the history of psychoanalysis. They are intimately interwoven. An Autobiographical Study shows how psychoanalysis came to be the whole content of Freud’s life and assumes that no personal experiences of his are of any interest in comparison to his relations with that science. At the end of his life Freud returned to the investigation of interests that held his attention as a youth, that of culture. There can no longer be any doubt that psychoanalysis will continue; it has proved its capacity to survive and to develop both as a branch of knowledge and as a therapeutic method. The number of its supporters has considerably increased. Some supporters lay most stress upon clarifying and deepening our knowledge of psychology, while others are concerned with keeping in contact with medicine and psychiatry. From the practical point of view, some analysts have set themselves the task of bringing about the recognition of psychoanalysis at the universities and its inclusion in the medical curriculum, whereas others are content to remain outside these institutions and will not allow that psychoanalysis is less important in the field of education than in that of medicine.

1926D 20/77
Inhibitions, symptoms and anxiety (1926).
Editor’s introduction. (1959).
Inhibitions, Symptoms and Anxiety was written in July, 1925, was revised in December of the same year, and published in the third week of the following February. The topics with which it deals range over a wide field, and there are signs that Freud found an unusual difficulty in unifying the work. In spite of such important side issues as the different classes of resistance, the distinction between repression and defense, and the relations between anxiety, pain and mourning, the problem of anxiety is its main theme. The problem of anxiety includes the following aspects: anxiety as transformed libido; realistic and neurotic anxiety; the traumatic situation and situations of danger; anxiety as a signal; and anxiety and birth. The book by Rank, Trauma of Birth, prescribed ideas which focussed on the trauma of birth giving it the central role in all neuroses, and giving it greater importance than the Oedipus complex. It was the primal anxiety from which all later anxiety sprang. Freud repudiated this idea. However, his consideration of Rank’s notions of anxiety led him to reconsider his own and Inhibitions, Symptoms and Anxiety was the result.

1926D 20/87
Inhibitions, symptoms and anxiety (1926).
Part I. Inhibitions reflect restrictions of ego functions.
The 2 concepts of inhibitions and symptoms are not upon the same plane. Inhibition does not necessarily have a pathological implication. A symptom actually denotes the presence of some pathological process. The sexual function is liable to a great number of disturbances which can be classed as simple inhibitions. Disturbances of the sexual function are brought about by a great variety of means: 1) the libido may simply be turned away; 2) the function may be less well carried out; 3) it may be hampered by having conditions attached to it, or modified by being diverted to other aims; 4) it may be prevented by security measures; 5) if it cannot be prevented from starting, it may be immediately interrupted by the appearance of anxiety; and 6) if it is nevertheless carried out, there may be a subsequent reaction of protest against it and an attempt to undo what has been done. The function of nutrition is most frequently disturbed by a disinclination to eat, brought about by a withdrawal of libido. In some neurotic conditions, locomotion is inhibited by a disinclination to walk or a weakness in walking. In inhibition in work, the subject feels a decrease in his pleasure in it or becomes less able to do it well. Inhibitions are described as resistances of the functions of the ego which have been either imposed as a measure of precaution or brought about as a result of an impoverishment of energy. Inhibitions are undertaken by the ego in order to avoid coming into conflict with the id or with the superego.

1926D 20/91
Inhibitions, symptoms and anxiety (1926).
Part II. Symptoms reflect intersystemic conflicts.
A symptom is a sign of, and a substitute for, an instinctual satisfaction which has remained in abeyance; it is a consequence of the process of repression. Repression proceeds from the ego when the latter refuses to associate itself with an instinctual cathexis which has been aroused in the id. The ego is able, by means of repression, to keep the idea which is the vehicle of the reprehensible impulse from becoming conscious. The ego is the seat of anxiety. In order for the ego to oppose an instinctual process in the id it has only to give a signal of unpleasure in order to enlist the aid of the pleasure principle in overpowering the id. The ego also obtains its influence in virtue of its intimate connections with the phenomenon of consciousness. The ego wards off internal and external dangers alike along identical lines. Just as the ego controls the path to action in regard to the external world, so it controls access to consciousness. In repression, it exercises its power in both directions, acting in the one manner upon the instinctual impulse itself and in the other upon the psychical representative of that impulse. Most regressions dealt with in therapeutic work are cases of after-pressure. A symptom arises from an instinctual impulse detrimentally affected by regression. The impulse finds expression through a substitute which is seduced, displaced, and inhibited. Freud showed that the ego can exert control over the id as well as be dependent on it. The same applied to the superego. He warned against making a “Weltanschauung” out of any one statement since conceptions in analysis are always open to revision.

