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Freud and Jung: The development of psychoanalysis

Freud and Jung: The development of psychoanalysis

Psychoanalytic Psychology 4130

April 15, 2002

Cassandra Hunter


The development of psychoanalysis cannot be understood without exploring the dynamics between Sigmund Freud and Carl Gustav Jung.  In order to understand their relationship and the differences in the ways in which they viewed human nature it is important to briefly look at their backgrounds before going any further. Freud was an older Jew, 19 years Jung’s senior, who grew up in Vienna. Freud worked with neurotics and came from a neurological background. His theory was primarily sexual in nature. Jung was a young German Swiss protestant who had a psychiatric background. He was working with psychosis, mainly schizophrenia and was theoretically interested in the occult and mythology.

This paper will survey the literature surrounding the historic relationship between the two men while highlighting the development of the theory, method and organization of psychoanalysis along the way. First a brief history of the invention of psychoanalysis will be discussed, then a look at Jung and Freud during the period of 1900 to 1906, the lead up to their correspondence. The period from 1906, when Jung first wrote to Freud, until 1913, the end of their correspondence will be explored with emphasis on the historical relationship between the two men and roles they played in the development of psychoanalysis. The manner in which the two men dealt with the split will be briefly discussed.

The official start of psychoanalysis is a bit blurry. It could be considered to be when Freud himself first used the term in the 1890’s. Another possibility could be in 1897 “when Freud announced in a letter to Fliess that he had abandoned the hypothesis that adult neurosis had its origins in childhood sexual seduction, and instead Freud began to believe in the powerful role that the fantasy life of patients can play in their irrational problems” (1992, Roazen, “The historiography of psychoanalysis”, pp3). Another option would be when Freud substituted his version of free association for Breuer’s earlier method of hypnosis. Breuer can be seen as the inventor of psychoanalysis or the “talking cure” and Freud the modifier. It can also be argued that politically psychoanalysis began in 1902 when Freud began formally to assemble a following, the Vienna psychoanalytic society (Ibid.). According to Roazen, it would be agreed by most that in some sense psychoanalysis was underway by the time of the publication of The Interpretation of Dreams in 1900.

Before this however, Freud had undergone an intense self-analysis, which finally ended with this publication. His theories of dream interpretation came out of his self-analysis as well as from his early neurological work in Project for a Scientific Psychology, which he wrote in 1895 (1973, Fancher, Psychoanalytic psychology). There are various interpretations to the torment Freud underwent between 1894-1900. One could view psychoanalysis as an ill man’s expression of neurosis or view the self-analysis as a heroic feat without precedence, where abysses of the unconscious were revealed to mankind for the first time. According to Ellenberger, Freud’s self-analysis was one aspect of a complex process (other aspects being his relationship with Fliess, his father dying in 1896, his neurosis, and the elaboration of psychoanalysis) and that this process was an example of what may be called a “creative illness”, which can also be found in shamans, mystics, philosophers and creative writers (1970, Ellenberger, The discovery of the unconscious, pp447). Some of the key “symptoms” to a creative illness are the self-obsessed tortured search for a certain truth and that the subject emerges from the illness transformed and with the conviction that he or she has discovered a great truth or a new spiritual world (Ibid.).

From 1900 on, Freud’s personality appears in a new light. His self-analysis had transformed the unsure young practitioner into a self-assured founder of a new doctrine and school, convinced that he had made a great discovery, which he saw as his mission to give to the world (Ibid. pp459).

.           In the same year that Jung had entered the Burgholzli, the Zurich Psychiatric Institute, as Eugen Bleuler’s first assistant, Freud had just published The Interpretation of Dreams.  It was during this period, 1900-1906, that Jung and Bleuler, “first began reporting that they could confirm some of Freud’s theories with their own patients” (1993, Kerr, A Most Dangerous Method, pp9).  When Jung arrived at the Burgholzli  “he found himself exposed as never before to ‘the unbearable torture of not understanding’” (1997, Hannah, Jung, pp77). The Burgholzli was regarded as the best of all Swiss hospitals at that time but psychiatric knowledge at the turn of the century was almost non-existent (Ibid.). Jung was asked by Bleuler to write a report on Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams soon after he arrived.  According to Jung, he “didn’t grasp Freud’s theories” at this time and he had to read it again in 1903 when he “discovered how it linked up with his own ideas” (1989, Jung, Memories, dreams, reflections, pp146). “What chiefly interested me was the application to dreams of the concept of the repression mechanism, which was derived from the psychology of the neuroses”(Ibid.).

