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Dora: An Analysis of a Case of Hysteria (Collected Papers of Sigmund Freud) Paperback – November 1, 1997

4 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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About the Author

Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) was an Austrian neurologist and psychologist who founded the psychoanalytic school of psychology. Although his theories remain controversial until this day, Freud made a lasting impact on Western culture.
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Product Details

  • Series: Collected Papers of Sigmund Freud
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; Reprint edition (November 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684829460
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684829463
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,141 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
By now it's fairly common knowledge that the side of Freud's work concerned with actual practice is, to understate the case, problematic. He is a brilliant thinker, and a beautiful writer, but his need to find the "truth" of his patients is quixotic at best. However, this very quality makes the Dora case one of the first great modern novels. What is revealed is not so much Dora's truth, as the unravelling of the position of interpretive authority - in this case, the psychoanalyst. Freud imagines himself absent from his analysis, but we see him intrude more and more into the frame as he investigates the secrets of Dora's mind. In this way, the story reads like detective fiction, making evidence less anchored in a tangible structure as it becomes more intent and focused. It's a great, juicy read. Just don't take it to seriously.
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Format: Paperback
Freud was definitely a revolutionary in the field of psychology during a period where water therapy and shock treatments were routinely administered and talking to patients to resolve problems was thought to be absurd. However, one cannot ignore Freud's unmistakable misogyny.

I find it disturbing that Freud's conclusion about Dora and women in general was that women like to be sexually assaulted by men. He also asserts that Dora really wanted the sexual assault and even further that she should have submitted to it.

Freud also seems to assert some kind of empiricism of his method but it is almost as though he never realizes that the entire scenario that he has "derived" are wholly constructed and based on entirely questionable interpolations.

Given the history of Dora - her father was having an affair with a Frau K, the older [than Dora] husband Herr K comes on to her and sexually assaults her on several occasions, her father becomes distant to her and uses her as a pawn in his sexual exploits with Frau K, Frau K betrays her trust, her father believes Herr K when he denies that Dora was sexually assaulted by him, her mother does not really do anything to help her, she is Jewish and living in Germany during an obviously bad period, and she was subjected to water therapy and shock therapy prior to meeting with Freud. If this was not all bad enough, she was sent to Freud by her father who also added insult to injury by telling her that she wanted to kiss him too and asserted that all of the above things were her fault.
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Format: Paperback
Whatever can be said about Freud's conclusions, his psychoanalytical method was one of the great turning points from the 19th century to the 20th. Although many of his conclusions may not be pertinent universally as he may have thought, especially the family romance--Oedipus complex, the way he tackles the neuroses of late 19th century Vienna is indeed masterful.
What matters here is the method, which has matured since the early cases in the Studies on Hysteria, which this makes a good companion for. The Dora case is unique in that Freud does not come to any sort of conclusion, the analysis is ended abruptly by the patient (or rather the patient's father). Whereas in Studies, the method is incomplete, here, the method is simply not carried to its conclusions. Both reveal much of how Freud's thought developed.
Freud says explicitly in the preface that the reader should be familiar with dream interpretation, and that he will not repeat what he had said in his Interpretation of Dreams. It should still be possible to appreciate the genius behind the work, even if some of the conclusions about the dreams may perhaps seem like jumps.
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He's wordy, difficult to read at times, and seems to think of women as hysterical children, but when Freud's theories and analysis is more deeply studied, one is able to appreciate his brilliance and insight. His work is revolutionary and remains a cornerstone of modern therapy. "Dora" is a deeply affecting case study about a sad young woman who is caught between the needs of her father, her mother, her father's lover, and the older man who covets her. The study provides valuable insight into why teenagers living in tumultuous homes develop attachment problems and risky behavior. It's definitely worth reading.
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Def. a must have for any social science professional. This book is a short read (keep in mind how Freud writes, can be confusing and contradict). Give great insight on yet another dynamic, and place in time for woman and psychology.
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Format: Paperback
Freud: brilliant and flawed, and without whom we'd have none of his detractors. We can see the ways Freud was a "poor" therapist. Some of his treatment styles would now be considered, at best, amoral; at worst, illegal. But he is essential to the foundation of psychotherapy. Without his theories (and opponents), we wouldn't have it at all. He is a fascinating, great scientist and innovator. His focus, also, is borne of its time, Victorian, and many of his theories predicated on from where *he* comes and what he saw in his patients - repression, for example.
Definitely read, if interested, Freud's description of his theories - his theories of both psychology and treatment.
But the case studies are imperative. You can read all about Oedipus or dreams or the Id, but you won't SEE what he did, the analyst he was, until you read a case study. Anna O., Dora, Emmy - any of them. It's nearly mandatory to see Fread-at-work in order to understand *his* implementation of his thoughts.
I don't suggest you put out of your mind, if you have them, negative thoughts of Freud, his life, or his treatment styles, but to place him in history. In my opinion he is the Daddy of them all. I am not a Freudian, but I am in love with Freud. I think he made egregious errors in his treatment of patients and, today, untried methods wouldn't be revered, or even implemented at all, this way. We also wouldn't know they are "errors" if not for books like this. But this is it, in its raw form, and from his point of view - the way of Freud. So, disagree, find him quixotic, a breaker of rules we take as a given (such as confidentiality), but read the case studies.
Without the case studies, you've got theory and description but not the action, the meat of his treatment.
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