Sigmund Freud (1856–1939). The History of the Psychoanalytic Movement. 1917.


BEGINNING with the year 1902 a number of young doctors crowded about me with the expressed intention to learn psychoanalysis, to practice it and to spread it. The impetus for this came from a colleague who had himself experienced the beneficial effects of the analytic therapy. We met on certain evenings at my residence, and discussed subjects according to certain rules. The visitors endeavored to orient themselves in this strange and new realm of investigation, and to interest others in the matter. One day a young graduate I of the technical school found admission to our circle by means of a manuscript which showed extraordinary sense. We induced him to go through college and enter the university, and then devote himself to the non-medical application of psychoanalysis. Thus the little society gained a zealous and reliable secretary, and I acquired in Otto Rank a most faithful helper and collaborator.

Soon the little circle expanded, and in the course of the next few years changed a good deal in its composition. On the whole, I could flatter myself that in the wealth and variety of talent our circle was hardly inferior to the staff of any clinical teacher. From the very beginning it included those men who later were to play a considerable, if not always a delectable, part in the history of the psychoanalytic movement. But these developments could not have been guessed at that time. I was satisfied, and I believe I did all I could, to convey to the others what I knew and had experienced. There were only two inauspicious circumstances which at least mentally estranged me from this circle. I could not succeed in establishing among the members that friendly relation which should obtain among men doing the same difficult work, nor could I crush out the quarrels about the priority of discoveries, for which there were ample opportunities in those conditions of working together. The difficulties of teaching the practise of psychoanalysis, which are particularly great, and are often to blame for the present rejection of psychoanalysis, already made themselves felt in this Viennese private psychoanalytic society. I myself did not dare to present an as yet incomplete technique, and a theory still in the making, with that authority which might have spared the others many a blind alley and many a final tripping up. The self-dependence of mental workers, their early independence of the teacher, is always gratifying psychologically, but it can only result in a scientific gain when during these labors certain, not too frequently occurring, personal relations are also fulfilled. Psychoanalysis particularly should have required a long and severe discipline and training of self-control. On account of the courage displayed in devotion to so ridiculed and fruitless a subject, I was inclined to tolerate among the members much to which otherwise I would have objected. Besides, the circle included not only physicians, but other cultured men who had recognized something significant in psychoanalysis. There were authors, artists, and so forth. The “Interpretation of Dreams,” the book on “Wit,” and other writings, had already shown that the principles of psychoanalysis cannot remain limited to the medical field, but are capable of application to various other mental sciences.

In 1907 the situation suddenly altered and quite contrary to all expectations; it became evident that psychoanalysis had unobtrusively awakened some interest and gained some friends, that there were even some scientific workers who were prepared to admit their allegiance. A communication from Bleuler had already acquainted me with the fact that my works were studied and applied in Burghölzli. In January,1907, the first man attached to the Zürich Clinic, Dr. Eitingon, visited me at Vienna. Other visitors soon followed, thus causing a lively exchange of ideas. Finally, by invitation of C. G. Jung, then still an assistant physician at Burghölzli, the first meeting took place at Salzburg, in the spring of 1908, where the friends of psychoanalysis from Vienna, Zürich, and other places met together. The result of this first psychoanalytic congress, was the founding of a periodical, which began to appear in 1909, under the name of “Jahrbuch für Psychoanalytische und Psychopathologische Forschungen,” published by Bleuler and Freud, and edited by Jung. An intimate comradeship in the work done at Vienna and Zürich found its expression in this publication.

