Psycho-analytic notes on an autobiographical account of
a case of paranoia (dementia paranoides):
Editor’s note(1958) and Introduction (1911).
Psychoanalytic Notes upon an Autobiographical Account of a Case of Paranoia (Dementia Paranoides) is a reissue, with a number of corrections and additional notes, of the one published in 1925. Schreber’s Memoirs were published in 1903; but, though they had been widely discussed in psychiatric circles, they seem not to have attracted Freud’s attention till the summer of 1910. Freud had attacked the problem of paranoia at a very early stage of his researches in psychopathology. The importance of the Schreber analysis, however, is not restricted to the light it throws on the problems of paranoia. A number of subjects are touched upon which were to be discussed afterwards at greater length. Thus, the remarks on narcissism were preliminary to the paper devoted to that subject, the account of the mechanism of repression was to be taken up again in the course of a few years, and the discussion of the instincts was feeling its way towards the more elaborate one in “Instincts and their Vicissitudes”. The case history makes use of only a single fact (Schreber’s age at the time he fell ill) that was not contained in the Memoirs. The psychoanalytic investigation of paranoia would be altogether impossible if the patients themselves did not possess the peculiarity of betraying (in a distorted form, it is true) precisely those things which other neurotics keep hidden as a secret.
Psycho-analytic notes on an autobiographical account of
a case of paranoia (dementia paranoides) (1911).
Part I. Case history of Schreber.
A case history of paranoia is discussed. Dr. Schreber’s first illness began in the autumn of 1884, and by the end of 1885 he had completely recovered. The second illness set in at the end of October 1893 and grew rapidly worse. The patient was very preoccupied with his pathological experiences. He was inaccessible to any other impression and would sit perfectly rigid and motionless for hours. His delusional ideas gradually assumed a mystical and religious character. There were certain people (especially his physician, Flechsig) by whom he thought he was being persecuted and injured, and upon whom he poured abuse. By 1899, the patient’s condition had undergone a great change, and he now considered himself capable of carrying on an independent existence. The court judgment that gave Dr. Schreber back his liberty summarizes the content of his delusional system in a few sentences: He believed that he had a mission to redeem the world and to restore it to its lost state of bliss. This, however, he could only bring about if he were first transformed from a man into a woman. The emasculation phantasy was of a primary nature and originally independent of the Redeemer motif. The idea of being transformed into a woman was the salient feature and the earliest germ of his delusional system. He thought there was a conspiracy against him that once his illness was recognized as incurable he would be handed over to a certain person who would take his soul and then to another person who would transform him into a female and sexually abuse him. Schreber’s mixture of reverence and rebelliousness in his attitudes towards God are discussed at length. One of the delusions the patient felt was that through God’s misunderstanding of living men, He was the instigator of the plot against him. In Schreber’s system, the 2 principal elements of his delusions (his transformation into a woman and his favored relation to God) are linked in his assumption of a feminine attitude towards God. It will be shown that there is a genetic relationship between these 2 elements.
Psychoanalytic notes on an autobiographical account of
a case of paranoia (dementia paranoides) (1911).
Part II. Attempts at interpretation.
Attempts at interpretation of the case history of paranoia are presented. Schreber’s case, at first took the form of delusions of persecution, and did not begin to lose it until the turning point of his illness. During the incubation period of his illness, between June 1893, and the following October, Schreber repeatedly dreamt that his old nervous disorder had returned. Schreber dreamed that Flechsig committed, or attempted to commit, soul murder upon him. This act was thought to be comparable to the efforts made by the devil or by demons to gain possession of a soul. The exciting cause of the illness was the appearance in him of a feminine (that is, a passive homosexual) wishful phantasy, which took as its object the figure of his doctor. An intense resistance to this phantasy arose on the part of Schreber’s personality, and the ensuing defensive struggle, took on that of a delusion of persecution. The person he longed for now became his persecutor, and the content of his wishful phantasy became the content of his persecution. The patient’s struggle with Flechsig became revealed to him as a conflict with God. This is construed as an infantile conflict with the father whom he loved; the details of that conflict were what determined the content of his delusions. In the final stage of Schreber’s delusion a magnificent victory was scored by the infantile sexual urge; for voluptuousness became God-fearing, and God Himself (his father) never tired of demanding it from him. His father’s most dreaded threat, castration, actually provided the material for his wishful phantasy of being transformed into a woman.
