Page:Freud - The history of the psychoanalytic movement.djvu/8
HISTORY OF THE PSYCHOANALYTIC MOVEMENT
the same. I only enter into this uninteresting question because some opponents of psychoanalysis are wont to recall, now and then, that the art of psychoanalysis did not originate with me at all, but with Breuer. Naturally, this only happens to be the case when their attitude permits them to find in psychoanalysis something that is noteworthy; on the other hand when their repudiation of psychoanalysis is unlimited, then psychoanalysis is always indisputably my creation. I have never yet heard that Breuers great part in psychoanalysis has brought him an equal measure of insult and reproach. As I have recognized long since that it is the inevitable fate of psychoanalysis to arouse opposition and to embitter people, I have come to the conclusion that I must surely be the originator of all that characterizes psychoanalysis. I add, with satisfaction, that none of the attempts to belittle my share in this much disdained psychoanalysis has ever come from Breuer himself, or could boast of his support.
The content of Breuers discovery has been so often presented that a detailed discussion of it here may be omitted. Its fundamental fact is that the symptoms of hysterical patients depend upon impressive but forgotten scenes in their lives (traumata). The therapy founded thereon was to cause the patients to recall and reproduce these experiences under hypnosis (catharsis), and the fragmentary theory, deduced from it was that these symptoms cor responded to an abnormal use of undischarged sums of excitement (conversion). In his theoretical contribution to the "Studies of Hysteria" Breuer, wherever obliged to mention conversion, has always added my name in parenthesis, as though this first attempt at a theoretical formulation was my mental property. I think this allotment refers only to the nomenclature, whilst the conception itself occurred to us both at the same time.
It is also well known that Breuer, after his first experience with it, allowed the cathartic treatment to rest for a number of years and only resumed it after I caused him to do so, on my return from Charcot. He was then an internist and taken up with a rather busy medical practice. I had become a physician quite reluctantly