1926D 20/97
Inhibitions, symptoms and anxiety (1926).
Part III. Relation of ego to the id and to symptoms.
The ego is the organized portion of the id. As a rule, the instinctual impulse which is to be repressed remains isolated. The initial act of repression is followed by a tedious or interminable sequel in which the struggle against the instinctual impulse is prolonged into a struggle against the symptom. In this secondary defensive struggle the ego presents 2 faces with contradictory expressions. One line of behavior, it adopts, springs from the fact that its very nature obliges it to make what must be regarded as an attempt at restoration or reconciliation. The presence of a symptom may entail a certain impairment of capacity, and this can be exploited to appease some demand on the part of the superego or to refuse some claim from the external world. In this way the symptom gradually comes to be the representative of important interests. In obsessional neurosis and paranoia the forms which the symptoms assume become very valuable to the ego because they obtain for it, not certain advantages, but a narcissistic satisfaction which it would otherwise be without. All of this results in the secondary gain from illness which follows a neurosis. The second line of behavior adopted by the ego is less friendly in character, since it continues in the direction of repression.

1926D 20/101
Inhibitions, symptoms and anxiety (1926).
Part IV. Anxiety produces repression.
An infantile hysterical phobia of animals, Little Hans’s phobia of horses, is presented. Little Hans refused to go out into the street because he was afraid that a horse would bite him. He was in the jealous and hostile Oedipus attitude towards his father, whom nevertheless he dearly loved. Here is a conflict due to ambivalence: a well-grounded love and a no less justifiable hatred directed towards one and the same person. Little Hans’s phobia must have been an attempt to solve this conflict. The instinctual impulse which underwent repression in Little Hans was a hostile one against his father. Little Hans alleged that what he was afraid of was that a horse would bite him. The idea of being devoured by the father is typical age-old childhood material. It has the familiar parallels in mythology and in the animal kingdom. Two instinctual impulses have been overtaken by repression, sadistic aggressiveness towards the father and a tender passive attitude to him. The formation of his phobia had had the effect of abolishing his affectionate object cathexis of his mother as well. The motive force of the repression was the fear of impending castration. His fear that a horse would bite him can be given the full sense of a fear that a horse would bite off his genitals, would castrate him. A comparison of the phobias presented by Wolf Man and that of Little Hans showed that, although there were marked differences in their histories, the outcome was the same. This was explained by examining the anxiety of the 2 patients. Anxiety was seen as response to fear of castration either seen as real or impending. It was this anxiety, occurring in the ego, which set the process of regression into motion which ultimately led to the phobia formation. Anxiety now had 2 sources: one from the id (disturbed libido), and the other from the ego.

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Inhibitions, symptoms and anxiety (1926).
Part V. Defences other than repression.
Conversion hysteria exhibits no anxiety whatever. The formation of symptoms in conversion hysteria is obscure. It presents a manifold and varied picture with no uniform explanation available. The more common symptoms of conversion hysteria are motor paralyses, contractures, involuntary actions or discharges, pains, and hallucinations. They are cathectic processes which are either permanently maintained or intermittent. The symptoms belonging to the obsessional neuroses fall into 2 groups, each having an opposite trend. They are either prohibitions, precautions, and expiations or they are substitutive satisfactions which often appear in symbolic disguise. In enforcing regression, the ego scores its first success in its defensive struggle against the demands of the libido. It is perhaps in obsessional cases more than in normal or hysterical ones that the motive force of defense is the castration complex and that what is being fended off are the trends of the Oedipus complex. The reaction formations in the ego of the obsessional neurotic should be regarded as yet another mechanism of defense. Other defense mechanisms alluded to in this condition are: undoing, regression, isolation. Ambivalence is also described as contributing greatly to the formation of obsessional neurosis for some unknown reason. The chief task during the latency period seems to be the fending off of the temptation to masturbate. This struggle produces a series of symptoms which appear in a typical fashion in the most different individuals and which in general have the character of a ceremonial. The advent of puberty opens a decisive chapter in the history of an obsessional neurosis. The overstrict superego insists on the suppression of sexuality. In obsessional neurosis, the conflict is aggravated in 2 directions: the defensive forces become more intolerant and the forces that are to be fended off become more intolerable. Both effects are due to regression of the libido. Obsessional states which have no guilt attached are mentioned. These seem more closely related to the satisfaction of masochistic

