Why Ferenczi?

I am very pleased to have been invited by Carlo Bonomi and Giselle Galdi to host a “Ferenczi Forum” on the website of the ISFN, which we are auspiciously launching on our Hungarian progenitor’s 144th birthday. I hope it will provide a venue for ongoing conversation among the members of this unique psychoanalytic community, especially since we see each other in person all too infrequently. My thought is to propose a spontaneously evolving series of “topics” that might provide a springboard for discussion, dialogue, and even debate.

To start off, I would like to pose the question, “Why Ferenczi?” By this I mean, what is it about Ferenczi that has drawn each of us to become members of this network? Is it something about him as a person, his ideas, his place in the history of psychoanalysis, or what?

For me, one of the key things has always been that Ferenczi managed to escape the binary choice that Freud (as I see it) imposed on his followers between being dutiful disciples or rebellious dissidents. By the end of his life, Ferenczi was in profound disagreement with Freud on many issues, but he never separated himself from the psychoanalytic “movement.” Thus, Ferenczi provides the prototype for an identity or way of being that is indubitably psychoanalytic without being Freudian.

Please send your thoughts on “Why Ferenczi?” to me at forum@sandorferenczi.org. After being approved, they will be posted below. To read the entire content you will need to log on as a member of the ISFN.

So, let the games begin, and see you in Florence next May!

Peter Rudnytsky
Gainesville, FL