3 pages, 4to, in German." />
17 June 2003
FREUD, Sigmund (1856-1939). Autograph letter signed ("Dr.Freud") to an unidentified correspondent (a fellow psychoanalist), 19 Berggasse, Vienna, 17 March 1907. 3 pages, 4to, in German.
PROBLEMS WITH A SHARED PATIENT. A good early letter to a fellow analyst, evidently a member of the Mittwochs Gesellschaft (the Physchological Wednesday Society, later the Vienna Psychoanalytical Society), concerning a troublesome patient who is unwilling to pay the fees for his analysis: Freud writes that "I had to wait until late Sunday as I simply had no time and in addition, was ill and only able to work by dint of taking aspirin." Referring to a previous communication, he apologizes that "you were hit by the arrow of my disapproving tone." Then, Freud gives his opinion regarding a patient evidently referred to him by his correspondent: "The young man represented himself to me as an idealist needing assistance and advice in very intimate matters. But I can't abide idealist who wish to take advantage. And I will never admit that it was my fault that you were taken advantage of. I have too little influence on your actions to be able to correct any new errors of your otherwise superb upbringing."
As concerns the fee for psycholanalysis, "a flat rate is completelt out of the question and a discount would be criminal in this case. You have not yet learned that you cannot rely upon the gratitude of your patients in psychoanalysis; you must protect yourself. It was a mistake, in answer to his inquiry about how long it [analysis] would take that you not only gave a specific time but a very short time. The guy [the petient] is useless. Let him go and I will make it up to you by finding you a better subject. But most of all, I must caution you about letting yourself get into such situations. This is neither the place nor the time. He only wants to dupe you, so if you have already started, then you must immediately decline at my behest." In closing, Freud provides a useful clue as to the identity of the unnamed patient: "By the way, the son of the delegate and Mayor of Brünn most likely has enough money for his ideal needs and then some...." (The Mayor of Brünn at this date was August Ritter von Weiser).
As an afterthought, Freud adds that he is "expecting to see you Wednesday."
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