1926D 20/119
Inhibitions, symptoms and anxiety (1926).
Part VI. Undoing and isolation.
There are 2 activities of the ego which form symptoms and which deserve special attention because they are surrogates of repression. The 2 activities are undoing what has been done and isolating. The first of these has a wide range of application. It is, as it were, negative magic, and endeavors, by means of motor symbolism, to blow away not merely the consequences of some event but the event itself. In obsessional neurosis the technique of undoing what has been done is first met within the diphasic symptoms in which one action is cancelled out by a second, so that it is as though neither action had taken place. This aim of undoing is the second underlying motive of obsessional ceremonials, the first being to take the rational precautions in order to prevent the occurrence or recurrence of some particular event. The second technique, isolating, is peculiar to obsessional neurosis. When something unpleasant has happened to the subject, or when he himself has done something which has a significance for his neurosis, he interpolates an interval during which nothing further must happen. It is especially difficult for an obsessional neurotic to carry out the fundamental rule of psychoanalysis. His ego is more watchful and makes sharper isolations, probably because of the high degree of tension due to conflict that exists between his superego and his id. In endeavoring to prevent associations and connections of thought, the ego is obeying one of the oldest and most fundamental commands of obsessional neurosis, the taboo on touching. The avoidance of touching is of paramount importance in this illness because it is the immediate aim of the aggressive as well as the loving object cathexes.

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Inhibitions, symptoms and anxiety (1926).
Part VII. Anxiety is a signal of dangerous separation
In animal phobias, the ego has to oppose a libidinal object cathexis c6inirig from the id, a cathexis that belongs either to the positive or negative Oedipus complex, because it believes that to give way to it would entail the danger of castration. The aggressive impulse flows mainly from the destructive instinct. As soon as the ego recognizes the danger of castration, it gives the signal of anxiety and inhibits, through the pleasure-un-pleasure agency, the impending cathectic process in the id. At the same time the phobia is formed. Now the castration anxiety is directed to a different object and expressed in a distorted form, so that the patient is afraid, not of being castrated by his father, but of being bitten by a horse or devoured by a wolf. Phobias have the character of a projection in that they replace an internal, instinctual danger by an external, perceptual one. The anxiety felt in animal phobias is an affective reaction on the part of the ego to danger; and the danger which is being signalled in this way is the danger of castration. A phobia generally sets in after a first anxiety attack has been experienced in specific circumstances, such as in the street or in a train or in solitude. Anxiety is a reaction to a situation of danger. It is obviated by the ego’s doing something to avoid that situation or to withdraw from it. Symptoms are then viewed as created so as to avoid a danger situation whose presence was signalled by the generation of anxiety. The narcissistic neuroses are explained in terms of a sexual factor being present, namely narcissism, which emphasizes the libidinal nature of the instinct of self-preservation. Since the unconscious can not conceive of its annihilation, and since the unconscious must contribute something to the formation of the narcissistic neuroses, then the fear of death must be analogous to the fear of castration. The ego responds to being abandoned by the protecting superego, the powers of destiny. Also, the protective shield against excessive amounts of external excitation is broken.

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Inhibitions, symptoms and anxiety (1926). Part VII.
Anxiety reproduces feelings of helplessness.
Anxiety is an affective state. Analysis of anxiety states reveals the existence of: 1) a specific character of unpleasure, 2) acts of discharge, and 3) perceptions of those acts. Anxiety states are regarded as a reproduction of the trauma of birth. Anxiety arose originally as reaction to a state of danger. It is reproduced whenever the danger stage recurs. Only a few of the manifestations of anxiety in children are comprehensible to us. They occur, for instance, when a child is alone, or in the dark or when it finds itself with an unknown person instead of one to whom it is used. These 3 instances can be reduced to a single condition, namely, that of missing someone who is loved and longed for. The child’s mnemonic image of the person longed for is no doubt intensely cathected, probably in a hallucinatory way at first. But this has no effect; and now it seems as though the longing turns into anxiety. Economic disturbance caused by an accumulation of amounts of stimulation which need disposal is the real essence of the “danger”. The nonsatisfaction of a growing tension due to need against which the infant wants to be safeguarded repeats the danger situation of being born. From this point anxiety undergoes various transformations parallel to the various stages of libidinal development. The significance of the loss of object as a determinant of anxiety extends for a long period of time. The castration anxiety, belonging to the phallic phase, is also a fear of separation and is thus attached to the same determinant. In this case the danger is of being separated from one’s genitals. The next transformation is caused by the power of the superego. Castration anxiety develops into moral anxiety. Loss of love plays much the same part in hysteria as the threat of castration does in phobias and fear of the superego in obsessional neurosis. The present conception of anxiety is that of a signal given by the ego in order to affect the pleasure-unpleasure agency. There is no anxiety of the superego or id. The id only can be the site of processes which cause the ego to produce anxiety.