I have repeatedly and gratefully acknowledged the efforts of the Zürich Psychiatric School in the spreading of psychoanalysis, especially those of Bleuler and Jung, and I do not hesitate to do the same today, even under such changed circumstances. It was certainly not the partisanship of the Zürich School which at that time first directed the attention of the scientific world to the subject of psychoanalysis. This latency period had just come to an end, and psychoanalysis everywhere became the object of constantly increasing interest. But whilst in all the other places this manifestation of interest resulted first in nothing but a violent and emphatic repudiation of the subject, in Zürich, on the contrary, the main feeling of the situation was that of agreement. In no other place was so compact a little gathering of adherents to be found, nowhere also was it possible to place a public clinic at the service of psychoanalytic investigation, or to find a clinical teacher who regarded the principles of psychoanalysis as an integral part of the teaching of psychiatry. The Zürich doctors became, as it were, the nucleus of the little band which was fighting for the recognition of psychoanalysis. Only in Zürich was there a possible opportunity to learn the new art and to apply it in practice. Most of my present-day followers and co-workers came to me via Zürich, even those who might have found, geographically speaking, a shorter road to Vienna than to Switzerland. Vienna lies in an eccentric position from western Europe, which houses the great centers of our culture. For many years it has been much affected by weighty prejudices. The representatives of the most prominent nations stream into Switzerland, which is so mentally active, and an infective lesion in this place was sure to become very important for the dissemination of the “psychic epidemic,” as Hoche of Freiburg called it.

According to the testimony of a colleague who was an eyewitness of the developments at Burghölzli, it may be asserted that psychoanalysis awakened an interest there very early. Already in Jung’s work on occult phenomena, published in 1902, there was an allusion to dream-interpretation. Ever since 1903 or 1904 according to my informer, psychoanalysis came into prominence. After the establishment of personal relations between Vienna and Zürich, a society was also founded in Burghölzli in 1907 which discussed the problems of psychoanalysis at regular meetings. In the bond that united the Vienna and Zürich schools, the Swiss were by no means the merely recipient part. They had themselves already performed respectable scientific work, the results of which were of much use to psychoanalysis. The association-experiment, started by the Wundt School, had been interpreted by them in the psychoanalytic sense and had proved itself of unexpected usefulness. Thus it had become possible to get rapid experimental confirmation of psychoanalytic facts, and to demonstrate experimentally to beginners certain relationships which the analyst could only have talked about otherwise. The first bridge leading from experimental psychology to psychoanalysis had thus been constructed.

In psychoanalytic treatment, however, the association-experiment enables one to make only a preliminary, qualitative analysis of the case, it offers no essential contribution to the technique, and is really not indispensable in the work of analysis. Of more importance, however, was another discovery of the Zürich School, or rather, of its two leaders, Bleuler and Jung. The former pointed out that a great many purely psychiatric cases can be explained by the same psychoanalytic process as those used in dreams and in the neuroses (Freudsche Mechanismen). Jung employed with success the analytic method of interpretation in the strangest and most obscure phenomena of dementia præcox, the origin of which appeared quite clear when correlated with the life and interests of the patient. From that time on it became impossible for the psychiatrists to ignore psychoanalysis. Bleuler’s great work on Schizophrenie (1911), in which the psychoanalytic points of view are placed on an equal footing with the clinical-systematic ones, brought this success to completion.

I must not omit to point out a divergence which was then already distinctly noticeable in the working tendencies of the two schools. Already in 1897 I had published the analysis of a case of schizophrenia, which showed, however, paranoid trends, so that its solution could not have anticipated the impression of Jung’s analyses. But to me the important element had not been the interpretation of the symptoms, but rather the psychic mechanisms of the disease, and above all, the agreement of this mechanism with the one already known in hysteria. No light had been thrown at that time on the difference between these two maladies. I was then already working toward a theory of the libido in the neuroses which was to explain all neurotic as well as psychotic appearances on the basis of abnormal drifts of the libido. The Swiss investigators lacked this point of view. So far as I know Bleuler, even today, adheres to an organic causation for the forms of Dementia Præcox, and Jung, whose book on this malady appeared in 1907, upheld the toxic theory of the same at the Congress at Salzburg in 1908, which though not excluding it, goes far beyond the libido theory. On this same point he came to grief later (1912), in that he now used too much of the stuff which previously he refused to employ at all.