Psycho-analytic notes on an autobiographical account of a case of paranoia (dementia paranoides) (1911).
Part III. On the mechanism of paranoia.
The distinctive character of paranoia is found in the form assumed by the symptoms. Paranoia is a disorder in which a sexual etiology is by no means obvious; rather, the strikingly prominent features in the causation of paranoia, especially among males, are social humiliations and slights. The really operative factor in these social injuries lies in the part played in them by the homosexual components of emotional life. What lies at the core of the conflict in cases of paranoia among males is a homosexual wishful phantasy of loving a man. The familiar principal forms of paranoia can all be represented as contradictions of the single proposition: “I (a man) love him (a man),” and that they exhaust all the possible ways in which such contradictions could be formulated. The proposition is contradicted by: 1) delusions of persecution; 2) erotomania; and 3) jealousy, alcoholic delusions of jealousy and delusions of jealousy in women. We can detect an element of megalomania in most other forms of paranoiac disorder. The most striking characteristic of symptom formation in paranoia is the process which deserves the name of projection. Repression is also connected with paranoia in the following 3 phases: fixation, repression proper, and irruption. Freud concluded that the neuroses arise from a conflict between the ego and the sexual instinct, and that the forms which the neuroses assume, retain the imprint of the course of development followed by the libido, and by the ego.
Psycho-analytic notes on an autobiographical account of a case of paranoia (dementia paranoides) (1911). Postscript.
In dealing with the case history of Schreber, Freud purposely restricted himself to a minimum of interpretation. Since he published his work upon Schreber, a chance acquisition of knowledge has put him in a position to appreciate one of his delusional beliefs more adequately, and to recognize the wealth of its bearing upon mythology: the patient’s peculiar relation to the sun, explained as a sublimated father symbol. When Schreber boasts that he can look into the sun unscathed and undazzled, he has rediscovered the mythological method of expressing his filial relation to the sun, and has confirmed Freud once again in his view that the sun is a symbol of the father.
Papers on technique (1911-1915).
Editor’s introduction (1958).
In his contribution to Studies on Hysteria, Freud gave a very full account of the psychotherapeutic procedure which he had evolved on the basis of Breuer’s discoveries. This may be described as the pressure technique and it still included considerable elements of suggestion, though it was advancing rapidly towards what he was soon to call the psychoanalytic method. Six papers, On the Technique of Psychoanalysis, cover a great number of important subjects. The relative paucity of Freud’s writings on technique, as well as his hesitations and delays over their production, suggests that there was some feeling of reluctance on his part to publishing this kind of material. Behind all his discussion of technique, however, Freud never ceased to insist that a proper mastery of the subject could only be acquired from clinical experience and not from books: clinical experience with patients, no doubt, but, above all clinical experience from the analyst’s own analysis. This, as Freud became more and more convinced, was the fundamental necessity for every practicing psychoanalyst.
Papers on technique.
The handling of dream-interpretation in psycho-analysis (1911).
The handling of dream interpretation in psychoanalysis is presented. Anyone coming from dream interpretation to analytic practice will retain his interest in the content of dreams, and his inclination will be to interpret as fully as possible every dream related by the patient. The amount of interpretation which can be achieved in one session should be taken as sufficient and it is not to be regarded as a loss if the content of the dream is not fully discovered. On the following day, the interpretation of the dream is not to be taken up again as a matter of course, until it has become evident that nothing else has meanwhile forced its way into the foreground of the patient’s thoughts. Dream interpretation should not be pursued in analytic treatment as an art for its own sake, but its handling should be subject to those technical rules that govern the conduct of the treatment as a whole. The great majority of dreams forge ahead of the analysis; so that, after subtraction of everything in them which is already known and understood, there still remains a more or less clear hint at something which has hitherto been hidden.
Papers on technique.
The dynarnics of transference (1912).