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Inhibitions, symptoms and anxiety (1926).
Part IX. Relation between symptom formation and anxiety.
The relationship between the formation of symptoms and the generating of anxiety is considered. There are 2 very widely held opinions on this subject. One is that anxiety is itself a symptom of neurosis. The other is that there is a much more intimate relation between the 2. According to the second opinion, symptoms are only formed in order to avoid anxiety. Symptoms are created in order to remove the ego from a situation of danger. If the symptoms are prevented from being formed, the danger does in fact materialize. Symptom formation puts an end to the danger situation. The defensive process is analogous to the flight by means of which the ego removes itself from a danger that threatens it from outside. The defensive process is an attempt at flight from an instinctual danger. The study of the determinants of anxiety shows the defensive behavior of the ego transfigured in a rational light. Each danger situation corresponds to a particular period of life or developmental phase of the mental apparatus and is justifiable for it. A great many people remain infantile in their behavior in regard to danger and do not overcome determinants of anxiety which have grown out of date. Signs of childhood neuroses can be detected in all adult neurotics; however, all children who show those signs do not become neurotic in later life. It must be, therefore, that certain determinants of anxiety are relinquished and certain danger situations lose their significance as the individual becomes more mature. Moreover, some of these danger situations manage to survive into later times by modifying their determinants of anxiety so as to bring them up to date. Other determinants of anxiety, such as fear of the superego, are destined not to disappear at all.

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Inhibitions, symptoms and anxiety (1926).
Part X. Repetition is the consequence of repression.
Anxiety is the reaction to danger. If the ego succeeds in protecting itself from a dangerous instinctual impulse through the process of repression, it has inhibited and damaged the particular part of the id concerned; but it has at the same time given it some independence and has renounced some of its own sovereignty. Among the factors that play a part in the causation of neuroses and that have created the conditions under which the forces of the mind are pitted against one another, 3 emerge into prominence: a biological, a phylogenetic, and a purely psychological factor. The biological factor is the long period of time during which the young of the human species is in a condition of helplessness and dependence. The existence of the phylogenetic factor is based only upon inference. We have been led to assume its existence by a remarkable feature in the development of the libido. The sexual life of man does not make a steady advance from birth to maturity, but after an early efflorescence up to the fifth year, it undergoes a very decided interruption; and it then starts on its course once more at puberty taking up again the beginnings broken off in early childhood. The third, psychological, factor resides in a defect of our mental apparatus which has to do precisely with its differentiation into an id and an ego, and which is therefore also attributable ultimately to the influence of the external world. The ego cannot protect itself from internal instinctual dangers as well as it can from reality. It acquiesces in the formation of symptoms in exchange for impairing the instinct.

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Inhibitions, symptoms and anxiety (1926).
Part XI. Addenda: A. Modification of earlier views.
An important element in the theory of repression is the view that repression is not an event that occurs once but that it requires a permanent expenditure of energy. If this expenditure were to cease, the repressed impulse, which is being fed all the time from its sources, would on the next occasion, flow along the channels from which it had been forced away, and the repression would either fail in its purpose or would have to be repeated an indefinite number of times. It is because instincts are continuous in their nature that the ego has to make its defensive action secure by a permanent expenditure. This action undertaken to protect repression is observable in analytic treatment as resistance. Resistance presupposes what is called anticathexis. The resistance that has to be overcome in analysis proceeds from the ego, which clings to its anticathexes. Five types of resistance were noted: the ego resistances subdivided into regression resistance, transference resistance, and gain from illness; the id resistance i.e., the compulsion to repeat; the superego resistance, the sense of guilt or the need for punishment. The ego is the source of anxiety. Anxiety is the general reaction to situations of danger. The term defense is employed explicitly as a general designation for all the techniques which the ego makes use of in conflicts which may lead to a neurosis. Repression is retained for a special method of defense. The concept of defense covers all the processes that have the same purpose, the protection of the ego against instinctual demands. Repression is subsumed under it as a special case.

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Inhibitions, symptoms and anxiety (1926).
Part XI. Addenda: B. Supplementary remarks on anxiety.
Anxiety has an unmistakable relation to expectation: it is anxiety about something. It has a quality of indefiniteness and lack of object. In precise words we use the word fear rather than anxiety if it has found an object. There are 2 reactions to real danger. One is an affective reaction, an outbreak of anxiety. The other is a protective action. A danger situation is a recognized, remembered, expected situation of helplessness. Anxiety is the original reaction to helplessness in the trauma and is reproduced later on in the danger situation as a signal for help. The ego, which experienced the trauma passively, now repeats it actively in a weakened version, in the hope of being able itself to direct its course. There seems to be a close connection between anxiety and neurosis because the ego defends itself against an instinctual danger with the help of the anxiety reaction just as it does against an external real danger; however, this line of defensive activity eventuates in a neurosis owing to an imperfection of the mental apparatus.

