Page:Freud - The history of the psychoanalytic movement.djvu/23

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.


II

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 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,

17