A third contribution from the Swiss School, which is to be ascribed probably entirely to Jung, I do not value as highly as do others who are not in as close contact with it. I speak of the theory of the complexes, which grew out of the “Diagnostische Assoziationsstudien” (1906–1910). It itself has neither resulted in a psychological theory nor has it added an unconstrained insertion to the context of the psychoanalytic principles. On the other hand, the word “complex” has gained for itself the right of citizenship in psychoanalysis, as being a convenient and often an indispensable term for descriptive summaries of psychologic facts. None other among the names and designations, newly coined as a result of psychoanalytic needs, has attained such widespread popularity; but no other term has been so misapplied to the detriment of clear thinking. In psychoanalytic diction one often spoke of the “return of the complex” when “the return of the repression” was intended to be conveyed, or one became accustomed to say “I have a complex against him” when more correctly he should have said “a resistance.”

In the years after 1907, which followed the union of the schools of Vienna and Zürich, psychoanalysis received that extraordinary impetus in which it still finds itself today. This is positively attested by the spread of psychoanalytic literature and the increase in the number of doctors who desire to practice or learn it, also by the mass of attacks upon it by congresses and learned societies. It has wandered into the most distant countries, it everywhere shocked psychiatrists, and has gained the attention of the cultured laity and workers in other scientific fields. Havelock Ellis, who has followed its development with sympathy without ever calling himself its adherent, wrote, in 1911, in a paper for the Australasian Medical Congress: “Freud’s psychoanalysis is now championed and carried out not only in Austria and in Switzerland, but in the United States, in England, India, Canada, and, I doubt not, in Australasia.” A doctor from Chile (probably a German) appeared at the International Congress in Buenos Ayres, in 1910, and spoke on behalf of the existence of infantile sexuality and praised the results of psychoanalytic therapy in obsessions.” An English neurologist in Central India informed me through a distinguished colleague who came to Europe, that the cases of Mohammedan Indians on whom he had practiced analysis showed no other etiology of their neuroses than our European patients.

The introduction of psychoanalysis into North America took place under particularly glorious auspices. In the autumn of 1909, Jung and myself were invited by President Stanley Hall, of Clark University, to take part in the celebration of the twentieth anniversary of the opening of Clark University, by giving some lectures in German. We found, to our great astonishment, that the unprejudiced men of that small but respected pedagogic-philosophical university knew all the psychoanalytic writings and had honored them in their lectures to their students. Thus even in prudish America one could, at least in academic circles, discuss freely and treat scientifically all those things that are regarded as offensive in life. The five lectures that I improvised at Worcester then appeared in English in the American Journal of Psychology; later on they were printed in German under the title, “Über Psychoanalyse.” Jung lectured on diagnostic association studies and on “conflicts in the psychic life of the child.” We were rewarded for it with the honorary degree of LL.D. During this week of celebration at Worcester, psychoanalysis was represented by five persons. Besides Jung and myself there were Ferenczi, who had joined me as travelling-companion, Ernest Jones, then of Toronto University (Canada), now in London, and A. A. Brill, who was already practising psychoanalysis in New York.

The most noteworthy personal relationship which resulted at Worcester, was that established with James J. Putnam, teacher of neuropathology at Harvard University. For years he had expressed a disparaging opinion of psychoanalysis, but now he befriended it and recommended it to his countrymen and his colleagues in numerous lectures, rich in content and fine of form. The respect which he enjoys in America, owing to his character, his high moral standard and his keen love for truth, was very helpful to the cause of psychoanalysis and protected it against the denunciations to which it might otherwise have early succumbed. Yielding too much to the great ethical and philosophic bent of his nature Putnam later required of psychoanalysis what, to me, seems an impossible demand. He wished that it should be pressed into the service of a certain moral philosophical conception of the universe; but Putnam has remained the chief prop of the psychoanalytic movement in his native land.

