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The historian and Freudian psychoanalyst Bruno Bettelheim commented on her treatment and the apparently beneficial result, noting that, "However questionable Jung's behaviour was from a moral point of view At the time, Freud was tolerant of what happened between Jung and Spielrein, and regarded it as an example of countertransference. Later, he confessed to Spielrein that it had played a part in the schism between him and Jung: "His behavior was too bad.

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My opinion changed a great deal from the time I received that first letter from you". Jung had come to the same conclusion. When Jung came to Freud about his relationship with Spielrein, Freud changed his ideas about the relationship between doctor and patient. She continued to yearn for him for several years afterwards, and wrote to Freud that she found it harder to forgive Jung for leaving the psychoanalytic movement than for "that business with me". He recounted, it was "the voice of a patient After graduation, Spielrien moved to Munich to study art history, while also working on a paper on the connection between sex and death.

She was the second female member of this society. The paper shows evidence of both Jungian and Freudian thought, but appears to mark the point at which she moved from identifying herself with Jung to seeing herself as more of a Freudian. Spielrein met with Freud on a number of occasions in , and continued to correspond with him until She attempted in her correspondence with both Freud and Jung to reconcile the two men.

In the "Destruction" paper, and throughout her subsequent career, she drew on ideas from many different disciplines and schools of thought. By age 26, Spielrien became the youngest to publish her works. They moved to Berlin , where Spielrein worked alongside Karl Abraham.

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Spielrein had her first daughter Irma-Renata known as Renata , in While in Berlin, Spielrein published nine further papers. One of these was an account of children's beliefs about sex and reproduction, in which she included recollections of her own early fantasies about this. Her husband joined his regiment in Kiev , and they were not reunited for more than a decade. The war years were times of privation for Spielrein: she did some work as a surgeon and in an eye clinic, but also received contributions from her parents when they could get these to her.

She composed music, and considered becoming a composer. She also began to write a novel in French. She recorded observations of her daughter's development in terms of language and play. She continued her correspondence with Freud and Jung and her development of her own theoretical ideas, particularly in relation to attachment in children.

In she attended the sixth congress of the International Psychoanalytical Association in The Hague , where she gave a talk on the origins of language in childhood. She also announced her intention to join the staff of the Rousseau Institute in Geneva , a pioneering clinical, training and research centre for child development in Geneva. While she was there, Jean Piaget also joined the staff: they collaborated closely, and in he went into an eight-month analysis with her.

In , she and Piaget both delivered papers at the seventh congress of the International Psychoanalytical Association in Berlin. This was one of the most productive periods of her life, and she published twenty papers between and The most important of these was a new version of the paper she had given at the Hague on the origins of language, drawing on her collaboration with the linguist Charles Bally. Her other papers from the time are mainly devoted to bring psychoanalytic thought together with observational studies of child development,. Her papers in the Zeitschrift and Imago from this time mainly focus on the importance of speech acquisition in early childhood and the sense of time.

In , discouraged by her lack of success in building up a private practice in Geneva, and with Freud's support, she decided to travel to Moscow to support the development of psychoanalysis there. In the event, she never returned to western Europe, and the papers remained undiscovered until they were identified nearly sixty years later by the Jungian analyst Aldo Carotenuto, who published a selection of them. Psychoanalysis in Russia already had a turbulent history but its influence was strongest between and On her arrival in Moscow, she found herself the most experienced psychoanalyst there, as well as one of the most closely connected with analysts and psychologists in the west.

She also joined the Moscow Psychoanalytic Institute, which had been founded in under the direction of Moise Moishe Wulff. She then became involved with an ambitious new project in children's learning known as the "Detski Dom" Psychoanalytic Orphanage—Laboratory also known as the "White House. Founded in by Vera Schmidt who had also been one of Freud's students , the "Detski Dom" was intended to teach children based on Freud's theories.

The school was only an orphanage in name: along with Schmidt's own son, the school had children from prominent Bolsheviks including Joseph Stalin , whose son Vasily Stalin was enrolled as well. Sexual exploration and curiosity was also permitted. Spielrein's involvement included supervision of the teachers, and she may have supported them in a protest about their poor conditions of work, which led to their dismissal. The accusations were possibly made in response to attempts by Leon Trotsky to proletarianize the school's intake [6] : During Spielrein's time in Moscow, both Alexander Luria and Lev Vygotsky came to work at the Psychoanalytic Institute and "Dyetski Dom" and studied with her.

