17 Pages

Psychoanalytical Knowledge

WithRank Otto

The development of psychoanalytic knowledge itself gives an instructive picture of the power of the primal resistance, and of Freud’s stupendous accomplishment in overcoming it. As Freud continually emphasizes, the real discoverer of Psychoanalysis was not himself but the late Dr. Josef Breuer of Vienna, who in 1881 treated the case of hysteria, and was thus brought by the patient to the idea of the talking cure, symbolically spoken of as chimney sweeping. In the exaggerations and misunderstandings of the disciples who have remained faithful to Freud, and who, after their fashion, interpreted the master’s teachings all too literally, the history of the psychoanalytic movement shows the same oscillating picture as every intellectual movement which discloses the truth on one decisive point. It is not only interesting from an historical scientific point of view but also from the human point of view, that the separation of Freud from Breuer concerned the psycho physical borders of “conversion”.