For the diffusion of this movement Brill and Jones deserve the greatest credit. With a self-denying industry they constantly brought under the notice of their countrymen, through their works, the easily observable fundamental principles of psychoanalysis of everyday life, of the dream and of the neuroses. Brill has strengthened these influences by his medical activities and his translations of my writings: Jones, by illuminating lectures and clever discussions at the American Congresses. The lack of a rooted scientific tradition and the lesser rigidity of official authority have been of decided advantage to the impetus given to psychoanalysis in America by Stanley Hall. It was characteristic there from the beginning that professors, heads of insane asylums, as well as independent practitioners, all showed themselves equally interested in psychoanalysis. But just for this very reason it is clear that the fight for psychoanalysis must be fought to a decisive end, where the greater resistance has been met with, namely, in the countries of the old cultural centers.

Of the European countries, France has so far shown herself the least receptive towards psychoanalysis, although creditable writings by the Zürich physician, A. Maeder, have opened up for the French reader an easy path to its principles. The first indications of interest came from provincial France. Moricheau-Beauchant (Poitiers) was the first Frenchman who openly accepted psychoanalysis. Régis and Hesnard (Bordeaux) have lately tried (1913) to overcome the prejudices of their countrymen by an exhaustive and senseful presentation of the subject, which takes exception only to symbolism. In Paris itself there still appears to reign the conviction (given such oratorical expression at London Congress 1913 by Janet) that every thing good in psychoanalysis only repeats, with slight modifications, the views of Janet—everything else in psychoanalysis being bad. Janet himself had to stand at this Congress a number of corrections from Ernest Jones, who was able to reproach him for his lack of knowledge of the subject. We cannot, however, forget the credit due Janet for his works on the psychology of the neuroses, although we must repudiate his claims.

Italy, after many promising starts, ceased to take further interest. Owing to personal connections psychoanalysis gained an early hearing in Holland: Van Emden, Van Ophuijsen, Van Renterghem (“Freud en zijn school”) and the two doctors Stärke are busy in Holland particularly on the theoretical side. The interest in psychoanalysis in scientific circles in England developed very slowly, but the indications are that just here, favored by the English liking for the practical and their passionate championship of justice, a flourishing future awaits psychoanalysis.

In Sweden, P. Bjerre, successor to Wetterstand, has, at least temporarily, given up hypnotic suggestion in favor of analytic treatment. A. Vogt (Christiania) honored psychoanalysis already in 1907 in his “Psykiatriens gruntraek,” so that the first text-book on psychiatry that took any notice of psychoanalysis was written in Norwegian. In Russia, psychoanalysis is very generally known and widespread; almost all my writings as well as those of other advocates of analysis are translated into Russian. But a deeper grasp of the analytic teaching has not yet shown itself in Russia. The contributions written by Russian physicians and psychiatrists are not at present noteworthy. Only Odessa possesses a trained psychoanalyst in the person of M. Wulff. The introduction of psychoanalysis into the science and literature of Poland is due chiefly to the endeavors of L. Jekels. Hungary, geographically so near to Austria, scientifically so foreign to it, has given to psychoanalysis only one co-worker, S. Ferenczi, but such an one as is worth a whole society.

The standing of psychoanalysis in Germany can be described in no other way than to state that it is the cynosure of all scientific discussion, and evokes from physicians as well as from the laity, opinions of decided rejection, which, so far, have not come to an end, but which, on the contrary, are constantly renewed and strengthened. No official seat of learning has, so far, admitted psychoanalysis. Successful practitioners who apply it are few. Only a few institutions, such as that of Binswanger’s in Kreuzlingen (on Swiss soil) and Marcinowski’s in Holstein, have opened their doors to psychoanalysis. In the critical city of Berlin, we have K. Abraham, one of the most prominent representatives of psychoanalysis. He was formerly an assistant of Bleuler. One might wonder that this state of things has thus continued for a number of years without any change, if it was not known that the above account merely describes the superficial appearances. One must not overestimate the significance of the rejection of psychoanalysis by the official representatives of science, the heads of institutions, as well as their young following. It is easy to understand why the opponents loudly raise their voices whilst the followers, being intimidated, keep silent. Many of the latter, whose first contributions to analysis raised high expectations, later withdrew from the movement under the pressure of circumstances. But the movement itself strides ahead quietly. It is always gaining new supporters among psychiatrists and the laity. It constantly increases the number of readers of psychoanalytic literature and thus forces the opponents to a more violent attempt at defense. In the course of these years I have read, perhaps a dozen times, in the reports of the transactions of certain congresses and of meetings of scientific societies, or in reviews of certain publications, that psychoanalysis was now dead, that it was finally overcome and settled. The answer to all this would have to read like the telegram from Mark Twain to the newspaper that falsely announced his death: “The report of my death is grossly exaggerated.” After each of these death-notices, psychoanalysis has gained new followers and co-workers and has created for itself new organs. Surely to be reported dead is an advance over being treated with dead silence!

