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Dora: An Analysis of a Case of Hysteria (Collected Papers of Sigmund Freud) Paperback – November 1, 1997
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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.
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Had to read these case stories for a class. Very interesting and easy to follow. Would recommend to any adult.Published on December 5, 2013 by Ladyleet
This study was for a requirement for a course I am taking. The ordering procedure went very well. This study was interesting to read, but its current application left many... Read morePublished on November 4, 2013 by D
Great book. Freud was the best at case presentation. He really knew how to walk you through his process and interpretation. He makes his cases come alive.Published on September 8, 2013 by Alexandria
Awful book! It's very hard to read and understand. He doesn't make any sense. His methods are extremely outdated. SorryPublished on June 16, 2012 by Picopa
This book is fascinating as an example of early psychoanalytic treatment, but I disagree with so much of what goes on that I can't give it a positive rating. Read morePublished on January 18, 2011 by Andrew
I bought this work after reading Assaglioli's "Psychosynthesis." Yet I wasn't sure what to expect. Freud has a fairly distorted image among most people today. Read morePublished on December 4, 2008 by Christopher R. Travers