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Inhibitions, symptoms and anxiety (1926).
Part XI. Addenda. C. Anxiety, pain and mourning.
The situation of the infant’s missing its mother is not a danger situation but a traumatic one. It is a traumatic situation if the infant happens to be feeling a need which its mother should be the one to satisfy. It turns into a danger situation if this need is not present at the moment. The first determinant of anxiety, which the ego itself introduces, is loss of perception of the object. Later on, experiences teaches the child that the object can be present but angry with it; and then loss of love from the object becomes a new and much more enduring danger and determinant of anxiety. Pain is the actual reaction to loss of an object while anxiety is the reaction to the danger which the loss entails. Pain occurs in the first instance and as a regular thing whenever a stimulus which impinges on the periphery breaks through the devices of the protective shield against stimuli and proceeds to act like a continuous instinctual stimulus, against which muscular action, which is as a rule effective because it withdraws the place that is being stimulated from the stimulus, is powerless. When there is physical pain, a high degree of what may be termed narcissistic cathexis of the painful place occurs. This cathexis continues to increase and tends to empty the ego. The transition from physical to mental pain corresponds to a change from narcissistic cathexis to object cathexis. Mourning occurs under the influence of reality testing; for the latter function demands categorically from the bereaved person that he should separate himself from the object, since it no longer exists. Mourning is entrusted with the task of carrying out this retreat from the object in all those situations in which it was the recipient of a high degree of cathexis.

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Inhibitions, symptoms and anxiety (1926).
Appendix A: ‘Repression’ and ‘defence’.
Repression and defense are discussed. Both repression and defense occurred very freely during Freud’s Breuer period. The first appearance of repression was in the Preliminary Communication, and of defense in the first paper on The Neuropsychoses of Defence. In theStudies on Hysteria, repression appeared about a dozen times and defense somewhat more often than that. After the Breuer period, there was a falling off in the frequency of the use of defense. It was not dropped entirely, however. But repression was already beginning to predominate and was almost exclusively used in the Dora case history and the Three Essays. Soon after this, attention was explicitly drawn to the change, in a paper on sexuality in the neuroses, dated June, 1905. After 1905, the predominance of repression increased still more. But it was not long before the usefulness of defense as a more inclusive term than repression began unobtrusively to make its appearance, particularly in the metapsychological papers. Thus, the vicissitudes of the instincts, only one of which is repression, were regarded as modes of defense against them and projection was spoken of as a mechanism or means of defense.

1926E 20/179
The question of lay analysis (1926). Conversations with an impartial person. Editor’s note. (1959).
In the late spring of 1926 proceedings were begun in Vienna against Theodor Reik, a prominent nonmedical member of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society. He was charged, on information laid by someone whom he had been treating analytically, with a breach of an old Austrian law against quackery, a law which made it illegal for a person without a medical degree to treat patients. Freud intervened energetically. He argued the position privately with an official of high standing, and went on to compose the pamphlet, The Question of Lay Analysis, for immediate publication. The publication of Freud’s booklet brought into the foreground the strong differences of opinion on the permissibility of nonmedical psychoanalysis which existed within the psychoanalytic societies themselves. From early times, Freud held the opinion that psychoanalysis was not to be regarded as purely a concern of the medical profession.

1926E 20/183
The question of lay analysis (1926).
Introduction & Part I.
The question of lay analysis is discussed. Layman is equivalent to nondoctor. In Germany and America, every patient can have himself treated how and by whom he chooses, and anyone who chooses can handle any patients. The law does not intervene until it is called in to expiate some injury done to the patient. But in Austria, there is a preventive law, which forbids non-doctors from undertaking the treatment of patients, without waiting for its outcome. A patient recognizes that he is ill and goes to doctors, by whom people expect nervous disorders to be removed. The doctors lay down the categories into which these complaints are divided. They diagnose them under different names: neurasthenia, psychasthenia, phobias, obsessional neurosis, hysteria. They examine the organs which produce the symptoms and find them healthy. They recommend interruptions in the patient’s accustomed mode of life and these means bring about temporary improvements, or no results at all. Eventually the patients hear that there are people who are concerned quite specially with the treatment of such complaints and start an analysis with them. The analyst and the patient talk to each other. We call on the patient to be completely straight. forward with his analyst, to keep nothing back intentionally that comes into his head, and then to put aside every reservation that might prevent his reporting certain thoughts or memories.

