Tuesday, September 1, 2009

100 Years of Psychoanalysis in America

100 years ago this week marks an important turning point in the development of Freud's psychoanalysis and Carl Jung's analytical psychology with arrival of Jung and Freud in America.

In August 1909, Freud and Jung set sail for the United States with colleague Sandor Ferenzi to attend the Clark University Conference on Psychology and Pedagogy. The ship docked in Hoboken New Jersey August 29 1909. The conference held between September 6 and 11, 1909 would introduce the European analytic movement to the Americas and lead to Jung's later distance from Freud and the development of his brand of psychology.

When Freud received the invitation to speak at the conference in late 1908, he declined believing that he needed a holiday more than taking the long journey across the ocean to speak. Carl Jung apparently grasped the significance of this adventure and urged Freud to accept. It wasn't until the dates were changed to September and Freud was offered an honorary degree did he accept. Unbeknownst to Freud, Jung would also be offered a place on the schedule and a honorary doctorate.

Tensions existed between the two men on the crossing. They would tell each other their dreams and analyze each other symptoms as hidden feelings and beliefs about the other. Upon entering the New York Harbour, Freud apparently commented on how surprised the Americans would be to hear what they to tell him. Jung believed that Freud was overly ambitious. Freud had the same belief of Jung as well.

More information on the celebration of the Centennial can be found at the Clark University http://www.clarku.edu/micro/freudcentennial/

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