Jung, Riklin and Bleuler began to work with the Word Association Test in the first years of the 1900’s. This test was developed by Galton “who showed how it could be used to explore the hidden recesses of the mind” (1970, Ellenberger, pp691). “This test consisted of enunciating to a subject a succession of carefully chosen words; to each of them the subject had to respond with the first word that occurred to him; the reaction time was exactly measured” (Ibid.). After Galton the test went through many permutations until,

Ziehen found that the reaction time was longer when the stimulus word was related to something unpleasant to the subject. Sometimes by picking out several delayed responses, one could related them to a common underlying representation that Ziehen called emotionally charged complex of representations, or simple a complex. Ziehen found that in giving these answers the subject was usually unaware of the connection between his answers and the complex (Ibid. pp692).

Bleuler introduced the test at the Burgholzli and entrusted it to Jung where he perfected the technique of the test. Jung’s idea was to use the W.A.T “to detect the presence of a specific mental process with a particular ideational content in an individual patient” (1993, Kerr, pp57).  Jung distinguished between normal, accidental and permanent complexes.

This test was crucial in that it served as the needed experimental validity to Freud’s theories of repression. It helped to prove Freud’s theory of repression in that “it demonstrates that emotionally disturbing material can be banished from consciousness” (1975, Storr, Jung, pp.25). Freud’s many critics at this time needed this experimental data in order to take psychoanalysis seriously as a reliable and valid scientific method. The findings of psychoanalysis had to be replicable by others in principle, as a science therefore Freud presented himself to Jung and Bleuler as a scientific asset to be acquired (1993, Kerr). Freud personally didn’t care much about experimental validation and once psychoanalysis got what it needed in that regard it branched off into an artistic and cultural movement with general aspirations as a totalizing worldview. Jung was happy to hasten this process; Bleuler was not. Property rights became more of an issue along the way because of the artistic cultural qualities to the movement (1993, Kerr, pp10).

In the early beginnings of the property rights struggles Jung felt at first that he need not give any credit to Freud. Jung had quoted Freud four times in passing throughout his 1902 dissertation on occultism, a few times in his articles written from 1902-1905, and in his writings of the word association test Jung eventually refers to Freud as an authority (1970, Ellenberger, pp694). This praise of Freud came about slowly for Jung and it was actually Riklin and not Jung who finally came out in a lecture before the Society of Swiss Physicians in the fall of 1904 and said “that the distinguishing trait of the hysterical-reaction type on the test was that ‘the strong feeling-toned complex of ideas (’the complex’) is repressed in the Breuer-Freud sense’” (1993, Kerr, pp.59). In Memoirs, dreams, reflections, Jung suggests a possible reason for not having given more credit to Freud early on.

Freud was persona non grata in the academic world at the time, and any connection with him would have been damaging in scientific circles…therefore the discovery that my association experiments were in agreement with Freud’s theories was far from pleasant to me (1989, Jung, pp148).

Freud had dropped out of the academic scene during his self-analysis and only re-entered again in 1902. Jung also claims that he had worked out his own experiments “long before he understood his work” (Ibid.). Jung had however already read Interpretations of Dreams twice by 1904.

Meanwhile, Freud at this time was practicing a very different method then was known outside of his Vienna circle. He had neglected to publish anything from 1900 to 1905, partially due to his arguments with his old friend Fliess over the property rights of Fliess’s bisexuality theory of repression. Freud had started using this theory, that all children must eventually repress their bisexual side thereby causing sexual repression and neurosis, in his therapy but had not published anything about it at Fliess’s request. Fliess had come up with the theory but asked Freud not to use it until he had published his own version. Freud, not wanting to get into a property rights battle, especially with his reputation as tenuous as it was at the time, acquiesced. “Freud was in the frustrating position of knowing where his clinical theory was going – the direction was quite radical – but not being able to communicate it outside of a local circle of friends and patients” (1993, Kerr, pp81). This may be part of the reason why Freud had thus far refrained “from publishing a comprehensive, objective account of his method though he continued to insist he had one” (Ibid. pp64).

