chapter  Five
16 Pages

A pioneering analysis of the incest trauma: Sándor Ferenczi’s analysis of Elizabeth Severn

ByArnold W. Rachman, Susan A. Klett

The Clinical Diary’s publication was a landmark that documented pioneering analyses of trauma, highlighting the analysis of the incest trauma with Elizabeth Severn. The innovations which emerged from Sandor Ferenczi's treatment of Severn, as well as other difficult cases in the period from 1925–1933 were considered "wild analysis" because Freud and his orthodox followers considered Ferenczi's deviations as encouraging neurosis rather than curing it. Although Ferenczi's analysis of Severn was a pioneering demonstration of the use of non-interpretative measures in the analysis of the incest trauma, it was also a demonstration of integrating standard analytic methods, and recall of childhood experience, in the analysis of the incest trauma. The introduction of activity into psychoanalysis and Ferenczi's use of it in treating difficult cases was the precursor of the evolution of the analytic method towards the treatment of the incest trauma.