Hand in hand with its territorial expansion just described psychoanalysis became enlarged with regard to its contents through its encroaching upon fields of knowledge outside of the study of the neuroses and psychiatry. I will not treat in detail the development of this part of our branch of science since this was excellently done by Rank and Sachs (in Löwenfeld’s “Grenzfragen”) which presents exhaustively just these achievements in the work of analysis. Besides, here everything is in inchoate form, hardly worked out, mostly only preliminary and sometimes only in the stage of an intention. Every honest thinker will find herein no grounds for reproach. There is a tremendous amount of problems for a small number of workers whose chief activity lies elsewhere, who are obliged to attack the special problems of the new science with only amateurish preparation. These workers hailing from the psychoanalytic field make no secret of their dilettantism, they only desire to be guides and temporary occupants of the places of those specialists to whom they recommend the analytic technique and principles until the latter are ready to take up this work themselves. That the results aimed at are, even now, not at all insignificant, is due partly to the fruitfulness of the psychoanalytic method, and partly to the circumstance that already there are a few investigators, who, without being physicians, have made the application of psychoanalysis to the mental sciences their lifework.

Most of these psychoanalytic applications can be traced, as is easily understood, to the impetus given by my early analytic works. The analytic examinations of nervous patients and neurotic manifestations of normal persons drove me to the assumption of psychological relationships which, most certainly, could not be limited only to that field. Thus analysis presented us not only with the explanation of pathological occurrences, but also showed us their connection with normal psychic life and uncovered undreamed-of relations between psychiatry and a variety of other sciences dealing with activities of mind. Thus certain typical dreams furnished the understanding of many myths and fairy tales. Riklin and Abraham followed this hint and began those investigations about myths which have found their completion in the works of Rank on Mythology, works which do full justice to all the requirements of the specialist. The prosecution of dream-symbology led to the very heart of the problems of mythology, folk-lore (Jones, Storfer) and of religious abstraction. At one of the psychoanalytic congresses the audience was deeply impressed when a student of Jung pointed out the similarity of the phantasy-formation of schizophrenics with the cosmogonies of primitive times and peoples. In a later elaboration, no longer free from objection yet very interesting, Jung made use of mythological material in an attempt to harmonize the neurotic with religious and mythological phantasies.

Another path led from the investigation of dreams to the analysis of poetic creations, and finally to the analysis of authors and artists themselves. Very soon it was discovered that the dreams invented by writers stand in the same relation to analysis as do genuine dreams. The conception of the unconscious psychic activity enabled us to get the first glimpse into the nature of the poetic creativeness. The valuation of the emotional feelings which we were forced to recognize while studying the neuroses enabled us to recognize the sources of artistic productions and brought up the problem as to how the artist reacts to those stimuli and with what means he disguises his reactions. Most psychoanalysts with wide interests have furnished contributions from their works for the treatment of these problems, which are among the most attractive in the application of psychoanalysis. Naturally here also opposition was not lacking from those who are not acquainted with analysis, and expressed itself with the same lack of understanding and passionate rejection as on the native soil of psychoanalysis. For it was to be expected as a matter of course, that everywhere psychoanalysis penetrates, it would have to go through the same struggle with the natives. However, these attempted invasions have not yet stirred up interest in all fields which will, in the future, be open to them. Among the strictly scientific applications of analysis to literature the deep work of Rank on the theme of incest easily ranks first. Its content is certain to evoke the greatest unpopularity. Philological and historical works on the basis of psychoanalysis are few, at present. I myself dared to venture to make the first attempt into the problems of the psychology of religion in 1910, when I compared religious ceremonials with neurotic ceremonials. In his work on the “piety of the Count of Zinzendorf,” as well as in other contributions, the Rev. Dr. Pfister, of Zürich, has succeeded in tracing back religious zealotism to perverse eroticism. In the recent works of the Zürich School one is more likely to find that religion becomes injected into the analysis rather than rationally explained by it.

