Freud in America Part 6: Legacy of Psychoanalysis in the United States

About the influence that Sigmund Freud played in America, the effect his trip played in learning more about him and his split with Jung.

Dr. Freud Visits America

By Irving Wallace

However, he did not forget Clark University or G. Stanley Hall, its president. Freud maintained a sporadic correspondence with Hall--and this correspondence illuminated a personal scandal in Freud's life-but not until 60 years later.

The 1st hint of trouble appeared in a letter Freud wrote to Hall in November, 1913: "The only unfavorable developments within the psychoanalytical movement concern personal relationships. Jung, with whom I shared my visit to you at that time, is no longer my friend, and our collaboration is approaching complete dissolution."

Jung split from Freud completely, becuause he felt Freud placed too much emphasis on the role sex played in life energy. Speaking of Freud's theories, Jung said, "The brain is viewed as an appendage of the genital glands." What Freud had to say about Jung was not fully known until 1969, when 13 long-lost letters Freud had written to G. Stanley Hall were discovered in the basement of the Clark University library. In one of these letters to Hall, Freud dwelt angrily on Jung's motives for leaving him: "If the real facts were more familiar to you, you would very likely not have thought that there was again a case where a father did not let his sons develop, but you would have seen that the sons wished to eliminate their father, as in ancient times."

Exposure of this letter by Clark University did not sit well with John M. Billinsky, a psychologist and professor at nearby Andover Newton Theological School. Billinsky, who had studied under Jung in Zurich a dozen years earlier, determined to let the world know more of the reasons behind Jung's defection from Freud. And so, in January, 1970, Billinsky made public a private fact that Jung had told him about Freud.

It seems that in 1907, Jung was a houseguest of Freud's in Vienna. Also under the same roof lived Freud's wife, Martha, their children, and Freud's sister-in-law, Minna Bernays, who was part of the family for 40 years. Minna, the robust, younger sister of Freud's wife, one day spilled out her big secret to Jung. "From her," Jung had told Billinsky, "I learned that Freud was in love with her and that their relationship was indeed very intimate." Upset by Freud's hidden life, his lack of openness, Jung confronted the master. He suggested to Freud that he be analyzed by someone else, and Jung offered himself as the analyst. Irked, Freud flatly rejected the suggestion. "It was my knowledge of Freud's triangle," said Jung, "that became a very important factor in my break. And then I could not accept Freud's authority above the truth. This led to further problems..."

Fortunately, neither Freud nor Hall was alive in 1970 to see what the visit to America wrought.

Hall had died in 1924 at the age of 80. And Freud, after being rescued from the Nazi invaders of Austria and spirited off to England, had died in London in 1939.

Freud died still believing, as he had once remarked, that tobacco was the only excuse for Columbus' great mistake in discovering America. Yet, ironically, it was to be the U.S., not Austria, not Germany, that would become the world center of psychoanalysis and the one nation above all others to immortalize the genius of Freud, "the great liberator who freed the human mind from medieval bondage."

The Author: Novelist and biographer Irving Wallace's international best sellers have included The Fan Club, The Word, The Man.

You Are Here: Trivia-Library Home » Sigmund Freud In America » Freud in America Part 6: Legacy of Psychoanalysis in the United States
« Freud in America Part 5: Feelings about America
DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ - By printing, downloading, or using you agree to our full terms. Review the full terms at the following URL: /disclaimer.htm