Constructing Intimate Space Through Narration: Ferenczi’s Clinical Diary*

Abstract

Psychoanalysis is a narrative activity of a very special kind. One could even say that the method of free association is a subversive activity since its purpose is to cut through layers of previous conditioning in the effort to open new spaces in the psyche. The hypercathexis of neurotic functioning can only be transformed if new, unknown dynamics are able to emerge, and can then be invested by the subject. This process necessitates economic change—investing novel psychic functioning. Aided by personal analytic experience, the psychoanalyst’s role is to help initiate and support this subversive activity in the patient by initiating him/her into the method of free association. Difficulties arise when neither the patient, nor the analyst are comfortable with the symbolic and metaphorical dynamics of free association. Reacting to Freud’s lack of interest in an emotional analytic process with the patient, Ferenczi considered the analytical space as a mutual frame, to be transformed in and by the intimate psychoanalytical process. The author explores Ferenczi’s Clinical Diary as the construction of an intimate space through narration, attempting to discover Ferenczi’s techniques in this subversive activity.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. Anzieu, D. (1959). L’Auto-analyse de Freud et la découverte de la psychanalyse [Freud’s self-analysis and the discovery of psychoanalysis]. Paris: Presse Universitaire de France. Paris, 1975.

  2. Barrie, J. M. (1906). Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens. London: Hodder & Stoughton.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Bigras, J. (1977). L’Enfant dans le grenier [The child in the attic]. Paris: Librairie Hachette.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Borbely, A. F. (1998). The psychoanalytical concept of metaphor. International Journal of Psychoanalysis,79, 923–936.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. Boschan, P. (2011). Transference and countertransference in Sándor Ferenczi’s Clinical Diary. American Journal of Psychoanalysis,71, 309–320.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Dupont, J. (1994). Freud’s analysis of Ferenczi as revealed by their correspondence. International Journal of Psychoanalysis,75, 301–320.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  7. Ferenczi, S. (1932). The clinical diary of Sándor Ferenczi (J. Dupont (Ed.), M. Balint & N. Z. Jackson, Trans.). Cambridge, MA & London: Harvard University Press, 1988.

  8. Freud, S. & Ferenczi, S. (1908–1914). The correspondence for Sigmund Freud and Sándor Ferenczi, Volume 1. 1908–1914. E. Brabant, E. Falzeder & P. Giampieri-Deutsch (Eds.) (P. T. Hoffer, Trans.), With an Introduction by A. Haynal. Cambridge, MA/London, England: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1992.

  9. Freud, S., & Ferenczi, S. (1914–1919). The correspondence for Sigmund Freud and Sándor Ferenczi, Volume 2. 19141919. E. Falzeder & E. Brabant, (Eds.) (P. T. Hoffer, Trans.), With an Introduction by A. Hoffer. Cambridge, MA/London: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. 1996. In French: Correspondence 19141919. Paris: Calmann-Levy, 1996.

  10. Freud, S., & Ferenczi, S. (1920–1933). The correspondence for Sigmund Freud and Sándor Ferenczi, Volume 3, 19201933. In E. Falzeder & E. Brabant (Eds.), With the collaboration of P. Giampieri-Deutsch under the supervision of A. Haynal (P. T. Hoffer, Trans.) With and Introduction by J. Dupont. Cambridge, MA/London: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2000.

  11. Freud, S., & Fliess, W. (1887–1904). The complete letters of Sigmund Freud and Wilhelm Fliess (J. M. Masson, Ed. and Trans.). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1985.

  12. Kelley-Lainé, K. (1996). Ferenczi’s mother tongue. In P. L. Rudnytsky, A. Bókay, & P. Giampieri-Deutch (Eds.), Ferenczi’s turn in psychoanalysis (pp. 160–169). New York: New York University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Kelley-Lainé, K. (1997). Peter Pan: The story of lost childhood (2nd ed.). London: Element Books. Peter Pan ou l’enfant triste. Paris: Calmann-Levy. Hungarian edition: Peter Pan, avagy a szomorú gyermek. Budapest: Oriold és Társai. 2011.

  14. Ogden, T. (1997). Reverie and metaphor: Some thoughts on how I work as an analyst. International Journal of Psychoanalysis,78, 719–732.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  15. Strachey, J. (1974). Indexes and biographies (Standard ed., Vol. 24). London: Hogarth.

  16. Winnicott, D. W. (1960). Ego distortion in terms of true and false self. In Maturational processes and facilitating environment (pp. 140–152). New York: International Universities Press, 1965.

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Kathleen Kelley-Lainé.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Kathleen Kelley-Lainé, member, Société Psychanalytique de Paris, France.

Address correspondence to Kathleen Kelley-Lainé, SPP France, 109 Rue de Vaugirard, 75006 Paris, France.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Kelley-Lainé, K. Constructing Intimate Space Through Narration: Ferenczi’s Clinical Diary*. Am J Psychoanal 79, 484–493 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1057/s11231-019-09221-2

Download citation

Keywords

  • Ferenczi
  • intimacy
  • analytical space
  • subversive
  • narration