The dynamics of transference are discussed. Each individual, through the combined operation of his innate disposition and the influences brought to bear on him during his early years, has acquired a specific method of his own in his conduct of his erotic life. This produces what might be described as a stereotype plate, which is constantly repeated in the course of the person’s life. If someone’s need for love is not entirely satisfied by reality, he is bound to approach every new person whom he meets with libidinal anticipatory ideas. Thus it is a perfectly normal and intelligible thing that the libidinal cathexis of someone who is partly unsatisfied, a cathexis which is held ready in anticipation, should be directed as well to the figure of the doctor. The cathexis will introduce the doctor into one of the psychical series which the patient has already formed. When anything in the complexive material (in the subject matter of the complex) is suitable for being transferred on to the figure of the doctor, that transference is carried out. It is inferred that the transference idea has penetrated into consciousness in front of any other possible associations because it satisfies the resistance. Transference in the analytic treatment invariably appears in the first instance as the strongest weapon of the resistance, and we may conclude that the intensity and persistence of the transference are an effect and an expression of the resistance. Transference to the doctor is suitable for resistance to the treatment only in so far as it is a negative transference or a positive transference of repressed erotic impulses.
Papers on technique.
Recommendations to physicians practising psycho-analysis (1912).
Recommendations are presented to physicians practicing psychoanalysis. The first problem is the task of keeping in mind all the innumerable names, dates, detailed memories and pathological products which each patient communicates, and of not confusing them with similar material produced by other patients under treatment simultaneously or previously. The physician should maintain the rule of giving equal notice to everything. This is the necessary counterpart to the demand made on the patient that he should communicate everything that occurs to him without criticism or selection. Freud cannot advise the taking of full notes, the keeping of a shorthand record, etc., during analytic sessions. The notes focus attention, tie up mental activity, and make an unfavorable impression. It is not a good thing to work on a case scientifically while treatment is still proceeding. The most successful cases are those in which one proceeds without any purpose in view. Under present day conditions the feeling that is most dangerous to a psychoanalyst is the therapeutic ambition to achieve, by this novel and much disputed method, something that will produce a convincing effect upon other people. The doctor should be opaque to his patients and, like a mirror, should show them nothing but what is shown to him. He should not bring his own feelings into play. Efforts to make use of the analytic treatment to bring about sublimation of instinct are, far from advisable in every case. The patient’s intellectual capacities should not be taxed. Mental activities such as thinking something over or concentrating the attention solve none of the riddles of a neurosis. This can be done only by obeying the psychoanalytic
Papers on technique.
On beginning the treatment. (Further recommendations on the technique of psychoanalysis I) (1913).
Recommendations on the technique of psycho. analysis concerning beginning the treatment are presented. Lengthy preliminary discussions before the beginning of the analytic treatment, previous treatment by another method and also previous acquaintance between the doctor and the patient who is to be analyzed, have special disadvantageous consequences for which one must be prepared. They result in the patient’s meeting the doctor with a transference attitude which is already established and which the doctor must first slowly uncover instead of having the opportunity to observe the growth and development of the transference from the outset. One must mistrust all prospective patients who want to make a delay before beginning their treatment. Points of importance at the beginning of the analysis are arrangement about time and money. ‘What the material is with which one starts the treatment is a matter of indifference. But in any case the patient must be left to do the talking and must be free to choose at what point he shall begin. So long as the patient’s communications and ideas run on without any obstruction, the theme of transference should be left untouched. In each case we must wait until the disturbance of the transference by the successive emergency of transference resistances has been removed.
Papers on technique.
Remembering, repeating and working-through. (Further recommendations on the technique of psycho-analysis II) (1914).
