1st Edition

Psychoanalysis and Society’s Neglect of the Sexual Abuse of Children, Youth and Adults Re-addressing Freud’s Original Theory of Sexual Abuse and Trauma

By Arnold Rachman Copyright 2022
    376 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    376 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book takes a comprehensive look at the understanding and treatment of child sexual abuse in psychoanalytic theory and practice, and in society as a whole.

    This book demonstrates how prophetic Ferenczi’s ideas about sexual abuse and trauma were, and how relevant they are for contemporary psychoanalysis and society. Sexual abuse, its traumatic effect, and the harm caused to children, youth, and adults will be described in the neglect of confronting sexual abuse by psychoanalysis and society. This neglect will be discussed in chapters about the abuse of children by religious leaders, students by teachers, youth in sports by coaches, and aspiring actors by authorities in the entertainment industry. It covers key topics such as why there has been silence about abuse in psychoanalysis, psychoanalytic theories, and practices that can be counterproductive or even harmful, case studies of abuse in the wider community, and how psychoanalysis as a profession can do better in its understanding and treatment of child sexual abuse both in psychoanalytic treatment and in its interaction with other parts of society.

    This book appeals to all psychoanalysts and psychoanalytic psychotherapists, as well as scholars interested in the history of psychoanalysis.

    1. "A new motto: what has been done to you, poor child?" (Sigmund Freud, December 22, 1897).  2. The origin of psychoanalysis in the discovery of the sexual abuse of children by their parents  3. Freud's neglect of his childhood sexual trauma  4. Freud's analysis of his daughter Anna: his emotional blindness to sexual trauma  5. Sándor Ferenczi’s Confusion of Tongues paradigm: introduction of trauma theory and trauma analysis  6. Sándor Ferenczi’s iconic case of Elizabeth Severn: development of the study and analysis of trauma  7. A pedophile among us?: Ernest Jones’s trial for the sexual abuse of mentally defective girls  8. Todschweigen, Death by Silence (Rachman and Menaker): traditional psychoanalysis’s punishment of dissidents  9. Sexual abuse of children within the family: the case of Lisa Steinberg  10. A mother invites her daughter to incest: parental neglect of childhood abuse  11. The "sensuous psychiatrist": the case of Julie Roy vs Renatus Hartogs, MD, PhD: landmark case of sexual abuse by a therapist  12. A group analyst’s neglect of childhood sexual abuse  13. The Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal  14. A Catholic priest’s audacious proposal: "the church should ordain women to be priests in order to reduce child abuse"  15. The conspiracy within the Orthodox Jewish Community to protect sexual abusers  16. Sexual abuse in the Catholic Church in Australia  17. The Eleventh Commandment: thou shall not lie down with children  18. The child sexual abuse scandal at Pennsylvania State University: Coach Joe Paterno, from idolatry to shame  19. The worst example of sexual abuse in sports history: the case of Lawrence G. Nassar, MD  20. Two sports champions and emotional heroes: R.A. Dickey and Kayla Harrison, find their voices about their sexual abuse  21. Sexual abuse of children in our schools: St. George’s, Elite Boarding School in Rhode Island  22. Untying the Confusion of Tongues in Hollywood: the advent of the #MeToo movement, sexual survivors find their voice  23. "The Casting Couch": Harry Cohn, the godfather of sexual abuse of female actors  24. Harvey Weinstein: the heir apparent to Harry Cohn, Hollywood’s sexual predator  25. Psychodynamics of Sexual Abuse in Hollywood: Uma Thurman and Mira Sorvino  26. Celebrity Privilege and sexual abuse: the case of Roman Polanski  27. Celebrities and sexual assault: Woody Allen, Bill Cosby, and Matt Lauer  28. The Confusion of Tongues explanation for psychoanalysis’ neglect of childhood sexual abuse  29. My attempts to confront the Todschweigen, Death by Silence campaign against Sándor Ferenczi, Elizabeth Severn and the Budapest School of Psychoanalysis  30. Contemporary activities which contribute to an appreciation of Ferenczi and the Budapest School of Psychoanalysis  31. Truth and reconciliation: traditional psychoanalysis owes Ferenczi an apology for their Todschweigen campaign against him


    Arnold Wm. Rachman, PhD, FAGPA, is a trained individual and group psychoanalyst who is a clinician, traumatologist, and psychohistorian. He is the author of 125 scholarly articles, 13 books, and 250 professional presentations given in the United States, Europe, and South America. He is a member of the International Sándor Ferenczi Network Community, Honorary Member of the Sándor Ferenczi Society, Budapest, Hungary, and donor of the Elizabeth Severn Papers to the Library of Congress, Washington, DC, USA.

    "The publication of Arnold Rachman's Psychoanalysis and Society's Neglect of the Sexual Abuse of Children, Youth and Adults: Re-addressing Freud's Original Theory of Sexual Abuse and Trauma is a long over-due and necessary step toward correcting the record on psychoanalysis's neglect of childhood sexual trauma its sequelae and clinical treatment. Rachman identifies the taboo surrounding a discussion of Freud's analysis of his daughter Anna Freud. His focus on the inherent emotional seduction in that analysis as Freud satisfied his own narcissistic needs is, ground-breaking. He courageously draws our attention to topics psychoanalysis has turned away from calling out the field's "death by silence" attack on dissenters and the damage explicitly done to the reputation of Sandor Ferenczi. The latter confirmed the reality of sexual abuse among children after Freud had abandoned his original hypothesis. Rachman also brings to light the 1906 trial of Ernest Jones for the sexual abuse of children. Up till now, we knew Jones as a critic of Ferenczi, who joined Freud to discredit him. Dr. Rachman calls for an apology from the international psychoanalytic community for silencing Sandor Ferenczi's work for keeping his pioneering contributions to both theory and clinical method from the analytic community to the detriment of the general welfare of society. This is a landmark book." – Ann D'Ercole, PhD, ABPP, NYU Postdoctoral Program Psychotherapy, Psychoanalysis, Distinguished Visiting Faculty, William Alanson White Institute, author of Clara Thompson: The Life and Work of an American Psychoanalyst, at Routledge Press, forthcoming.


    "For over three decades Arnold Rachman has been an important figure in the revival of interest in Sandor Ferenczi and the Budapest School of Psychoanalysis. His research into Ferenczi’s iconic case and treatment with Elizabeth Severn is an important milestone in this revival. A central theme of Arnold’s work is to uncover and break a "Todschweigen", a conspiracy of silence, an effort intended to conceal and cover up.

    In his latest volume Psychoanalysis and Society’s Neglect of the Sexual Abuse of Children, Youth and Adults: Re-addressing Freud’s Original Theory of Sexual Abuse and Trauma he fearlessly and methodically makes the case for an apology owed to the Ferenczi community from the International Psychoanalytical Association.

    This book will be of interest to scholars of the history of psychoanalysis and contemporary directions that the field of psychoanalysis may take." – Fergal Brady is President of the Irish Psycho-Analytical Association, a psychoanalytic psychotherapist based in Dundalk, Ireland