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On Becoming GodLate Medieval Mysticism and the Modern Western Self$
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Ben Morgan

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780823239924

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823239924.001.0001

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Taking Leave of Sigmund Freud

Taking Leave of Sigmund Freud

(p.151) 8 Taking Leave of Sigmund Freud
On Becoming God

Ben Morgan

Fordham University Press

The chapter reconstructs the behavioural context from which psychoanalysis first emerged, and situates hysteria in the context of the management of emotional life in late-nineteenth-century Vienna. An analysis of Breuer's treatment of Bertha Pappenheim (“Anna O.”) argues that the respectful, collaborative relationship was as fundamental to the limited successes of Pappenheim's therapy as cathartic talking. But Breuer and Pappenheim's shared attachment to standards of appropriate feminine behaviour limited the development of both patient and doctor. The collection of stories Pappenheim wrote under a male pseudonym reveals the patient's take on the process of psychological recovery, emphasizing development and a change of attitude more than recollection of the past. A close rapport, respect and a willingness to adapt to an unfolding situation are elements that do not find a place in the theory developed by Freud to make sense of the psychoanalytic encounter, as is evident from the record of the treatment of Ida Bauer (“Dora”). The chapter closes with a critique of the Freudian unconscious, using the readings of the two early case histories as well as a comparison with recent work in experimental psychology to elaborate an alternative that better acknowledges personal involvement and spiritual and psychological growth.

Keywords:   History of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, Josef Breuer, Bertha Pappenheim (“Anna O.”, “Paul Berthold”), Ida Bauer (“Dora”), theories of the unconscious

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