Remembering, repeating, and working through are discussed. Forgetting impressions, scenes or experiences nearly always reduces itself to shutting them off. There is one special class of experiences for which no memory can as a rule be recovered. These are experiences which occurred in very early childhood and were not under-stood at the time but which were subsequently understood and interpreted. The patient does not remember anything of what he has forgotten and repressed, but acts it out. He reproduces it not as a memory but as an action; he repeats it, without knowing that he is repeating it. Transference is itself only a piece of repetition; the repetition is a transference of the forgotten past not only on to the doctor but also on to all the other aspects of the current situation. The patient yields to the compulsion to repeat, which now replaces the impulsion to remember, not only in his personal attitude to his doctor but also in every other activity and relationship which may occupy his life at the time. The main instrument for curbing the patient’s compulsion to repeat and for turning it into a motive for remembering, lies in the handling of the transference. We render the compulsion harmless, and indeed useful, by giving it the right to assert itself in a definite field. The first step in overcoming the resistances is made by the analyst’s uncovering the resistance, which is never recognized by the patient, and acquainting him with it. One must allow the patient time to become more conversant with the resistance with which he has now become acquainted, to work through it, to overcome it, by continuing, in defiance of it, the analytic work. Only when the resistance is at its height can the analyst discover the repressed instinctual impulses which are feeding the resistance. The working through of the resistances may in practice turn out to be an arduous task for the subject of the analysis and a trial of patience for the analyst. Theoretically, working through may correlate with the abreacting of the quotas of affect strangulated by repression.
Papers on technique.
Observations on transference-love. (Further recommendations on the technique of psychoanalysis III) (1915).
Observations on transference love (when a woman patient declares her love for the doctor) are presented. For the doctor, the phenomenon signifies a valuable piece of enlightenment and a useful warning against any tendency to a counter transference. He must recognize that the patient’s falling in love is induced by the analytic situation. The patient has 2 alternatives; she must relinquish psychoanalytic treatment, or she must accept falling in love with her doctor as an inescapable fate. After falling in love, the patient loses all understanding of the treatment and all interest in it. This transference love is interpreted as a form of resistance. The analytic technique requires that the physician should deny to the patient, who is craving for love, the satisfaction she demands. The treatment must be carried out in abstinence. The analyst must keep firm hold of the transference-love, but treat it as something unreal, as a situation which has to be gone through in the treatment and traced back to its unconscious origins and which must assist in bringing all that is most deeply hidden in the patient’s erotic life into her consciousness and therefore under her control. For the doctor, ethical motives unite with the technical ones to restrain him from giving the patient his love. However highly he may prize love he must prize even more highly the opportunity for helping his patient over a decisive stage in her life.
Dreams in folklore (Freud and Oppenheim) (1957) (1911).
Dreams in Folklore was written jointly by Freud and Professor D. E. Oppenheim of Vienna. The symbolism employed in the dreams in folklore coincides completely with that accepted by psychoanalysis. A number of these dreams are understood by the common people in the same way as they would be interpreted by psycho-analysis, that is, not as premonitions about a still unrevealed future, but as the fulfillment of wishes, the satisfaction of needs which arise during the state of sleep. Penis symbolism appears in dreams occurring in folklore. The penis appears as: a sceptre, fat earthworm, a dagger and other sharp weapons. Feces symbolism and related dream actions also appear. In the very earliest period of childhood, feces is a highly prized substance, in relation to which coprophilic instincts find satisfaction. The most important residue of this former esteem is, however, that all the interest which the child has had in feces is transferred in the adult on to another material which is set above almost everything else, gold. In dreams in folklore, gold is seen in the most unambiguous way to be a symbol of feces. Occasionally, the Devil appears as a bestower of treasure and a seducer. The defecation dreams in which the victim is a woman, deal with impotence. If the sleeper feels a need to defecate, he dreams of gold, of treasure. A few other dreams are analyzed including one about a lottery taken to symbolize a marriage contract.
On psycho-analysis (1913).
Psychoanalysis is discussed. Psychoanalysis is a remarkable combination for it comprises not only a method of research into the neuroses but also a method of treatment based on the etiology thus discovered. Psychoanalysis started with researches into hysteria, but in the course of years it has extended far beyond that field of work. It was conclusively proved that hysterical symptoms are residues (reminiscences) of profoundly moving experiences, which have been withdrawn from everyday consciousness, and that their form is determined (in a manner that excludes deliberate action) by details of the traumatic effects of the experiences. The first psychoanalytic examinations and attempts at treatment were made with the help of hypnotism. Afterwards, this was abandoned and the work was carried out by the method of free association with the patient remaining in his normal state. In all neuroses the pathological symptoms are really the end products of conflicts, which have led to repression and splitting of the mind. The symptoms are generated by different mechanisms: either as formations in substitution for the repressed forces, or as compromises between the repressing and repressed forces, or as reaction formations and safeguards against the repressed forces.