During these years Freud’s theory had changed radically, for example he no longer accepted the seduction theory as true, replacing it with the theory of infantile sexuality causing wish fulfilling sexual fantasies, and yet hadn’t published anything regarding the change except briefly in Lowenfeld’s volume early in 1904 (Ibid.pp81). Most people, unless they had read the Lowenfeld article, were under the impression that Freud still supported the seduction theory. Freud’s method had also changed by this time, yet every publication to date,

had consistently described the elicitation of the chance idea of “free” association in the context of an ongoing inquiry directed by the physician into the meaning of a specific symptom, slip of the tongue, dream symbol, or chance memory, all of it controlled and directed by the physician. That is to say Freud had not yet reported the method, which he had been using for a least four years, where the patient and not the doctor sets the day’s agenda (Ibid. pp65).

Freud also did not publish his Dora case until 1905, although he had written it in 1900. This means that he also understood and used the concept of transference in therapy but had not published anything on the topic at this time. It should be noted that Freud’s understanding of transference at this time would have been quite rudimentary (1995, Gabbard “The early history of boundary violations in psychoanalysis”, pp1118). That Jung, in 1904, got permission from Bleuler to undertake the first test case of psychoanalysis outside of Vienna, without all of this knowledge and without consulting Freud could be seen as quite stubborn on Jung’s part and potentially dangerous for the patient.

Freud and Jung had begun communicating through their publications and lectures before their correspondence ever began. Freud heard of the test case Jung was taking on, although we are not sure it was through his communications with Bleuler, which had begun that year. In a lecture Freud gave in 1904 he states,

I am now and then astonished to hear that in this or that department of a hospital a young (in German jung) assistant has received an order from his chief to undertake a “psychoanalysis” of a hysterical patient. I am sure he would not be allowed to examine an extirpated tumour unless he had convinced his chiefs that he was conversant with histological technique (1993, Kerr, pp.88).

Freud obviously felt that Jung should have contacted him prior to beginning the test case. It does seem reasonable that Freud would feel this way after having practiced psychoanalysis for ten years, therefore being the most knowledgeable in the procedure having learned from his mistakes and would therefore have much to offer. As the method was not yet formalized and therefore like a finding that cannot be replicated, it most likely would have been to Jung’s benefit to consult Freud (Ibid. pp89). Jung however, did not contact Freud until afterwards.

Jung undertook the first psychoanalytic test case outside of Vienna with a hysterical patient of his, Sabina Spielrein a 19 year-old educated Russian Jew. She arrived in August and was analyzed by Jung for approximately two months (1993, Kerr). Following termination, Spielrein began working in Jung’s lab and the two developed a working relationship. In 1905 she became a medical student and the friendship intensified.  According to Spielrein’s diaries, which were discovered in 1977 (1984, Carotenuto, A Secret Symmetry, ppxv), there was a letter dated Sept. 25, 1905 from Jung to Freud regarding her (1993, Kerr, pp72).  It is possible that the relationship between Spielrein and Jung was what first inspired Jung to write to Freud in 1905, although this letter was never sent. It wasn’t until 1906 that he finally asked for Freud’s help with her case.

By mid-1905 Jung had “got over the temptation to present his theory of complexes as entirely original, and his publications now began to make increasingly clear and positive, comments about Freud’s pioneering work in the area of repression and other topics” (1993, Kerr, pp72). In fact he went out of his way to praise Freud’s method, which Freud stated had not been reported yet (1993, Kerr). Jung at this time had just published his Diagnostic Association Studies, which provided the scientific validity for Freud’s theories of repression. It is ironic that Jung came out openly and praised Freud just before he published his Dora case and Three Essays on Sexuality in 1905, right before Freud’s procedure was “about to become controversial as never before” (1993, Kerr, pp96).

For the first half of 1906 Jung acted as if the Dora case didn’t exist. He grasped the concept but avoided the term. Jung used the word transposition instead (1993, Kerr).  It is possible that in order for Jung to have accepted Freud’s theory of transference and possibly even his theory of sexuality he had to accept that his first test case, which had turned into a very intense relationship, eventually of a sexual nature, was in fact due to the nature of psychoanalysis and not due to their mystical connection.

There is something inherently humbling in the psychoanalytic notion of transference. The analyst must reluctantly acknowledge that forces are at work that transcend his or her irresistible magnetism. If any other analyst were sitting in the chair, similar feelings would appear. Analysts who fall in love with their patients and become sexually involved with them often are longing to believe in the exclusivity of the patient’s feelings toward them and cannot bear the pain of thinking that feelings of such intensity could be transferred to someone else (1995, Gabbard, pp1121).

