chapter  23
8 Pages

The disagreement between Freud and Ferenczi, and its repercussions

Let us now return to the historical difference between Freud and Ferenczi where we left it at the end of Chapter 19. The technical problem of how to respond to a regressed patient who had developed an intense transference, was perhaps the major cause of this tragic disagreement. The impact of this event was so painful that the first reaction of the analytic movement to it was denial and silence, broken only in recent years, since when all sorts of fictitious statements about Freud and Ferenczi have found their way into print: Freud was described as a ruthless autocrat, a dictator (Fromm, 1963) and Ferenczi as a mean, cowardly schemer (Jones, 1957). Of course, all the monstrosities alleged are utterly untrue; what they show up is the difference between the greatness of the victims and the pettiness of their calumniators.