Formulations on the two principles of mental functioning (1911).
Formulations on the Two Principles of Mental Functioning has as its main theme the distinction between the regulating principles (the pleasure principle and the reality principle) which respectively dominate the primary and secondary mental processes. Every neurosis has as its result a forcing of the patient out of real life. Neurotics turn away from reality because they find it unbearable. The most extreme type of this turning away from reality is shown by certain cases of hallucinatory psychosis which seek to deny the particular event that occasioned the outbreak of their insanity. In the psychology which is founded on psychoanalysis, we have become accustomed to taking as our starting point the unconscious mental processes. We consider these to be the older, primary processes. The governing purpose obeyed by these primary processes is described as the pleasure principle. The setting up of the reality principle was a momentous step. The increased significance of external reality heightened the importance of the sense organs that are directed towards the external world. With the introduction of the reality principle, phantasizing and daydreaming were split off. The supersession of the pleasure principle by the reality principle is not accomplished all at once; nor does it take place simultaneously all along the line. Just as the pleasure ego can do nothing but wish, work for a yield of pleasure, and avoid un-pleasure, so the reality ego need do nothing but strive for what is useful and guard itself against damage. Education is described as an incitement to the conquest of the pleasure principle. Art brings about a reconciliation between the 2 principles. While the ego goes through its transformation from a pleasure ego into a reality ego, the sexual instincts undergo the changes that lead them from the autoeroticism through various intermediate phases to object love in the service of procreation.
Onset of Neurosis.
Types of onset of neurosis are described. The first type may be described in general terms as frustration. In the second type, the subject does not fall ill as a result of a change in the external world which has replaced satisfaction by frustration, but as a result of an internal effort. He falls ill of his attempt to adapt himself to reality and to fulfill the demands of reality, an attempt in the course of which he comes up against insurmountable internal difficulties. The third type concerns those people who fall ill as soon as they get beyond the irresponsible age of childhood. The essential feature of the dispositional processes is that their libido has never left its infantile fixations; the demands of reality are not suddenly made upon a wholly or partly mature person, but arise from the very fact of growing older. The fourth type involves people who fall ill who have hitherto been healthy, who have met with no fresh experience and whose relation to the external world has undergone no change. As a result of their having reached a particular period of life, and in conformity with regular biological processes, the quantity of libido in their mental economy has experienced an increase which is in itself enough to upset the equilibrium of their health and to set up the necessary conditions for a neurosis.
Contributions to a discussion on masturbation (1912).
Contributions to a discussion on masturbation are presented. The discussion on masturbation in the Vienna Psychoanalytical Society lasted for several months and was conducted on the plan of each speaker in turn reading a paper, which was followed by an exhaustive debate. All of the members agreed on the following points: 1) the importance of the phantasies which accompany or represent the act of masturbation; 2) the importance of the sense of guilt which is attached to masturbation; and 3) the impossibility of assigning a qualitative determinant for the injurious effects of masturbation. The following unresolved differences of opinion appeared: 1) a denial of a somatic factor in the effects of masturbation; 2) a general denial of the injurious effects of masturbation; 3) the origin of the sense of guilt; and 4) the ubiquity of masturbation in childhood. Significant uncertainties exist: 1) the mechanism of the injurious effects of masturbation, and 2) the etiological relation of masturbation to the actual neuroses. We are confronted, in the neuroses, with cases in which masturbation has done damage. This damage seems to occur in 3 different ways: 1) organic injury may occur by some unknown mechanism; 2) the injury may occur through the laying down of a psychical pattern according to which there is no necessity for trying to alter the external world in order to satisfy a great need; or 3) a fixation of infantile sexual aims may be made possible, and a persistence of psychical infantilism.
A note on the unconscious in psycho-analysis (1912).