Emma Jung had written to Freud later on regarding her husband, “the women are all in love with him” (1988, Donn, Freud and Jung, pp132). Women responded to Jung with emotions that sometimes lasted all their lives. “Many years later Jung’s son would understand; ‘It was not so much what he did, so much as what he was” (Ibid.). Jung obviously had trouble dealing with issues of transference, counter transference and love in the psychoanalytic relationship.

In July 1906 Jung published his book The Psychology of Dementia Praecox, which “represents the first coherent attempt to apply psychoanalytic understanding to insanity” (1975, Storr, pp29). Jung, by this time was a respected Swiss psychiatrist and the publication of this work “drew world-wide attention to Freud’s fundamental theories” (1966, Selesnick, “Carl Gustav Jung”, pp66). Although outwardly at this time Jung had a great enthusiasm for Freud and an aggressive attitude toward any adversaries of psychoanalysis, he writes in the foreword to this work “that he does not concur with Freud’s idea on the importance of the infantile sexual trauma, that he does not place sexuality as much in the foreground as Freud does, and that he considers Freud’s psychotherapy as ‘at best a possible one’ (1970, Ellenberger, pp694). It is important to note, according to Storr, Jung was writing about schizophrenia and he “fairly soon concluded that Freud’s ideas fitted hysteria very well, in many cases, they were less satisfactory when applied to schizophrenia” (1975, Storr, pp30). Sabina Spielrein was a hysterical case however, not schizophrenic.

When Jung did finally write to Freud in or before April 1906, his first letter to him is missing; it appears the reasons were two-fold. Firstly he wanted to send him a copy of his work with the association experiment, Diagnostic Association Studies, which provides experimental validity to Freud’s theory of repression, sexual or not, Jung never fully accepted Freud’s theory of sexuality, even when he wrote to him that he did, and secondly although it was two years after his initial assessment of Spielrein he was obviously still having trouble with his first test case. He wrote in his third letter to Freud, “at the risk of boring you, I must abreact my most recent experience. I am currently treating a hysteric with your method. Difficult case, a 20 year-old Russian girl student, ill for 6 years” (1974, McGuire, The Freud/Jung letters, pp7). He goes on to describe the case history not what his relationship with her had become. It wasn’t until much later in their relationship that Jung “ultimately enlisted Freud’s help in extricating himself from the situation, but Spielrein continued to feel that she had been used and deeply hurt by the relationship” (1995, Gabbard, pp1122).

It is understandable that Jung sought Freud’s help in what he would have experienced as a most difficult situation. Jung’s failure to speak about the nature of his relationship with Spielrein in his first contact with Freud shows that Jung from the very beginning of his relationship with Freud “could not get himself to admit to the importance of sex in human relations, and in neurosis” (1984, Carotenuto, ppxxiii). Jung’s relations to Spielrein quite possibly forced him to “turn first for help to Freud, and his inability to face openly that a sexual involvement was pressing for abreaction presaged the issue over which his final break with Freud occurred. As it happens so often in complex psychological relations, the end was evident in the beginning,” (Ibid.).

In 1907, after the first meeting of the two men, Jung returned to the Burgholzli and founded the Freud society. Jung was quite impressed with Freud at that time. Jung proceeded to organize the first international Psychoanalytical Congress in Salzburg in 1908, where the periodical, the Jahrbuch, exclusively devoted to psychoanalysis was founded with Jung as its editor. In 1909, the year they went to America, Jung left the Burgholzli to devote himself to psychoanalytic practice and activities, and in 1910 he was elected the president of the international psychoanalytic association (1966, Selesnick, pp68). All of these first psychoanalytic institutions were run out of Zurich, not Vienna (1993, Kerr).

It was Jung and Bleuler who possessed the institutional resources needed to turn psychoanalysis into a scientific movement (1993, Kerr). “The rise of psychoanalysis directly reflected these institutional realities…(and) it was Zurich where almost all of Freud’s most important early followers first received training in the new methods” (1993, Kerr, pp9). The training was Jung’s idea. Freud had in print accredited Jung for having invented the idea of requiring training analysis for future analysts (2001, Roazen, The historiography of psychoanalysis, pp39).

