About Sándor Fraenkel-Ferenczi
- Sandor Ferenczi timeline
- The Correspondence of Sigmund Freud and Sándor Ferenczi: 1908-1914 By Sigmund Freud, Sándor Ferenczi
- Dispatches from the Freud wars: psychoanalysis and its passions By John Forrester
Sándor_Ferenczi (1873-1933) ( Sándor Fränkel ) was born July 7, 1873, in Miskolc, Hungary, eighth of a family of twelve children.
He recieved his M.D. in Vienna in 1894, then worked in Budapest as chief neurologist at the Elizabeth Poorhouse. He was later appointed to the Royal Court of Justice as an expert psychiatrist.
He first met Freud on February 8, 1908, after being introduced to Freud by Philip Stein.
Ferenczi was a close colleague of Freud's, and they exchanged many letters which have been published as The Correspondence of Sigmund Freud and Sandor Ferenczi,1908-1914 and The Corresondence of Sigmund Freud and Sandor Ferenczi, 1914-1919. Ferenczi is known as one of the most daring experimenters of the early psychoanalysts, and his methods and ideas were very controversial.
Ferenczi eventually broke with Freud, arguing that the sexual abuse of children by adults was the cause of neurosis. Such claims were a daring contradiction of Freud's view that memories of sexual abuse were based on instinct-driven fantasies. Ferenczi also anticipated the humanistic movement in psychotherapy by emphasizing that the analyst could not be a mere detached observor of the analysand. Rather, Ferenczi felt that the analyst must have an attitude of genuine caring in order to assist the patient's healing caused by past abuse. Ferenczi's technique of therapy reflected these ideals, and he endeavored to provide his patients with what he felt was the love and affection they had lacked in early object relations.
For this to be possible, Ferenczi felt, the analyst cannot be in the position of an authority which creates a hierarchal relationship between analyst and analysand. Ferenczi went as far as experimenting with a technique he called "mutual analysis," where he and the patient would take turns lying on the couch and free-associating. This technique--perhaps needless to say--did not work out very well, and he quickly abandoned it.
Ferenczi has influenced many subsequent psychotherapists. He was analyst for such well-known figures as Melanie Klein, Michael Balint, and Clara Thompson. He, along with Harry Stack Sullivan, influenced Thompson's interpersonal approach to psychotherapy, and he undoubtably had an impact on Klein's understanding of the interpersonal dynamics between mother and infant. Balint is known for extending Ferenczi's original innovative approach to analysis. Balint, like Ferenczi, felt that analysands are seeking within the therapeutic relationsip to cope with early interpersonal traumas. Specifically, Balient felt that the analysand seeks a kind of unconditional love from the therapist, which he refered to as "primary object love."
Sandor Ferenszi was John von Neumann's father, Max von Neumann's, brother-in-law.
Sándor Fraenkel-Ferenczi's Timeline
July 7, 1873
April 22, 1933