The unconscious in psychoanalysis is discussed. A conception, or any other psychical element, which is now present to the consciousness may become absent the next moment, and may become present again, after an interval, unchanged, and from memory, not as a result of a fresh perception by our senses. It is this fact which we are accustomed to account for by the supposition that during the interval the conception has been present in our mind, although latent in consciousness. The conception which is present to our consciousness and of which we are aware is the meaning of the term conscious. As for latent conceptions, they are denoted by the meaning of the term conscious. We learn by the analysis of neurotic phenomena that a latent or unconscious idea is not necessarily a weak one, and that the presence of such an idea in the mind admits of indirect proofs of the most cogent kind, which are equivalent to the direct proof furnished by consciousness. A foreconscious activity passes into consciousness with no difficulty; an unconscious activity remains so and seems to be cut off from consciousness. The latent thoughts of the dream differ in no respect from the products of our regular conscious activity; they deserve the name of foreconscious (preconscious) thoughts, and may indeed have been conscious at some moment of waking life.
An evidential dream (1913).
An evidential dream is discussed. A lady suffering from doubting mania and obsessive ceremonials, insisted that her nurses should never let her out of their sight for a single moment otherwise she would begin to brood about forbidden actions that she might have committed while she was not being watched. One evening, while she was resting on the sofa, she thought she saw that the nurse on duty had fallen asleep. When questioned, the nurse started up and replied that she saw the patient. This gave the patient grounds for a fresh doubt, and after a time she repeated her question, which the nurse met with renewed protestations; just at that moment another attendant came in bringing the patient’s supper. This incident occurred one Friday evening. The next morning, the nurse recounted a dream which had the effect of dispelling the patient’s doubts. The essential factor in the construction of dreams is an unconscious wish, as a rule a now repressed infantile wish, which can come to expression in this somatic or psychical material (in the day’s residues too, therefore) and can thus supply these with a force which enables them to press their way through to consciousness even during the suspension of thought at night. The dream is in every case a fulfillment of this unconscious wish, whatever else it may contain:warning, reflection, admission, or any other part of the rich content of preconscious waking life that has persisted undealt with into the night.
The occurrence in dreams of material from fairy tales (1913).
The occurrence in dreams of material from fairy tales is discussed. Psychoanalysis confirms our recognition of the important place which folk fairytales have acquired in the mental life of our children. In a few people, a recollection of their favorite fairytales takes the place of memories of their own childhood; they have made the fairytales into screen memories. Elements and situations derived from fairytales are also frequently to be found in dreams. A dream of a young married woman who had had a visit from her husband a few days before was presented. In the dream a manikin entered the same room as the woman and proceeded to dance and carry on. The description of the manikin’s personal appearance fitted the dreamer’s father-in-law without any alteration being necessary. Immediately afterwards, however, she thought of the story of Rumpelstiltskin. The brown room she saw reminded her of her parents’ dining room, panelled in brown wood. Then she began to speak of beds too uncomfortable for two to sleep in. The brown wood room became in the first place a bed, and through the connection with a dining room, it was a marriage bed. The situation was a representation of intercourse. A young man told Freud about a dream that concerned night time and he was lying in his bed. Suddenly the window opened of its own accord and there were 6 or 7 wolves sitting on the big walnut tree in front of the window. He thought that the picture of a wolf standing upright must have been an illustration to the story of Little Red Riding Hood. It is the earliest anxiety dream that the dreamer remembered from his childhood. It was interpreted that the wolf was merely a first father surrogate.
The theme of the three caskets (1913).