Freud was grateful to the Zurich group for their efforts to gain recognition for psychoanalysis. He was eager to establish psychoanalysis on a broader basis than could be provided by the Viennese intellectuals. He considered Switzerland the hub of international scientific activity, where as he felt that Vienna not only lay outside the great centres of Western European culture but was subject to strong prejudices…In a letter to Abraham in the spring of 1908 he wrote: ‘It was only his (Jung’s) emergence on the scene that has removed from psychoanalysis the danger of becoming a Jewish national affair ‘(1966, Selesnick, pp67).

It is obvious that it was Jung and Bleuler that put Freud on the map and not the other way around (1993, Kerr). Besides what the notoriety of the Zurich school and a gentile face could provide, Freud also considered Jung to be a “truly original mind” (Ibid.).

In order to understand more fully how “the career of Jung came to occupy such a pivotal place in Freud’s life and work, the full extent of Freud’s feelings of alienation from the medical science of his day must be appreciated” (1974, Roazen, Freud and his followers, pp225). Freud not only had to battle against anti-Semitism but he was also up against the criticism of Wagner who held the most prestigious chair in psychiatry at the University of Vienna at the time. Wagner in fact mocked Freud’s ideas (Ibid.). When Jung wrote to Freud appreciatively in 1906 from one of Europe’s most respected centers of psychiatric training it was just at the right time for Freud and his cause.

To the extent that Freud aimed to fulfill his early dream of founding a great intellectual movement, he could not hope to succeed until he had acquired Gentiles as followers; and as a Jew trying to subvert and overcome Christian standards of morality, Freud had to break out of the constricting confines of Jewish circles in Vienna (Ibid. pp227).

Through Jung, Freud could escape both “loneliness and anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism impeded the growth of Freud’s work. There were no possibilities for psychoanalysis at the university in Vienna (1977, Van Der Leeuw,  “The impact of the Freud-Jung correspondence on the history of ideas”, pp357).

In 1909 began the first phase of the eventual split between Freud and Jung. Ironically it was also a time of great progress for the psychoanalytic movement. They had been invited to America by G. Stanely Hall and surprisingly to them there views were well accepted (1993, Kerr). At one point on the journey, Freud fainted because he felt Jung had a death wish against him. Freud and Jung also analyzed each other’s dreams at that time and Freud apparently did not divulge enough personal information to Jung, stating, “but I cannot risk my authority”(1989, Jung, pp158). This made a big impression on Jung. “At that moment he lost it altogether, that sentence burned itself into my memory; and in it the end of our relationship was already foreshadowed. Freud was placing personal authority above truth” (Ibid.). Their relationship had taken on the tone of father and son, mentor and heir from the very beginning which Jung, in the correspondence, happily accepted yet in his memoirs he states that he knew he would never be able to uphold Freud’s views and be his heir (Ibid. pp157).

Jung’s motives regarding their relationship and his actions are not as clear as Freud’s. It is possible that he just couldn’t say no to Freud, or maybe he wanted to impress Freud with his own ideas like a son to a father, Jung himself admitted that he “projected” the father onto Freud (Ibid.). Maybe he wanted to be treated as Freud’s equal instead of like a son. It is also possible that Jung had not yet dealt with his own neurosis to the extent that Freud had and therefore he himself did not understand his own motives, therefore making it impossible for us to know. Maybe he was just an opportunist. It definitely appears however, as though the test case and eventual relationship Jung had with Spielrein was part of his motive to begin a relationship with Freud. According to Ellenberger, Freud was looking for a disciple worthy of succeeding him and Jung was looking for a father figure but there was misunderstanding from the start. Freud wanted disciples who would accept his doctrine without reservation. Bleuler and Jung saw their relationship as a collaboration that left both sides free. There was good will at the beginning, Freud was patient and made concessions, “although he remained unyielding in regard to his theory of the Oedipus complex and the libido. But these were the ideas that Jung never accepted, and so it was inevitable that Freud would come to reproach Jung for his opportunism, and Jung to reject Freud for his authoritarian dogmatism,” (1970, Ellenberger, pp669).

