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Title: The role of the case history in the transmission of psychoanalytic knowledge
Author: Borossa, J.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 1995
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This dissertation constitutes a historical and a theoretical exploration of the issues of power and authorship surrounding clinical writing in psychoanalysis. In the Introduction, the case history is shown to have a key, albeit paradoxical, status in psychoanalysis. It is simultaneously called to function as a narrative representation of the private interaction between patient and analyst and as a regulator of psychoanalysis as a discipline and an institution. A genealogy of psychoanalysis as a body of knowledge, related to the concept of transference and focusing on the figure of Freud is introduced, and the question of the politics of institutional transmission is raised. In Chapter One, the formation of psychoanalysis as a discipline is examined, beginning with the shift in the representation of the hysteric between the work of Charcot and others and Breuer and Freud's Studies on Hysteria. The collaborative nature of the interaction between patient and psychoanalyst is investigated. The development of formal structures regulating the professional training and identity of analysts is linked to the failure of the ideal of self-analysis. Freud's psychoanalytic case histories are discussed as an illustration of the problem of mastery and discipleship in psychoanalysis. In Chapter Two, the instability of the professional identity of the analyst is explored through the example of British psychoanalysts, particularly those of the Independent Group. Their emergence as a group in the wake of the "Controversial Discussions" is examined. With reference to the precedent of Sandor Ferenczi, their particular technical stance is shown to give rise to a distinct style of clinical writing which seems to erode the boundary between the roles of patient and analyst. Interviews with key British analysts are discussed, as well as published case histories. The work of Masud Khan, in particular, is examined since both his practice and writing are deemed to have been transgressive of psychoanalysis as an institution.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available