1st Edition

The Émigré Analysts and American Psychoanalysis History and Contemporary Relevance

Edited By Adrienne Harris Copyright 2023
    192 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    192 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book explores the impact of migration, including its causes, upon the key ideas and directions of psychoanalytic theory and practice from the twentieth century until today.

    Having originated with a conference called "Émigré Analysts," developed through the Sandor Ferenczi Center at the New School for Social Research, this collection encompasses a wide array of often personal insights into the historical effects of exile and migration upon psychoanalysis. Divided into three sections, the book first attends to the political crises that affected the exile of psychoanalysts after the Second World War, tracing their journeys from Eastern Europe to the United States; secondly, the rise of antisemitism and the impact of the Holocaust upon these analysts is closely examined; and finally, this book attends to the protection and safety of analysts forced into exile in our contemporary moment with reference to the work being done by existing national and international psychoanalytic institutions.

    As an engaging and thoroughly detailed account of the influence of exile upon American psychoanalysis, this book will be of as much interest to scholars of history and twentieth-century culture as to psychoanalysts and psychoanalytic psychotherapists in training and in practice.


    Part 1 

    1. Émigré Analysts and the Transformation of Psychoanalysis in America 

    Nellie L. Thompson

    2. Émigré Psychoanalysis in the Age of McCarthyism 

    Ellen Schrecker

    3. The Saga of the Budapest School of Psychoanalysis: Double Exile

    Judit Mészáros

    4. Help, Health, Husbands and Hutzpah: The Lives of Five Women Analysts 

    Klara Naszkowska

    Part 2 

    5. The Holocaust and Contemporary Psychoanalysis in America 

    Emily A. Kuriloff

    6. Liberalism, Populism, and Mass Psychology 

    Eli Zaretsky

    7. Religion, Antisemitism, the Émigré Analysts, and Parallels to Our Time 

    Pamela Cooper-White

    Part 3 

    8. The Exile Within 

    Irene Cairo

    9. Working with the Frontiers: the IPA as a Protective Link 

    Rogelio A. Sosnik

    10. Reframing Early Interventions for Refugee Populations: The Importance of Emergency Medicine in Early Detection and Delivery of Mental Healthcare

    Kendall A. Pfeffer, Julia Superka, David Srivastava, and Adam D. Brown


    Adrienne E. Harris is faculty and supervisor at both New York University and the Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California as well as being an editor of Psychoanalytic Dialogues, and Studies in Gender and Sexuality

    ‘As always, Adrienne Harris brings us to the heart of the intrinsic intertwining of psychoanalysis, politics, and personal history. From its inception in Freud's childhood migration to now, and especially during the rise of Hitler and Nazism, psychoanalysis has been a field of émigrés, immigrants, and refugees. This compelling book, with essays by analysts, historians, and social scientists, portrays this history through multiple lenses: Jewish Vienna and Budapest, women analysts, the impact of McCarthyism, through to the Argentine psychoanalytic diaspora. It reclaims the radical history of analysts and analysis, beautifully balancing history, politics biography, individual testimony, and resonant accounts of everyday life.’

    Nancy J. Chodorow is author of The Psychoanalytic Ear and the Sociological Eye, Individualizing Gender and Sexuality, The Power of Feelings and other works

    ‘This extraordinary book, which comprises several papers by a group of psychoanalysts, offers one of the most thought-provoking insights of a complex and difficult part of the history of psychoanalytical culture and institutions, antisemitism, forced migrations and political activism, and comes as a breath of fresh air in its understanding of the current worldwide political unrest, uncertainty and loss that has ensued. Often complex political and social problems are narrowed down to a very particular narrative which tends to offer slogans and platitudes, but this group pf papers written by courageous and insightful psychoanalysts, who defy the usual accounts, in which truth becomes an orthodoxy already known to an enlightened few, whose job is to inform everyone else, with ringing statements of condemnation and exhortation. However, this group of papers, is based rather on a broader analytical approach, where truth is a collective discovery, and which reflects on the actual problem and pain confronting individuals in their lives, and the solutions and reliefs which psychoanalysis can offer.’

    Ronald Doctor is a fellow of the British Psychoanalytical Society, London, chair of the IPA Psychoanalysis and Law committee, member of the Steering Committee, IPA in the Community and the World, and consultant psychiatrist, West London NHS Trust

    ‘This book, compiled by Adrienne Harris, with chapters by distinguished authors, is a major contribution to the psychoanalytic understanding of migration and loss. The authors address history, theory, and contemporary experiences of migration. They discuss the notions of uprooting and the grief of losing one's place of origin, culture, language, and all that one sees as familiar in day-to-day life. Migration is a bit like losing Mother Earth - it shakes one's identity. But it can also be a source of hope, offering the possibility of enrichment and depth in the encounter with the other and that which is different. To understand the other, the other land, the other society, and one's newly emerging other self, offers the opportunity to walk in the shoes of those that are different from us and develop an ability to understand that which is foreign.

    The Émigré Analysts and American Psychoanalysis, edited by Adrienne Harris, is a psychoanalytic effort that challenges us to understand more and discriminate less in a world currently in the grips of prejudice and xenophobia. It includes chapters by distinguished authors from around the world. Among other topics they address the history of the pre-war migration of psychoanalysis from Central Europe to other parts of the world. This diaspora dispersed the seeds of psychoanalysis to grow and develop in distant lands. And in those distant lands psychoanalysis, like any other immigrant, was enriched in the process. Other authors address theory and related concepts to help us understand what is psychologically involved in the experiences of emigration and exile. It also takes up the very timely topics of political repression and forced migration.

    This book is an important contribution to the study of migration. It addresses a topic that has existed since the beginning of humanity. These chapters give us a contemporary vision of the search for new paths that characterizes the human race in its inexhaustible desire to discover the unknown, or in its desperate attempts to flee imminent dangers in search of a safe place to survive or even thrive. The Émigré Analysts and American Psychoanalysis will enrich your thinking and be a great addition to your library.'

    Adriana Prengler, vice-president of the International Psychoanalytical Association