1909 was also the year that Jung’s affair with Spielrein finally ended and both Spielrein and Jung wrote to Freud about it. The relationship was brought out into the open by Spielrein’s parents who wrote to Jung asking him to end the relationship. “Sometime before March 1909, the love affair between Jung and Spielrein became known. Someone, in all likelihood Jung’s wife, wrote to Sabina Spielrein’s mother an anonymous letter, warning her that the relation might undo her daughter and asking her to put an end to it “ (1984, Carotenuto, ppxxvi). Jung handled the situation very poorly, deeply hurting Spielrein who ended up attacking him and then disappeared for a while. Spielrein wrote to Freud asking for an interview, which he first refused. Jung had already written to Freud telling him about the situation and Freud didn’t want anything to come between him and his relationship with Jung. Freud pretended to Spielrein that he knew nothing about the situation and tried to protect Jung. “Although Freud thus tried to cover up for Jung, Jung’s betrayal of a person who he had loved, who still loved him, and who had given him no reason to turn against her, must have worried Freud” (Ibid. ppxxxi).

Jung moved out of the Burgholzli and resigned his position there, supposedly in order to focus on psychoanalysis, the same month that the scandal appeared it might come out. It is possible he moved to avoid this situation. The next time Freud and Jung saw each other was the day before they sailed for America on August 20, 1909 (Ibid). Jung says in his memoirs that “the year 1909 proved decisive for our relationship” (1989, Jung, pp156), yet he neglects to mention the potential scandal that Freud was privy to in his description of why this was the case. We should obviously accept Jung’s story with considerable caution. “For if Freud indeed lost his authority for Jung entirely at that time, then his many expressions of deep respect in his letters to Freud during the following years would have been false” (1984, Carotenuto, ppxxxiii). Also if this were the case would Jung have been so concerned regarding Freud’s take on his work Transformations and Symbols of the Libido in 1911?

Spielrein and Jung eventually reconciled and kept up a correspondence. She also continued to write to Freud. At this time Sabina Spielrein became the first female psychoanalyst and her work theoretically bridged the gap between Freud and Jung. She wrote about the sexual drive and destructive impulses before Freud (1993, Kerr). She therefore anticipated Freud’s death instincts. In 1911 Spielrein went to Vienna and sat in on the Wednesday night meetings until 1912. It was here that she presented her paper on the destructive impulses of the libido. Her theory was more Freud than Jung.

Jung openly refused to accept the central role of sexuality in human affairs. What had originally been a personal need of his to deny the importance of sexuality became a theoretical issue. The fact that Spielrein had accepted Freud’s sexuality theory and became one of Freud’s followers must have difficult for Jung. He must have also felt threatened by what she could tell Freud. The Freud /Jung friendship “had begun when Jung turned to Freud with a request for help in dealing with his feelings for Spielrein, while doing so in an ambivalent way; and their friendship ended after Spielrein had changed from being Jung’s lover and disciple to becoming Freud’s follower – after she had changed her allegiance from Gentile to Jew” (1984, Carotenuto, ppxxxvi). Spielrein did in fact write to Freud about Jung and her relationship. In April 1912, Spielrein met with Freud and asked him if she could go into analysis with him the following fall to resolve her feelings for Jung, the man who had “smashed my whole life” (1993, Kerr, pp407). It is not clear what happened with this analysis.

Jung became tormented about writing and sending Freud Transformations and Symbols. “For two months I was unable to touch my pen, so tormented was I by the conflict…at last I resolved to go ahead with the writing and it did indeed cost me Freud’s friendship” (1989, Jung, pp167). When Jung finally sent it to Freud, he did not respond to it for over a year (1966, Selesnick). Emma Jung wrote to Freud pleading with him for a response. In this new work Jung states his “genetic” revision of the libido theory to which Freud did not agree (1993, Kerr). This appears to be the second phase to the end of their relationship. Around the same time that Freud disagreed with Jung’s theory, they both decided to publish Spielrein’s paper in their journal, at Freud’s request (1993, Kerr). Jung became a harsh critic of Spielrein from then on.

On May 24, 1912, before Freud left for Kreuzlingen to visit his sick friend Binswanger, he wrote to Jung what amounts to a psychoanalytic declaration of war.

In the libido question, I finally see at what point your conception differs from mine. (I am referring, of course, to incest, but I am thinking of your heralded modifications in the concept of the libido.) What I still fail to understand is why you have abandoned the older view and what other origins and motivation the prohibition of incest can have. Naturally I don’t expect you to explain this difficult matter more fully in letters; I shall be patient until you publish your ideas in the subject. I value your letter for the warning it contains, and the reminder of my first big error, when I mistook fantasies for realities. I shall be careful and keep my eyes open every step of the way. But if we now set reason aside and attune the machine to pleasure, I own to a strong antipathy towards your innovation (1993, Kerr, pp410).

