This volume presents a fresh perspective and new narrative of the origins of psychoanalysis, taking into account social, cultural and contemporary relational views. Exploring Freud’s unconscious communication and identification with his patients, Emma Eckstein in particular, the book sheds new light on the logic which informed a number of events central to Freud’s self-analysis, and the theories he formulated to found and establish psychoanalysis.
Divided into three parts, chapters trace how Freud’s oscillations between the reality of trauma and the creative power of fantasies were a direct result of his encounter with and treatment of Emma. Part 1 presents a historical reconstruction of the practice of castration in the treatment of hysteric women between 1878 and 1895; Part 2 examines the theories and practice produced by Freud between 1895 and 1896; and Part 3 explores and reconstructs Freud’s self-analysis (1896-1899).
The Cut and the Building of Psychoanalysis argues that Freud’s unconscious communication with Emma provided him with a crucial framework and path for his self-analysis. It will appeal to psychoanalysts, psychotherapists and psychologists, as well as historians of medicine, science, social scientists and scholars interested in the history of western thought and the mind in general.
"This is an impressive and complex book that investigates the origins of psychoanalysis from the interiority of Freud’s self analysis of his dreams, centred on Irma’s injection dream, and his then analysis of Emma Eckstein."
Dr Jonathan Sklar, Psychoanalysis and History, 2016
Introduction Part 1: The Medical Context The Castration of Women and Girls. Between Body and Psyche: The Nerves. Part 2: Withstanding Trauma A Gynecological Scandal. The Significance of Emma Eckstein's Circumcision to Freud's Irma Dream. Part 3: Topography of a Split The Saviour of Children. The Cornerstone. A Bisexual Monster. The Crossroad. The Witch Metapsychology. The Fatal Skin.
The Relational Perspectives Book Series (RPBS) publishes books that grow out of or contribute to the relational tradition in contemporary psychoanalysis. The term relational psychoanalysis was first used by Greenberg and Mitchell to bridge the traditions of interpersonal relations, as developed within interpersonal psychoanalysis and object relations, as developed within contemporary British theory. But, under the seminal work of the late Stephen A. Mitchell, the term relational psychoanalysis grew and began to accrue to itself many other influences and developments. Various tributaries—interpersonal psychoanalysis, object relations theory, self psychology, empirical infancy research, feminism, queer theory, sociocultural studies and elements of contemporary Freudian and Kleinian thought—flow into this tradition, which understands relational configurations between self and others, both real and fantasied, as the primary subject of psychoanalytic investigation.
We refer to the relational tradition, rather than to a relational school, to highlight that we are identifying a trend, a tendency within contemporary psychoanalysis, not a more formally organized or coherent school or system of beliefs. Our use of the term relational signifies a dimension of theory and practice that has become salient across the wide spectrum of contemporary psychoanalysis. Now under the editorial supervision of Adrienne Harris, Steven Kuchuck and Eyal Rozmarin, the Relational Perspectives Book Series originated in 1990 under the editorial eye of the late Stephen A. Mitchell. Mitchell was the most prolific and influential of the originators of the relational tradition. Committed to dialogue among psychoanalysts, he abhorred the authoritarianism that dictated adherence to a rigid set of beliefs or technical restrictions. He championed open discussion, comparative and integrative approaches, and promoted new voices across the generations. Mitchell was later joined by the late Lewis Aron, also a visionary and influential writer, teacher and leading thinker in relational psychoanalysis.
Included in the Relational Perspectives Book Series are authors and works that come from within the relational tradition, those that extend and develop that tradition, and works that critique relational approaches or compare and contrast them with alternative points of view. The series includes our most distinguished senior psychoanalysts, along with younger contributors who bring fresh vision. Our aim is to enable a deepening of relational thinking while reaching across disciplinary and social boundaries in order to foster an inclusive and international literature.