In my four essays on “Totem and Taboo” I made the attempt to discuss the problems of race psychology by means of analysis. This should lead us directly to the origins of the most important institutions of our civilization, such as state regulations, morality, religion, as well as to the origins of the interdiction of incest and of conscience. To what extent the relations thus obtained will be proof to criticism cannot be determined today.

My book on Wit furnished the first examples of the application of analytic thinking to esthetic themes. Everything else is still waiting for workers, who can expect a rich harvest in this very field. We are lacking here in workers from these respective specialties and in order to attract such, Hans Sachs founded in 1912, the journal Imago, edited by himself and Rank. Hitschmann and v. Winterstein made a beginning with the psychoanalytic elucidation of philosophical systems and personalities. The continuation and deeper treatment of the same is much to be desired.

The revolutionary findings of psychoanalysis concerning the psychic life of the child, the part played therein by sexual impulses (v. Hug-Helmuth) and the fate of such participation of sexuality which becomes useless for the purpose of propagation, naturally drew attention to pedagogics, and instigated the effort to push the analytical viewpoint into the foreground of this sphere. Recognition is due to the Rev. Pfister for having begun this application of analysis with honest enthusiasm, and for having brought it to the notice of ministers and educators. He succeeded in winning over a number of Swiss pedagogues as sympathizers in this work. It is said that some preferred to remain circumspectly in the background. A portion of the Vienna analysts seem to have landed in their retreat from psychoanalysis on a sort of medical pedagogy. (Adler and Furtmüller, “Heilen and Bilden,” 1913.)

I have attempted in these incomplete suggestions to indicate the, as yet, hardly visible wealth of associations which have sprung up between medical psychoanalysis and other fields of science. There is material for the work of a whole generation of investigators and I doubt not that this work will be done when once the resistance to psychoanalysis as such has been overcome.

To write the history of the resistances, I consider, at present, both fruitless and inopportune. It would not be very glorious for the scientific men of our day. But I will add at once that it has never occurred to me to rail against the opponents of psychoanalysis merely because they were opponents, not counting a few unworthy individuals, fortune hunters and plunderers such as in time of war are always found on both sides. For I knew how to account for the behavior of these opponents and had besides discovered that psychoanalysis brings to light the worst in every man. But I decided not to answer my opponents and, so far as I had influence, to keep others from polemics. The value of public or literary discussions seemed to me very doubtful under the particular conditions in which the fight over psychoanalysis took place. The value of majorities at congresses or society meetings was certainly doubtful, and my confidence in the honesty and distinction of my opponents was always slight. Observation shows that only very few persons are capable of remaining polite, not to speak of objective, in any scientific dispute, and the impression gained from a scientific quarrel was always a horror to me. Perhaps this attitude of mine has been misunderstood, perhaps I have been considered as good-natured or so intimidated that it was supposed no further consideration need be shown me.

This is a mistake. I can revile and rave as well as any other, but I am not able to render into literary form the expressions of the underlying affects and therefore I prefer to abstain entirely.