According to Kerr, Freud goes on to say that he will be coming to town but would not have time to see Jung. This became known as the “Kreuzlingen gesture” (Ibid.). According to Donn, Freud did want Jung to come to visit but Jung took it as a dismissal and attributed it to his displeasure at the libido theory (1988, Donn, pp143). Jung was apparently very hurt by the event but continued on with his Christianized version of psychoanalysis, which Freud had heard all about through Spielrein. Incidentally, Spielrein married around this time and moved to Berlin. Freud began to write to colleagues that Jung’s neurosis was acting up again while Jung at the same time was preparing to go to America to lecture on his new theory of libido. “And so the two men entered the fall of 1912 with different strategies and different audiences in mind” (Ibid. pp417).

On November 24, 1912, the men met for the last time. Jung had gone to the Munich convention to show his support of psychoanalysis in the face of what was going on with his new theories. They took a long walk together and when they returned to the group Freud fainted. The issue surrounding the occurrence was again the son taking the place of the father (1993, Kerr). Jung rushed to his side and took Freud in his arms. According to Jung, Freud looked up at him like a son and said; “How sweet it must be to die”(1993, Kerr, pp429). When Freud regained his composure after the Munich incident, he wrote to Jung regarding the event as: “A bit of neurosis that I ought really to look into” (1993, Kerr, pp432). In this same letter Freud announced that Jung’s own psyche was still under scrutiny (Ibid). “In effect, Jung was being put on notice that Freud felt free to use Spielrein’s revelations as the implicit basis for a potentially devastating critique of Jung’s mysticism and thus his work generally” (Ibid). Jung exploded and responded with the reminder of their trip to America in 1909 when Freud would not give up his authority for the analysis and wrote “ these words are engraved on my memory as a symbol of everything to come” (1993), Kerr, pp433). The letters in December seemed to revolve around who was injured by whose neurosis combined with who had dealt with their own neurosis more, a battle of the psychoanalytic minds.

It seems as though Jung was happy to continue their relationship even if their theories did not agree, at least that is what he wrote in his letters. On December 18, Jung wrote:

I shall continue to stand by you publicly while maintaining my own views, but privately shall start telling you in my letters what I really think of you. I consider this procedure only decent (1974, McGuire, pp535).

Jung got no response and repeated his offer again (1993, Kerr, pp436). Freud however, could not continue with the situation the way it was and was frustrated with Jung’s differing theories, his Christianized version, being under the umbrella of psychoanalysis as well as with his odd behaviour. He no longer trusted him for many reasons. On the 3rd of January Freud wrote:

It is a convention among us analysts that none of us need feel ashamed of his own bit of neurosis. But one who while behaving abnormally keeps shouting that he is normal gives ground for the suspicion that he lacks insight into his illness. Accordingly, I propose that we abandon our personal relations entirely (1974, McGuire, pp539).

January 6, 1913 Jung wrote to Freud:

I accede to your wish that we abandon our personal relations, for I never thrust my friendship on anyone. You yourself are the best judge of what this moment means to you. “The rest is silence” (1974, McGuire, pp540).

The remainder of the Freud/Jung correspondence was very sparse and mostly concerned with business affairs that year. Jung resigned as editor of the Jahrbuch in October and then in April 1914 he resigned as the president of the international psychoanalytic association (1974, McGuire, pp551). It is important to note that Jung never did give up his interest in mythology, symbolism and occultism. He never agreed fully with Freud’s sexuality theory. Throughout their correspondence Freud tried to bring Jung over to his side and although on occasion Jung made it look like he would, he never did. “In spite of his attraction to psychoanalysis and his transitory defence of its fundamental principles, Jung was never to stray from the path he indicated in his earliest work in 1902” (1966, Selesnick, pp76).

After the split Jung was devastated. He entered a period, similar to that of Freud before him, that can be seen as his own type of self-analysis. Some even say it was a type of psychotic break. From 1913-1919 Jung underwent his “creative illness” and emerged with enough information to last him 20 years (1970, Ellenberger). From this self-analysis like with Freud, a school emerged, the Jungian school of analytical psychology. Freud had no idea that Jung suffered so after their split. “ Freud did not know that the man he had once loved like a son was struggling for his life. He did not know that the man he now feared as a dangerous rival was unable to work and spending hours by himself building little villages out of stones and drawing pictures of his dreams” (1988, Donn, pp174). Freud on the other hand was furious and needed to return to his original way of working and take things into his own hands (Ibid).

