On Ferenczi’s ‘Clinical Diary’: Trauma, Hypocrisy, Authority

Online day course with Dr. Raluca Soreanu streamed from Freud's study.

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3 July, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

£30 - £40

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Rudolf Hausner - On Ferenczi’s ‘Clinical Diary’ 1

This course takes place over three two-hour session, with a lunch break at 1pm and a tea break at 3.45pm.

Please note: Bookings close 24 hours before the start of the course at which point attendees will be emailed access details.

A recording will be made available for ticket holders for 10 days. The login details are forwarded 24 hours after the event.


The Clinical Diary of Sándor Ferenczi is a clinically rich and theoretically innovative writing. While it has definitive relevance for contemporary psychoanalytic practice, it remains an underexplored and even controversial piece.

The course will explore the importance of this text for understanding Sándor Ferenczi’s trauma theory. Ferenczi was “forgotten” for many decades, and this “forgetfulness” had to do to a large extent to his revisions to Freudian theory and technique, which are reflected in the Diary.

Entering a systematic engagement with and offering a close reading of this text, we discuss Ferenczi’s ideas on matter, bodies and organs. We then approach Ferenczi’s metapsychology, by looking at hypocrisy, authority and guilt, which constitute the foundations of this trauma theory. We explore some of the political implications of this conception, and we conclude that, for Ferenczi, trauma theory is also a theory of the subject.

We aim for a historically-situated and critical discussion of Ferenczi’s work. We read Ferenczi’s texts closely, reflecting on how his metapsychology differs from the Freudian one, and on his main innovations in psychoanalytic theory and technique. We also work in dialogue with various theoretical and clinical perspectives (such as Klein, Winnicott, Balint, Lacan, Green, Laplanche). In so doing, we give significant space to clinical discussion, working with vignettes from Ferenczi’s Clinical Diary and from contemporary clinical practice.


  • 10:00-11:20: Trauma and the History of Psychoanalysis
  • 11:40-13:00: Matter. Bodies. Organs
  • 14:00-15:20: Hypocrisy. Authority. Guilt
  • 15:40-17:00: Trauma. Regression. Subjectivity

See Part 2 of the course series: On Ferenczi’s Clinical Diary: Mutual Analysis, Orpha, Femininity

Dr Raluca Soreanu is a psychoanalyst, effective member of Círculo Psicanalítico do Rio de Janeiro, and Reader in Psychoanalytic Studies at the Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic University of Essex. She is the author of Working-through Collective Wounds: Trauma, Denial, Recognition in the Brazilian Uprising (Palgrave, 2018), which formulates a theory of collective trauma, drawing on the work of Sándor Ferenczi. In the past five years, she has studied the Michael Balint Archive, found at the British Psychoanalytical Society. Her most recent project is a monograph looking at psychic splitting and temporality, The Psychic Life of Fragments: On Splitting and the Experience of Time in Psychoanalysis (forthcoming, 2020). She was part of the Waiting Times project, supported by the Wellcome Trust, and exploring the connections between time and care. Raluca is Academic Associate of the Freud Museum.


3 July
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
£30 - £40
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Freud Museum London
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