Perhaps in many respects it might have been better had I permitted free vent to my own passions and to those about me. We have all heard the interesting attempt at an explanation of the origin of psychoanalysis from its Viennese milieu. Janet did not scorn to make use of it as late as 1913, although, no doubt, he is proud of being a Parisian. This aperçu says that psychoanalysis, especially the assertion that the neuroses can be traced back to disturbances in the sexual life, could only have originated in a city like Vienna, in an atmosphere of sensuality and immorality not to be found in other cities, and that it thus represents only a reflection, the theoretical projection as it were, of these particular Viennese conditions. Well, I certainly am no local patriot, but this theory has always seemed to be especially nonsensical, so nonsensical that sometimes I was inclined to assume that the reproaching of the Vienna spirit was only a euphemistic substitution for another one which one did not care to bring up publicly. If the assumptions had been of the opposite kind, we might be inclined to listen. But even if we assume that there might be a city whose inhabitants have imposed upon themselves special sexual restrictions and at the same time show a peculiar tendency to severe neurotic maladies, then such a town might well furnish the soil on which some observer might get the idea of connecting these two facts and of deducting the one from the other. But neither assumption fits Vienna. The Viennese are neither more abstemious nor yet more nervous than dwellers in any other metropolis. Sex matters are a little freer, prudishness is less than in the cities of western and northern Europe that are so proud of their chastity. Our supposed observer would, more likely, be led astray by the particular conditions prevailing in Vienna than be enlightened as to the cause of the neuroses.

But Vienna has done everything possible to deny her share in the origin of psychoanalysis. Nowhere else is the inimical indifference of the learned and cultured circles so clearly evident to the psychoanalyst.

Perhaps I am somewhat to blame for this by my policy of avoiding widespread publicity. If I had caused psychoanalysis to occupy the medical societies of Vienna with noisy sessions, with an unloading of all passions, wherein all reproaches and invectives carried on the tongue or in the mind would have been expressed, then perhaps the ban against psychoanalysis might, by now, have been removed and its standing no longer might have been that of a stranger in its native city. As it is, the poet may be right when he makes Wallenstein say:

  • “Yet this the Viennese will not forgive me,
  • That I did them out of a spectacle.”
  • The task to which I am unequal, namely, that of reproaching the opponents “suaviter in modo” for their injustice and arbitrariness, was taken up by Bleuler in 1911 and carried out in most honorable fashion in his work, “Freud’s Psychoanalysis: a Defense and a Criticism.” It would be so entirely natural for me to praise this work, critical in two directions, that I hasten to tell what there is in it I object to. This work appears to me to be still very partisan, too lenient to the mistakes of our opponents, and altogether too severe to the shortcomings of our followers. This characterization of it may explain why the opinion of a psychiatrist of such high standing, of such indubitable ability and independence, has not had greater influence on his colleagues. The author of “Affectivity” (1906) must not be surprised if the influence of a work is not determined by the value of its argument but by the tone of its affect. Another part of this influence—the one on the followers of psychoanalysis—Bleuler himself destroyed later on by bringing into prominence in 1913, in his “Criticism of the Freudian School,” the obverse side of his attitude to psychoanalysis. Therein he takes away so much from the structure of the psychoanalytic principles that our opponents may well be satisfied with the assistance of this defender. It was not new arguments or better observations that served Bleuler as a guidance for these verdicts, but only the reference to own knowledge, the inadequacy of which the author no longer admits as in his earlier writings. Here an almost irreparable loss seemed to threaten psychoanalysis. However, in his last utterance (“Die Kritiken der Schizophrenie,” 1914) on the occasion of the attacks made upon him owing to his introduction of psychoanalysis into his book on “Schizophrenie,” Bleuler rises to what he himself terms a “haughty presumption:” “But now I will assume a haughty presumption, I consider that the many psychologies to date have contributed mighty little to the explanation of the connection between psychogenetic symptoms and diseases, but that the deeper psychology (tiefen psychologie) furnishes us a part of the psychology still to be created, which the physician needs in order to understand his patients and to heal them rationally; and I even believe that in my ‘Schizophrenie’ I have taken a very small step towards this.” The first two assertions are surely correct, the latter may be an error.

    Since by the “deeper psychology” psychoanalysis alone is to be understood, we may, for the present, remain satisfied with this admission.