In Freud’s 1914 work On the History of Psychoanalysis, which he wrote in response to Jung, Adler and Stekel’s departure, he states that Jung was “in full retreat from psychoanalysis” (1974, Roazen, pp264). “If it was to remain Freud’s movement, if he was to impose his will on history, paradoxically Freud had to reduce psychoanalysis in talent as well as in numbers” (Ibid.). Freud starts the work with claiming ownership of psychoanalysis. He writes:

For psychoanalysis is my creation; for ten years I was the only person who concerned himself with it…I consider myself justified in maintaining that even today no one can know better that I do what psychoanalysis is…I have come to the conclusion that I must be the true originator of all that is particularly characteristic in it (1966, Freud, On the history of psychoanalysis, pp7-8).

Freud wanted to take back his authority over the psychoanalytic movement. Freud’s openly admitted motive for writing this work was to distinguish his own ideas from the dissenting views of Jung and Adler, the same terminology was being used by all three and Freud wanted to clarify and distinguish the meaning of his psychoanalysis and his ideas from their views. It is apparent in this work that Freud was furious with those who dissented from him. It appears that his underlying motive in writing this was to consolidate his role in history as the creator and leader of the psychoanalytic movement in order to advance his cause. Freud was “imbued with the conviction that it was his mission to lead an intellectual revolution to transform the world by means of the psychoanalytic movement” (1970, Ellenberger, pp467).

According to Roazen “we may know virtually nothing about what Freud admired in his early reading…but he knew in his bones that shaping the past is a key instrument to becoming dominant in the future” (1992, Roazen, pp5). It does seem odd that Freud undertook a work on the history of psychoanalysis at such an early date in its young history. His decision to recount his own version of the quarrels between himself and his dissenters so soon after they had departed “proved politically a key move on his part” (Ibid. pp6). “For those who had momentously differed with Freud it would always be an uphill battle to combat the account of things which Freud had put into the history books (Ibid.). According to Roazen, the fact that Freud “succeeded against his rivals, or that his early critics are now forgotten, says nothing about the merits of any of the arguments in which they were engaged” (1992, Roazen, pp8). Jung was one of the deepest critics Freud ever had. Few professionals “appreciate that Jung was the first to insist before WWI that infantile material when it arises clinically may be used defensively as an evasion of the present” (2001, Roazen, pp39). Freud saw religion as in principle neurotic; Jung thought neurosis arose from a fundamental absence of meaning in this secular age. The confrontation between Freud and Jung represents enduring clashes between alternative temperaments and points of view. “Freud and Jung represent lastingly different outlooks in the history of ideas” (1992, Roazen, pp10).

Jung’s contributions to psychoanalysis are extensive. He helped provide the experimental validity to Freud’s theory of repression with the word association experiment which proved the cornerstone of psychoanalytic theory, suggested that all analysts must be trained, provided the institutional and academic support of the Zurich school, was instrumental in bringing Freud’s writings to the attention of the scientific world coupled with providing the gentile face for the movement and played a huge role in organizing the psychoanalytic movement itself. “Jung’s application of psychoanalytic theory to the understanding of myths and their relationship to dreams and neuroses rekindled Freud’s interest in anthropology, eventuating in Totem and Taboo” (1966, Selesnick, pp76). Jung’s even more vital contribution was pointing out that Freud failed to distinguish between neurotic and psychotic phenomena (Ibid.). Jung and Spielrein’s work spurred Freud on to revise his theory of the libido resulting in a new understanding of narcissism, a response to Jung, (1993, Kerr) which paved the way for his final dualistic concept of the life instinct verses the death instinct, anticipated by Spielrein (1993, Kerr).

One cannot understand the development of psychoanalysis without looking into the relationship of Freud and Jung. Jung played a pivotal role in the rise of the psychoanalytic movement from 1900-1914. He experimented with, validated and supported many of Freud’s methods and theories as well as participating heavily in the organization of the movement itself. Without Jung it is hard to say where psychoanalysis would be today, at least it seems hard to imagine the development would have been as rapid without him. When discussing the history of psychoanalysis it is important to look the dynamics present between Freud and Jung at the time of the development of the theories, method and organization of psychoanalysis.


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