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Experience into psychoanalytic ideas: A psychobiographical study of Ferenczi's Introjection

Chan, Yiukee (2015) Experience into psychoanalytic ideas: A psychobiographical study of Ferenczi's Introjection. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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Abstract

How does experience become a psychoanalytic idea? The case of Ferenczi may provide an answer. Ferenczi played an important and yet controversial role in the development of psychoanalysis. Most of the past Ferenczi studies are either about Ferenczi’s psychoanalytic ideas or life. The former usually point towards Ferenczi’s foresight and creativity in advancing the psychoanalytic movement. The latter, focus more on his relationship with Freud, especially his suffering and wounds, see him more as a victim. These two streams of research, however, rarely cross over one another. This thesis, a psycho-biographical one, provides this missing perspective. Ferenczi is noted for his introjective character, as Borgogno (2011) names him the ‘introjective psychoanalyst’. Amongst Ferenczi’s ideas, Introjection is chosen for this study because the phenomenon behind this concept may be prevalent in his relationship with Freud. This relationship is for him to gestate his ideas, not just intellectually but experientially, i.e., psychoanalytically. Given Ferenczi’s merging life with psychoanalysis, it is hypothesized that as and before Ferenczi writes about Introjection, he has been living it in this relationship. I search for evidence for this hypothesis by meticulous mapping of the connection between this relationship and Ferenczi’s writings, using historical documents, notably correspondence, and published papers, available. In this historiographic and conceptual study, I strive for a more historically informed position between denigration and idealization in the restoration of Ferenczi and his idea. It is important, given the controversial nature of his character and ideas. This study would throw light on Ferenczi’s inner and relational world and their connection to introjection. It is concluded that the hypothesis is supported. Although Ferenczi pays a price, his idea evolves and lives on. This thesis contributes to an understanding of the making of an idea and advancement of knowledge in the history of psychoanalysis.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0500 Psychoanalysis
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, Department of
Depositing User: Yiu Chan
Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2016 22:12
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2016 22:12
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/15798

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