Page:Freud - The history of the psychoanalytic movement.djvu/11

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5
HISTORY OF THE PSYCHOANALYTIC MOVEMENT

I am, however, quite certain that this difference of opinion had nothing to do with the parting of the ways which occurred soon afterward between us. The latter had a deeper reason, but it happened in such a manner that at first I did not understand it, and only later did I learn to interpret it, following many good indexes. It will be recalled that Breuer had stated, concerning his first famous patient, that the sexual element had been astonishingly undeveloped in her and had never contributed anything to her very marked morbid picture.[1] I have always wondered why the critics of my theory of the sexual etiology of the neuroses have not often opposed it with this assertion of Breuer, and up to this day I do not know whether in this reticence I am to see a proof of their discretion, or of their lack of observation. Whoever will reread the history of Breuer's patient in the light of the experience gained in the last twenty years, will have no difficulty in understanding the symbolism of the snakes and of the arm. By taking into account also the situation at the sick-bed of the father, he will easily guess the actual meaning of that symptom-formation. His opinion as to the part sexuality played in the psychic life of that girl will then differ greatly from that of her physician. To cure the patient Breuer utilized the most intensive suggestive rapport which may serve us as prototype of that which we call "transference." Now I have strong grounds to suppose that Breuer, after the disposal of the symptoms, must have discovered the sexual motivity of this transference by new signs, but that the general nature of this unexpected phenomenon escaped him, so that here, as though hit by "an untoward event," he broke off the investigation. I did not obtain from him any direct information of this, but at different times he has given me sufficient connecting links to justify me in making this combination. And then, as I stood more and more decidedly for the significance of sexuality in the causation of the neuroses, Breuer was the first to show me those reactions of unwilling rejection, with which it was my lot to become so familiar later on, but which I had then not yet recognized as my unavoidable destiny.

  1. Breuer and Freud, "Studien über Hysterie," p. 15, Deuticke, 1895.