1926E 20/191
The question of lay analysis (1926).
Part II.
The question of lay analysis is discussed. We picture the unknown apparatus which serves the activities of the mind as being really like an instrument constructed of several parts, agencies, each of which performs a particular function and which have a fixed spatial relation to one another. We recognize in human beings a mental organization which is interpolated between their sensory stimuli and the perception of their somatic needs on the one hand and their motor acts on the other, and which meditates between them for a particular purpose. This organization is called their ego. There is another mental region, more extensive, more imposing and more obscure than the ego: this is called the id. We suppose that the ego is the layer of the mental apparatus (of the id) which has been modifie4 by the influence of the external world. The ego and the id differ greatly from each other in several respects. The rules governing the course of mental acts are different in the ego and the id; the ego pursues different purposes and by other methods. Everything that happens in the id is, and remains, unconscious; processes in the ego can become conscious. But not all of them are, nor always, nor necessarily; and large portions of the ego can remain permanently unconscious. The ego is the external, peripheral layer of the id. We require that everyone who wants to practice analysis on other people shall first himself submit to an analysis.

1926E 20/200
The question of lay analysis (1926).
Part III.
The question of lay analysis is discussed. The bodily needs, in so far as they represent an instigation to mental activity, are given the name of instincts. These instincts fill the id: all the energy in the id originates from them. The forces in the ego are derived from those in the id. These instincts want satisfaction. If the id’s instinctual demands meet with no satisfaction, intolerable conditions arise. The instincts in the id press for immediate satisfaction at all costs, and in that way they achieve nothing or even bring about appreciable damage. It is the task of the ego to guard against such mishaps, to mediate between the claims of the id and the objections of the external world. There is no natural opposition between ego and id. If the ego experiences an instinctual demand from the id which it would like to resist but which it cannot control, the ego treats the instinctual danger as if it were an external one; it makes an attempt at flight. The ego institutes a repression of the instinctual impulses. The ego has made an attempt to suppress certain portions of the id in an inappropriate manner, this attempt has failed and the id has taken its revenge in the neurosis. A neurosis is the result of a conflict between the ego and the id. The therapeutic aim is to restore the ego and give it back command over the id. The ego is urged to correct the repressions. This involves analyzing back to childhood through the patient’s symptoms, dreams and free associations.

1926E 20/206
The question of lay analysis (1926). Part IV.
The question of lay analysis is discussed. Analysis is founded on complete candor. This obligation to candor puts a grave moral responsibility on the analyst as well as on the patient. Factors from sexual life play an extremely important, a dominating, perhaps even a specific part among the causes and precipitating factors of neurotic illness. The recognition of sexuality has become the strongest motive for people’s hostility to analysis. Sexual life is not simply something spicy; it is also a serious scientific problem. Analysis has to go back into the early years of the patient’s childhood, because the decisive repressions have taken place then, while his ego was feeble. Sexual instinctual impulses accompany life from birth onwards, and it is precisely in order to fend off those instincts that the infantile ego institutes repressions. The sexual function undergoes a complicated process of development. If obstacles arise later on to the exercise of the sexual function, the sexual urge, the libido, is apt to hark back to the earlier point of fixation. The diphasic onset of sexual life has a great deal to do with the genesis of neurotic illnesses. It seems to occur only in human beings, and it is perhaps one of the determinants of the human privilege of becoming neurotic. The children’s 2 excretory needs are cathected with sexual interest. It takes quite a long time for children to develop feelings of disgust. Children regularly direct their sexual wishes towards their nearest relatives. It is the sexual wishes towards the parent of the opposite sex with concomitant hostility felt toward the other parent which constitutes the basis for the Oedipus complex. The revival of this complex in puberty may have serious consequences. The child’s first choice of the object therefore is an incestuous one. The evidence for this is supported through the study of history, mythology, and anthropology.