The theme of the 3 caskets from The Merchant of Venice is discussed. Portia is bound to take as her husband that one who chooses the right casket from among the 3 before him. The 3 caskets are of gold, silver, and lead. Two suitors have already departed unsuccessful: they have chosen gold and silver. Bassanjo, the third, decides in favor of lead; thereby he wins the bride, whose affection was already his before the trial of fortune. Shakespeare did not invent this oracle of the choice of a casket; he took it from a tale in the Gesta Romanorum, in which a girl has to make the same choice to win the Emperor’s son. Here too, the third metal, lead, is the bringer of fortune. The theme is a human one, a man’s choice between 3 women. This same content is found in King Lear when the King resolves to divide his kingdom while he is still alive, among his 3 daughters. He disowns Cordelia and divides the kingdom between the other 2, to his own and the general ruin. The shepherd Paris has to choose between 3 goddesses, of whom he declares the third to be the most beautiful. Cinderella is a youngest daughter, who is preferred by the prince to her 2 elder sisters. Psyche, in Apuleius s story, is the youngest and fairest of 3 sisters. Gold and silver are considered “loud”; while lead is considered dumb. In all the stories, there are 3 women of whom the youngest is the best. The Twelve Brothers, a Grimm Fairy Tale, involves a woman who remains dumb for 7 years in order to save her brothers. The earliest Greek mythology only knew a single Moera. She later developed into 3 sister goddesses. It is argued that what is represented are the 3 forms taken by the figure of the mother in the course of a man’s life: the mother, the wife, and Mother Earth who receives him after death.
Two lies told by children (1913).
Two lies told by children are discussed. A number of lies told by well reared children have a particular significance and should cause those in charge of them to reflect rather than be angry. These lies occur under the influence of excessive feelings of love, and become momentous when they lead to a misunderstanding between the child and the person it loves. Taking money from anyone had come to mean to one of Freud’s patients a physical surrender, an erotic relation. Taking money from her father was equivalent to a declaration of love. She could not admit, however, that she had appropriated the money; she was obliged to disavow it’ because her motive for the deed, which was unconscious to herself, could not be admitted. Her father’s punishment was thus a rejection of the tenderness she was offering him, and so it broke her spirit. A woman who was seriously ill in consequence of a frustration in life was in her earlier years a particularly capable, truth-loving, serious and virtuous girl, and became an affectionate wife. As the eldest of 5 children, the little girl early developed an unusually strong attachment to her father, which was destined, when she was grown up to wreck her happiness in life. The sense of guilt that was attached to her excessive fondness for her father found its expression in connection with her attempted deception; an admission was impossible because it would inevitably have been an admission of her hidden incestuous love.
The disposition to obsessional neurosis. A contribution to the problem of choice of neurosis (1913).
The Disposition to Obsessional Neurosis was read by Freud before the Fourth International Psychoanalytical Congress. The grounds for determining the choice of neurosis are in the nature of dispositions and are independent of experiences which operate pathogenically. The dispositions are inhibitions in development. The order in which the main forms of psychoneurosis are usually enumerated: Hysteria, Obsessional Neurosis, Paranoia, and Schizophrenia (Dementia Praecox), corresponds (even though not exactly) to the order of the ages at which the onset of these disorders occurs. Hysterical forms of illness can be observed even in earliest childhood; obsessional neurosis usually shows its first symptoms in the second period of childhood (between the ages of 6 and 8); while the 2 other psychoneuroses do not appear until after puberty and during adult life. Once the sexual organization which contains the disposition to obsessional neurosis is established it is never afterwards completely surmounted. The impulses of hatred and anal eroticism play a strong part in the symptomatology of obsessional neurosis. Psychoanalysis stands or falls with the recognition of the sexual component instincts, of the erotogenic zones and of the extension thus made possible of the concept of a sexual function in contrast to the narrower genital function. The antithesis between male and female is not present at the stage of pregenital object choice. The processes of the formation of character are more obscure and less accessible to analysis than neurotic ones. The developmental disposition to a neurosis is only complete if the phase of the development of the ego at which fixation occurs is taken into account as well as that of the libido. There remains for hysteria an intimate relation to the final phase of libidinal development, which is characterized by the primacy of the genitals and the introduction of the reproductive function.
Introduction to Pfister’s ‘The psycho-analytic method’ (1913).
The Introduction to Pfister’s The Psychoanalytic Method is presented. Psychoanalysis had its origin on medical soil, as a therapeutic procedure for the treatment of certain nervous illnesses which were termed functional and which were considered with increasing certainty to be consequences of disturbances in emotional life. It attains its end by assuming that the symptoms are not the only possible and final outcome of particular psychical processes. It uncovers the history of the development of the symptoms in the patient’s memory, it revivifies the processes underlying them, and then conducts them, under the doctor’s guidance, to a more favorable outlet Education and therapeutics stand in an assignable relation to each other. Education seeks to ensure that certain of a child’s innate dispositions and inclinations shall not cause any damage either to the individual or to society. Therapeutics come into action if these same dispositions have already led to the unwished for result of pathological symptoms. Let us hope that the application of psychoanalysis to the service of education will quickly fulfill the hopes which educators and doctors may rightly attach to it.
