The Legacy of Sandor Ferenczi : From ghost to ancestor book cover
1st Edition

The Legacy of Sandor Ferenczi
From ghost to ancestor

ISBN 9781138820128
Published May 1, 2015 by Routledge
320 Pages

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Book Description

Winner of the 2016 Gradiva Award for Edited Book

The Legacy of Sándor Ferenczi, first published in 1993 & edited by Lewis Aron & Adrienne Harris, was one of the first books to examine Ferenczi’s invaluable contributions to psychoanalysis and his continuing influence on contemporary clinicians and scholars. Building on that pioneering work, The Legacy of Sándor Ferenczi: From Ghost to Ancestor brings together leading international Ferenczi scholars to report on previously unavailable data about Ferenczi and his professional descendants. 

Many—including Sigmund Freud himself—considered Sándor Ferenczi to be Freud’s most gifted patient and protégé.  For a large part of his career, Ferenczi was almost as well known, influential, and sought after as a psychoanalyst, teacher and lecturer as Freud himself. Later, irreconcilable differences between Freud, his followers and Ferenzi meant that many of his writings were withheld from translation or otherwise stifled, and he was accused of being mentally ill and shunned. In this book, Harris and Kuchuck explore how newly discovered historical and theoretical material has returned Ferenczi to a place of theoretical legitimacy and prominence. His work continues to influence both psychoanalytic theory and practice, and covers many major contemporary psychoanalytic topics such as process, metapsychology, character structure, trauma, sexuality, and social and progressive aspects of psychoanalytic work.

Among other historical and scholarly contributions, this book demonstrates the direct link between Ferenczi’s pioneering work and subsequent psychoanalytic innovations. With rich clinical vignettes, newly unearthed historical data, and contemporary theoretical explorations, it will be of great interest and use to clinicians of all theoretical stripes, as well as scholars and historians.

Table of Contents

List of contributors



Part I

The Context

1.Ferenczi in Our Contemporary World

Judit Mészáros

2. The Penis on the Trail

Re-reading the origins of psychoanalysis with Sándor Ferenczi

Carlo Bonomi

3. Ferenczi’s Attitude

Andre E. Haynal and Veronique D. Haynal

Translated by Sarah Wang Fuchs

Part II


4.Out of the Archive/Unto the Couch: Clara Thompson’s Analysis with Ferenczi

B. William Brennan

5. Georg Groddeck's Influence on Sandor Ferenczi

Christopher Fortune

6. Elizabeth Severn: Sándor Ferenczi’s Analysand and Collaborator in the Study and Treatment of Trauma

Arnold Rachman

7. Ferenczi’s Work on War Neuroses.

Adrienne Harris

8. The Other Side of the Story: Severn on Ferenczi and Mutual Analysis

Peter L .Rudnytsky

9. Freud and Ferenczi: Wandering Jews in Palermo

Lewis Aron and Karen Starr

Part III

Theory and Technique

10. Ferenczi, the "Introjective Analyst"

Franco Borgogno

11. Confusion of Tongues: Trauma and Playfulness

Galit Atlas

12. The persistent sense of being bad: The moral dimension of identification with the aggressor

Jay Frankel

13. On the Therapeutic Action of Love and Desire

Steven Kuchuck

14. The Dialogue of Unconsciouses, Mutual Analysis and the Uses of the Self in Contemporary Relational Psychoanalysis

Tony Bass

15. Ferenczi with Lacan: A Missed Encounter

Lewis Kirshner

16. A Second Confusion of Tongues:

Ferenczi, Laplanche and Social Life

Eyal Rozmarin

17. Some preventive considerations about Ferenczi's ideas regarding trauma and analytic experience

Haydée Christinne Kahtuni

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Adrienne Harris, Ph.D. is faculty and supervisor, NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, Faculty and Training Analyst at the Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California, serves on the Editorial Boards of Psychoanalytic Dialogues, Studies in Gender and Sexuality, Psychoanalytic Perspectives and the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association.  

Steven Kuchuck, LCSW is a faculty member, supervisor, Board member, and codirector of curriculum for the adult training program in psychoanalysis at the National Institute for the Psychotherapies and faculty, Stephen Mitchell Center for Relational Studies. Steven is Editor-in-Chief of Psychoanalytic Perspectives, Associate Editor of the Routledge Relational Perspectives Book Series.


"Ferenczi wanted his colleagues and pupils to think and work in their own unique ways and according to their own interests and personality. This is one of the reasons that therapists and analysts of various theoretical origins continue to be drawn to his propositions. Ferenczi was probably the first and perhaps still even the only psychoanalyst who did not speak of training in psychoanalysis, but of learning it according to one’s own rhythms rather than merely following a prescribed course. This important new book illustrates Ferenczi’s unique vision of psychoanalysis and summarizes and expands on the gifts psychoanalysts can find in the abundance of his work. It also offers a glimpse into Ferenczi’s personal history, and how this affected the ways in which he considered human beings, the world, psychoanalysis, and himself."-Judith Dupont, Ph.D. Editor, The Clinical Diary of Sándor Ferenczi, Literary representative of Sándor Ferenczi, Recipient of the 2013 Sigourney Award

This fine collection of essays, written by clinicians and scholars of diverse backgrounds, honors the memory of Sándor Ferenczi, Sigmund Freud’s closest friend and collaborator, whose groundbreaking contributions to the theory and practice of psychoanalysis were scorned and marginalized by many of his contemporaries. The contributors to this volume have adroitly and sensitively demonstrated the relevance of Ferenczi’s ideas to current trends in psychoanalytic  thinking and are taking a major step toward restoring his legacy to its rightful place in history."-Peter T. Hoffer, Ph. D. Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia; Translator, The Correspondence of Sigmund Freud and Sándor Ferenczi

"When "The Legacy of Sándor Ferenczi" appeared in 1993, Ferenczi was often ignored or maligned in psychoanalytic circles. That book was a significant part of the Ferenczi Renaissance – a striking example of the psychoanalytic notion that the past keeps changing. The present volume appears in a different climate – Ferenczi, to our great benefit, returned from exile – and testifies to the continued liveliness of contemporary Ferenczi scholarship by eminent authors around the world, illuminating his life and the development of his stimulating revolutionary ideas."-Emanuel Berman, Ph.D. Israel Psychoanalytic Society