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Resistance and PsychoanalysisImpossible Divisions$
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Simon Morgan Wortham

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474429603

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474429603.001.0001

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Lupus (Adler and Freud)

Lupus (Adler and Freud)

Chapter:
(p.236) 9 Lupus (Adler and Freud)
Source:
Resistance and Psychoanalysis
Author(s):

Simon Morgan Wortham

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474429603.003.0010

This chapter examines phobia as a question of psychoanalysis itself, a means to assess its complex and problematic conditions of possibility. In 1929, Alfred Adler produced a case study of ‘Miss R.’ in which he analysed her lupus phobia. Lupus is an auto-immune disease that reached its heights during the nineteenth century. Found at the crossroads between the sprawl of the city and the birth of the clinic, lupus’s historic arc reflects the early history of psychoanalysis. Adler associates Miss R.’s phobias with a desire to avoid her own inferiorization within the family and a fear about life on the outside. The case study offers a clue to the relationship between analyst and analysand: Adler interprets the young girl’s behaviour in terms of an egotistic desire to hold centre-stage; yet the case history is constructed out of extemporized remarks made before a captive audience, presumably to show off Adler’s analytic brilliance (in contrast to Freud’s, whom he takes every opportunity to disparage). We wonder whether Adler might be talking about himself as much as Miss R., and the case study begins to offer some insights not only into the split with Freud in 1911 but indeed the resistances of psychoanalysis itself.

Keywords:   Freud, Adler, lupus, phobia, resistance

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