1926E 20/218
The question of lay analysis (1926).
Part V.
The question of lay analysis is discussed. The analyst infers, from what the patient says, the kind of impressions, experiences and wishes which he has repressed because he came across them at a time when his ego was still feeble and was afraid of them instead of dealing with them. When the patient has learned this, he puts himself back in the old situations and manages better. The limitations to which his ego was tied then disappear, and he is cured. The material has to be interpreted at the right moment which is when the patient has come so near the repressed material that only a few more stages are needed to get to it. It can be shown that patients profess a desire to get well, but on the other hand do not want to get well. This results from the “gain from illness.” This represents one of the resistances to psychoanalysis. There are 3 other resistances: the sense of guilt and need for punishment stemming from the superego; the need for the instinctual impulse to find satisfaction along a path it has always known, an id resistance; repression resistance coming from the ego. The emotional relation which the patient adopts towards the analysis is of a quite peculiar nature. This emotional relation is in the nature of falling in love. This love is of a positively compulsive kind. It has taken the place of the neurosis. The patient is repeating, in the form of falling in love with the analyst, mental experiences which he has already been through once before; he has transferred on to the analyst mental attitudes that were lying ready in him and were intimately connected with his neurosis. This transference love, because of its being really a pathological love, acts as a resistance to analysis (and is thus the fifth major resistance in analysis). He is also repeating his old defensive actions. The whole skill in handling the transference is devoted to bringing it about. There are 2 Institutes at which instruction in psychoanalysis is given. Anyone who has passed through a course of instruction, who has been analyzed himself, who has learned the delicate technique of psychoanalysis (the art of interpretation, fighting resistances, handling the transference), is no longer a layman in the field of psychoanalysis.

1926E 20/229
The question of lay analysis (1926).
Part VI.
The question of lay analysis is discussed. It seems as if the neuroses are a particular kind of illness and analysis is a particular method of treating them, a specialized branch of medicine. However, doctors have no historical claim to the sole possession of analysis. In his medical school, a doctor receives a training which is more or less the opposite of what he would need as a preparation for psychoanalysis, particularly since medical education gives a false and detrimental attitude towards the neuroses. The activity of an untrained analyst does less harm to his patients than that of an unskilled surgeon. Freud maintains that no one should practice analysis who has not acquired the right to do so by a particular training. It is said that the authorities, at the instigation of the medical profession, want to forbid the practice of analysis by laymen altogether. Such a prohibition would also affect the nonmedical members of the Psychoanalytic Society, who have enjoyed an excellent training and have perfected themselves greatly by practice. According to Austrian law, a quack (layman) is anyone who treats patients without possessing a state diploma to prove he is a doctor. Freud proposes another definition: a quack is anyone who undertakes a treatment without possessing the knowledge and capacities necessary for it.

1926E 20/239
The question of lay analysis (1926).
Part VII.
The question of lay analysis is discussed. A medical doctor has a decided advantage over a layman in analytic practice regarding the question of diagnosis. The patient may exhibit the external picture of a neurosis, and yet it may be something else: the beginning of an incurable mental disease or the preliminary of brain destruction. If a later physical illness can bring about an enfeeblement of the ego then that illness can also produce a neurosis. If an analyst, medical or otherwise, suspects organic illness, Freud maintains that the analyst should call in the help of a medical doctor. He lists 3 reasons for it: 1) it is not a good plan for a combination of organic and psychical treatments to be carried out by the same person; 2) the relation in the transference may make it inadvisable for the analyst to examine the patient physically; and 3) the analyst has every reason for doubting whether he is unprejudiced, since his interests are directed so intensely to the psychical factors. For the patient, it is a matter of indifference whether the analyst is a doctor or not, provided only that the danger of his condition being misunderstood is excluded by the necessary medical report before the treatment begins and on some possible occasions during the course of it. Analytic training cuts across the field of medical education, but neither includes the other. Freud did not believe that a medical education was necessary for an analyst. He did not consider it desirable for an analyst. He did not consider it desirable for psychoanalysis to be swallowed up by medicine and be subsumed as a subordinate area of psychiatry. The training of social workers analytically to help combat neuroses was envisioned. He thought that the internal development of psychoanalysis could never be affected by regulation or prohibition.

1927A 20/251
The question of lay analysis (1926).
Postscript. (1927).
The charge against Dr. Theodor Reik, in the Vienna Courts, was dropped. The prosecution’s case was too weak, and the person who brought the charge as an aggrieved party proved an untrustworthy witness. Freud’s main thesis in The Question of La Analysis was that the important question is whether an analyst possesses a medical diploma but whether he has had the special training necessary for the practice of analysis. A scheme of training for analysts has still to be created. It must include elements from the mental sciences, from psychology, the history of civilization and sociology, as well as from anatomy, biology, and the study of evolution. Psychoanalysis is a part of psychology; not of medical psychology, not of the psychology of morbid processes, but simply of psychology. He enjoins his American colleagues not to exclude lay analysts from receiving training since this might interest them in raising their own ethical and intellectual level while gaining influence over them so as to try and prevent their unscrupulous practices.

