The Child as a Traumatic Self-Component in Ferenczi’s Later Psychoanalysis

Abstract: 

In the Ferenczi renaissance of the last few decades it has become more and more important to elaborate and reconstruct the general shape, the “Weltanschauung”, of his psychoanalysis. The construct of his “psychoanalytic anthropology” is based on the relational nature of individual existence. Relationality pervades the life narrative through the concept and role of the trauma and is crucial to the understanding of Ferenczi’s self-concept. He understood the human individual as essentially fragmented in a “preprimal” way, in which the split self contains the child, as an active, always present infantile component. Through powerful allegories like the “Orpha” or the “wise baby,” Ferenczi suggested an essentially post-modern idea of self that can be connected and differentiated from Winnicott’s True and False Self.

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The American Journal of Psychoanalysis

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