Sigmund Freud and The Forsyth Case: Coincidences and Thought-Transmission in Psychoanalysis

Author(s) : Maria Pierri

Part of The History of Psychoanalysis Series - more in this series

Sigmund Freud and The Forsyth Case: Coincidences and Thought-Transmission in Psychoanalysis

Book Details

  • Publisher : Routledge
  • Published : November 2022
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 282
  • Category :
    Psychoanalysis
  • Catalogue No : 96943
  • ISBN 13 : 9781032159584
  • ISBN 10 : 9781032159

Also by Maria Pierri

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Sigmund Freud and The Forsyth Case uses newly discovered primary sources to investigate one of Sigmund Freud’s most mysterious clinical experiences, the Forsyth case. The book details Pierri’s attempts to recover the lost original case notes, which are published here for the first time, to identify the patient involved and to set the case into the broader frame of Freud’s work.

Maria Pierri begins with a preliminary illustration of the case, its historical context, and how it connects to Freud’s interests in "thought-transmission," or telepathy. The author illustrates the possibility of a psychoanalytic interpretation of the transference and countertransference elements potentially conveyed by certain "magical" coincidences during the analysis, introducing the reader to a psychopathology of everyday life of the setting. The book also explores Freud’s further investigations into thought transmission, focusing on a meeting of the Secret Committee in October 1919 and his clinical work with his own daughter Anna.

Sigmund Freud and The Forsyth Case features supplementary historical materials, adding valuable insight to the context and meaning of the case. It will be essential reading for psychoanalysts in practice and in training, as well as academics and scholars of psychoanalytic studies, spirituality, and the history of psychology. It is complemented by Occultism and the Origins of Psychoanalysis: Freud, Ferenczi and the Challenge of Thought Transference.

Reviews and Endorsements

"The book by Maria Pierri, a passionate and recognized connoisseur of "coincidences", can be read as an engrossing detective novel of historical reconstruction as it unfolds towards its resolution, elegantly written and full of surprises, and opening up unexpected new fields of thought. Which is not to say that it actually is a novel: rather, it is real History with a capital H, thoroughly documented with a precise investigative method which revisits one of the most mysterious and controversial areas of Freudian research, that of telepathy." - Stefano Bolognini, past President of the IPA and the Italian Psychoanalytic Society.

"With rigorous documentation, including previously unpublished material, and elegant writing, Maria Pierri conducts a passionate investigation of hypnosis, occultism, suggestion, "coincidences and misunderstandings", studied by Freud, who applied his scientific mentality to them. The secrets and enigmas around the origins of psychoanalysis, the deep ties and conflicts between the pioneers "who made the venture" with Freud will emerge from the courageous search for that "elsewhere" of human thoughts we call unconscious, with which we are confronted daily in clinical practice and theory." - Paola Golinelli Training analyst, Italian Psychoanalytic Society. Author of Psychoanalytic Reflection on Writing, Cinema and the Arts

"Maria Pierri’s work is not only an excellent example of historical and archival research into the interest of emergent psychoanalysis in telepathic events, but a radical demonstration – thanks to the "work as a double" performed by thought-transmission – of how unsustainable it is to maintain that Freud was a monist. In this way, through the wealth of phenomena being observed, the author opens up a new direction for study and theoretical enquiry that will send us back to Freud, differently every time, and to his very early intuition of a psychic field that is created in the analytic relationship." - Maurizio Balsamo, Training analyst, Italian Psychoanalytic Society. Maître de Conférences et Directeur de Recherche, UFR Études Psychanalytiques, Université Paris–Diderot.

About the Author(s)

Maria Pierri is a psychiatrist and child neuropsychiatrist, formerly researcher and adjunct professor at the Psychiatric Clinic, Medical School, University of Padua. She is a training analyst of the Italian Psychoanalytical Society and International Psychoanalytical Association and member of the editorial board of the Rivista di Psicoanalisi.

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