Spielrein's characteristic way of combining subjective psychological ideas from psychoanalysis with objective observational research of children is likely to have been an important influence in their early formation as researchers, leading them to become the foremost Russian psychologists of their time. In late or , Spielrein left Moscow. She and her daughter rejoined her husband Pavel in Rostov-on-Don. As well as probably being disillusioned by her experience in Moscow, Spielrein may have been impelled to return because her husband by now was in a relationship with a Ukrainian woman, Olga Snetkova born Aksyuk , and they now had a daughter, Nina.

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For at least the next decade, Spielrein continued to work actively as a pediatrician, carrying out further research, lecturing on psychoanalysis, and publishing in the west until In she presented a vigorous defense of Freud and psychoanalysis at a congress of psychiatry and neuropathology in Rostov, possibly the last person to mount such a defense at a time when psychoanalysis was on the point of being proscribed in Russia. She also talked of the importance of clinical supervision for psychological work with children, and described an approach to short term therapy that could be used when resources did not allow for extensive treatment.

Her niece Menikha described her from the s as "a very well mannered, friendly and gentle person. At the same time, she was tough as far as her convictions were concerned. In her brothers Isaac, Jan and Emil Spielrein were arrested, and executed in and during the Great Purge. Spielrein and her daughters survived the first German invasion of Rostov-on-Don in November , which was repelled by the Red Army.

Sabina Spielrein

However, in July , the German army reoccupied the city. Spielrein and her two daughters, aged 29 and 16, were shot dead [57] by an SS death squad, Einsatzgruppe D, in Zmievskaya Balka , or "Snake Ravine" near Rostov-on-Don, together with 27, mostly Jewish victims. Despite her closeness to the central figures of both psychoanalysis and developmental psychology in the first part of the twentieth century, Spielrein was more or less forgotten in Western Europe after her departure for Moscow in Her tragic death in the Holocaust compounded this erasure.

The publication in , of the correspondence between Freud and Jung, [28] followed by the discovery of her personal papers and publication of some of them in the s onwards, [2] [3] made her name quite widely known. However, it led to her identification in popular culture as an erotic sideshow in the lives of the two men.

Within the world of psychoanalysis, Spielrein is usually given no more than a footnote, for her conception of the sexual drive as containing both an instinct of destruction and an instinct of transformation, hence anticipating both Freud's " death drive " and Jung's views on "transformation"; [60] Regardless of the questionable relationship with Jung, something positive and very useful to psychotherapy was born from it. Jung's correspondence to Freud about his relationship with Spielrein inspired Freud's concepts of transference and countertransference.

In recent years, however, Spielrein has been increasingly recognized as a significant thinker in her own right, influencing not only Jung, Freud and Melanie Klein, but also later psychologists including Jean Piaget , Alexander Luria and Vygotsky [1]. Spielrein also has influential work in several topics such as: gender roles, love, the importance of intuition in women, the unconscious, dream interpretation, sexuality and sexual urges, libido, sublimation, transference, linguistics and language development in children.

Description Witnessing comes in as many forms as the trauma that gives birth to it. About the Author Nancy R. Goodman, Ph. She writes on female development, analytic listening, Holocaust trauma and witnessing, film and psychoanalysis, enactments, and sadomasochism.


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She maintains a full-time psychoanalytic practice in Bethesda, Maryland. Marilyn B. Meyers, Ph. She is President of the Section on Couples and Families of the Division of Psychoanalysis 39 of the APA, and has a longstanding interest in working with Holocaust survivors and their children. In addition, she has presented papers on the use of film to illustrate the aftermath of massive trauma.

She maintains a private practice where she sees individuals and couples. Membership Benefits.

Sabina Spielrein - Wikipedia

Gift cards can be used online or in-store. Popular Fiction. Circe Paperback. By Madeline Miller. Published: Back Bay Books - April 14th, By Ann Patchett. By Ta-Nehisi Coates. Published: One World - September 24th, Language English. Expand all About This Publication. Physical Description xii, p. Marcus, Paul, ISBN Notes Includes bibliographical references.

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