1926F 20/261
Psycho-analysis (1926).
Editors note. (1959) and article.
The Eleventh Edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica appeared in 1910 and 1911. It contained no reference to psychoanalysis. An article on psychoanalysis appeared in the Thirteenth Edition, written by Freud himself. This article included the prehistory, subject matter, and external history of psychoanalysis. The prehistory includes the contribution made by Josef Breuer who, in 1880 discovered a procedure by means of which he relieved a girl, who was suffering from severe hysteria, of her many and various symptoms. His cathartic treatment gave excellent therapeutic results. Psychoanalysis finds a constantly increasing amount of support as a therapeutic procedure, owing to the fact that it can do more for its patients than any other method of treatment. The principal field of its application is in the milder neuroses: hysterias, phobias, and obsessional states. The therapeutic influence of psychoanalysis depends on the replacement of unconscious mental acts by conscious ones and is effective within the limits of that factor. The analytic theory of the neuroses is based on 3 cornerstones: the recognition 1) of repression, 2) of the importance of the sexual instinct, and 3) of transference. Psychoanalysis in its character of depth psychology considers mental life from 3 points of view: dynamic, economic, and topographical. The dynamic considers the interplay of forces which assist, inhibit, combine, or compromise with one another. The forces originate in the instincts of which there are 2 types: ego instincts and object instincts. The economic considers the quantum of psychic energy with its charge (cathexis). The course of mental processes is regulated by the pleasure-unpleasure principle. The pleasure principle is modified by the reality principle during the course of development. The topographic considers the mental apparatus is composed of the id, ego, superego. The ego and superego develop out of the id. The id is wholly unconscious while parts of the ego and superego are conscious. The beginnings of psychoanalysis may be marked by 2 dates: 1895, which saw the publication of Breuer and Freud’s Studies on Hysteria, and 1900, which saw that of Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams.

1941E 20/271
Address to the Society of B’nai B’rith (1941, 1926).
An address to the Society of B’nai B’rith was read on Freud’s behalf at a meeting held on May 6, 1926, in honor of his seventieth birthday. In the years from 1895 onwards, Freud was subjected to 2 powerful impressions which combined to produce the same effect on him. On the one hand, he had gained his first insight into the depths of the life of the human instincts. On the other hand, the announcement of his unpleasing discoveries had, as its result, the severance of the greater part of his human contacts. In his loneliness he was seized with a longing to find a circle of picked men of high character who would receive him in a friendly spirit in spite of his temerity. The B’nai B’rith was pointed out to him. His attraction to Jewry consisted of powerful emotional forces that could not be expressed in words. Being a Jew prepared him to join the opposition and not need the agreement of the “compact majority’ Because he was a Jew, he found himself free from many prejudices which restricted others in the use of their intellect. For some two-thirds of the long period that elapsed since Freud’s entry, he persisted with the B’nai B’rith conscientiously, and found refreshment and stimulation in his relations with it. The B’nai B’rith was kind enough not to hold it against him that during his last third of the time, he kept away. He was overwhelmed with work, and the demands connected with his work forced themselves on him. The day ceased to be long enough for him to attend the meetings. Finally came the years of his illness. Freud concluded that the B’nai B’rith meant a great deal to him.

1926B 20/277
Karl Abraham (1926).
Dr. Karl Abraham, President of the Berlin group, of which he was the founder, and President at the time of the International Psychoanalytical Association, died in Berlin on December 25,1925. He had not reached the age of 50. Among all those who followed Freud along the dark paths of psychoanalytic research, Abraham won so preeminent a place that only one other name could be set beside his, Ferenczi. It is likely that the boundless trust of his colleagues and pupils would have called him to the leadership; and he would, without doubt, have been a model leader in the pursuit of truth, led astray neither by the praise or blame of the many nor by the seductive illusion of his own phantasies.

1926A 20/279
To Romain Rolland (1926).
A letter to Romain Rolland on the occasion of his sixtieth birthday, is presented. Freud honored him as an artist and as an apostle of the love of marikind. When Freud came to know Romain Rolland personally, Freud was surprised to find that he valued strength and energy so highly and that he embodied such force of will.

1926C 20/280
Prefatory note to a paper by E. Pickworth Farrow (1926).
A prefatory note to a paper by E. Pickworth Farrow is presented. Farrow is a man of strong and independent intelligence. He failed to get on to good terms with 2 analysts with whom he made the attempt. He thereupon proceeded to make a systematic application of the procedure of self-analysis which Freud himself employed in the past for the analysis of his own dreams. His work deserves attention because of the peculiar character of his personality and his technique.

Abstracts of the Standard Edition of 
the Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud

Carrie Lee Rothgeb, Editor

 

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