Ferenczi's Footprints at The New School

  • Misa Tsuruta


Perhaps it is through one of Irvin Yalom's writings that I first got to know Sándor Ferenczi's name. His name was associated with the concept of "mutual analysis," which sounded fascinating, though I had little knowledge as to its exact meaning. I speculated that if the analyst analyzes the patient, perhaps in mutual analysis the patient also analyzes the analyst. My speculation was, in fact, not too far from the actual meaning of mutual analysis: one of Ferenczi's patients, who was sexually abused by her father, "demanded that the patient should also have the right to analyze the analyst" (Ferenczi, 1988, p.3). Ferenczi, with his relentless experimental spirit, embarked on this attempt of mutual analysis, by alternating "analyzing" positions/roles session by session (Myers, 1996).


Ferenczi, S. (1988). The clinical diary of Sándor Ferenczi. Harvard University Press.

Aron, L. & Harris, A. (1993). Sándor Ferenczi: Discovery and rediscovery. In Aron, L. & Harris, A. (Eds.). The legacy of Sándor Ferenczi. Hillsdale, NJ: Analytic Press.

Myers, P. (1996). Sándor Ferenczi and patients' perception of analysis. British Journal of Psychotherapy, 13, (1).

The New School for Social Research. (1926). Announcement. NY: The New School for Social Research.

Rachman, A. W. (1997). Sándor Ferenczi: The psychoanalyst of tenderness and passion. Northdale, NJ: Jason Aronson Inc.