Preface to Bourke’s ‘Scatalogic rites of all nations'(1913).
The Preface to Bourke’s Scatalogic Rites of All Nations, is presented. The lesson that bodily cleanliness is far more readily associated with vice than with virtue often occurred to Freud, when psychoanalytic work made him acquainted with the way in which civilized men deal with the problem of their physical nature. They are clearly embarrassed by anything that reminds them too much of their animal origin. The chief finding from psychoanalytic research has been the fact that the human infant is obliged to recapitulate during the early part of his development the changes in the attitude of the human race toWards excremental matters whi~ch probably had their start when homo sapiens first raised himself off Mother Earth. In the earliest years of infancy there is no trace of shame about the excretory functions or of disgust at excreta. Psychoanalysis shows that, to begin with, excremental and sexual instincts are not distinct from each other in children. Folklore shows us how incompletely the repression of coprophilic inclinations has been carried out among various peoples at various times and how closely at other cultural levels the treatment of excretory substances approximates to that practiced by children.
The significance of sequences of vowels (1911).
The significance of sequences of vowels is discussed. In dreams and associations, names which have to be concealed seem to be replaced by others that resemble them only in containing the same sequence of vowels. A striking analogy is, however, provided from the history of religion. Among the ancient Hebrews the name of God was taboo; it might neither be spoken aloud nor written down. This prohibition was so implicitly obeyed that to this very day the vocalization of the 4 consonants in God’s name (“”HVH) remains unknown. It was, however, pronounced Jehovah, being supplied with the vowels of the word Adnoai, against which there was no such prohibition.
‘Great is Diana of the Ephesians’ (1911).
The ancient Greek city of Ephesus in Asia Minor was especially celebrated in antiquity for its splendid temples dedicated to Artemis (Diana). The evidence of excavations shows that in the course of centuries several temples were erected on the same site in honor of the goddess. In about A.D. 54, the apostle Paul spent several years at Ephesus. He preached, performed miracles, and found a large following among the people. He was persecuted and accused by the Jews; and he separated from them and founded an independent Christian community. The church founded by Paul at Ephesus did not long remain faithful to him. It came under the influence of a man named John. The city was conquered by Islam and finally was ruined and abandoned, because the river on which it stood became choked with sand. But even then the great goddess of Ephesus had not abandoned her claims. In our own days she appeared as a saintly virgin to a pious German girl, Katharina Errunerich, at Dulmen. She described to her, her journey to Ephesus, the furnishings of the house in which she had lived there and in which she had died, the shape of her bed, and so on. And both the house and the bed were in fact found, exactly as the virgin had described them, and they are once more the goal of the pilgrimages of the faithful.
Preface to Maxim Steiner’s ‘The psychical disorders of male potency’ (1913).
“The preface to Maxim Steiner’s The Psychical Disorders of Male Potency” is presented. Steiner is one of the small band of physicians who recognized the importance of psychoanalysis for the special branch of medicine and who have never since ceased to perfect themselves in its theory and technique. Only a small part of neurotic ailments are dealt with in neuropathology itself. The greater number of them find a place among the disorders of the particular organ which is the victim of a neurotic disturbance. It is therefore expedient and proper that the treatment of these symptoms or syndromes should also be the business of the specialist, who is alone capable of making a differential diagnosis between a neurotic and an organic illness, who can draw the line, in the case of mixed forms, between their organic and neurotic elements, and who can in general give us information on the way in which the 2 factors in the disease mutually reinforce each other. We may hope that the time is not far distant when it will be generally recognized that no sort of nervous disturbance can be understood and treated without the help of the line of approach and often of the technique of psychoanalysis.
Abstracts of the Standard Edition of
the Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud
Carrie Lee Rothgeb, Editor