On "polygamous analysis"

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The close relationships among Ferenczi's analysands at the time the Clinical Diary was written are explored, and their potential influences on their analyses are discussed. It is suggested that the fact that "a virtual group" emerged in this context may have sabotaged to some extent Ferenczi's clinical work, because this setting did not allow the open joint exploration possible in an actual analytic group, and at the same time stood in the way of achieving "a background of safety" fostered by the privacy and confidentiality of a fully individual analysis. Several examples are given of situations that may have made analysands feel betrayed or abandoned by the divided loyalties of their analyst, and may have created painful splits in Ferenczi's own countertransferences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-36
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychoanalysis
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis.


  • Confidentiality
  • Ferenczi
  • Incest
  • Severn
  • Thompson
  • Virtual group

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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