It is well documented that Carl Jung suffered a prolonged nervous breakdown after his fracture with Sigmund Freud. This was especially painful for Jung since Freud had previously called Jung “his adopted eldest son, his crown prince and successor”. Psychoanalysis was still in the early stags of development and Freud and Jung had vastly different views on how it should be pursued.
In this scene of A Dangerous Method (2011), Sabina Spielrein (Kiera Knightly) a former student and suspected lover of Jung visits him after a few years separation. As she is attempting to reach Jung (Michael Fassbender) through his melancholy, he says:
What I’ll never accept is that what we understand has gotten us nowhere.
We have to go into unchartered territory. We have to go back to the sources of everything we believe.
I don’t just want to open the door and show the patient his illness squatting there like a toad. I want to try to find a way to help the patient re-invent himself. To send him off on a journey, at the end of which is waiting the person he was always intended to be.
If psychology interests you, I encourage you to read about these fascinating trail blazers of psychoanalysis.
- Sabina Spielrein
- Sigmund Freud
- Carl Jung
- The Carl Jung Institute
- Jewish Women’s Archive: Sabina Spielrein