A Dangerous Method (Movie Tie-in Edition): The Story of Jung, Freud, and Sabina Spielrein is an exciting study that sheds much new light on the vexed Jung-Freud partnership and on the current status of psychoanalysis. At its hub is Sabina Spielrein (1886-1941), one of the first women psychoanalysts, whom Jung treated for hysteria when she was 18. She evidently fell in love with Jung, and he broke off their intense relationship to avert public scandal. Spielrein found in Freud a friend and mentor, confiding to him the details of her attachment to Jung.
Kerr, a clinical psychologist and historian, asserts that Freud attempted to use what he knew about Jung’s personal life to exert ideological control over the psychoanalytic movement. In Kerr’s scenario, Jung apparently was aware of Freud’s secret affair with his sister-in-law Minna Bernays–an affair which is denied by many biographiers, but that Kerr defends as plausible based on Jung’s explicit testimony and on recent scholarship.
It was after Jung threatened to retaliate by revealing what he knew about Freud’s personal life, Kerr maintains, that their collaboration dissolved. He argues that both men had an opportunity to make psychoanalysis an open, scientifically grounded discipline, but instead succumbed to ambition, dogma and personal animus. Kerr also charges that Freud and Jung suppressed Spielrein’s own fertile theory of the unconscious, which conceived of sexuality as fusion rather than pleasure.
About the Author: Kerr was born in Washington, D.C., to mother Jean Kerr and father Walter Kerr shortly before their relocation to Larchmont, New York. He is one of six siblings, the oldest being Christopher, his twin Colin, and younger Gilbert, Gregory, and Kitty.
Raised in a house of writers, his family was the subject of humorous articles scribed by his mother that would be collected into the volume Please Don’t Eat the Daisies (1957). After a long stint in Brooklyn, Kerr relocated to Portland, Maine, in 1998. He currently resides in Portland’s West End.
Author: John Kerr
Year of Release: 2011