The Freud Museum

Events Archive

9 April 2014
7pm - Fully booked

Freud's cancer and its influence on his theories

Martin Schmidt chaired by Jonathan Burke

The terrible loss of his friends, daughter and beloved grandson together with the relentless onslaught of his own cancer had a huge impact not only on Freud’s mood but also his writing. This change in direction reflected a darker, sombre tone in his prose. He started to use the language of death and destructiveness rather than pleasure seeking to explain the aetiology of anxiety, aggression and guilt.

From the detection of his illness until his death, he remained prolific, publishing over forty significant papers and major works including The Ego and the Id (1923b), Inhibitions, Symptoms and Anxiety (1926d), The Future of an Illusion (1927c), Civilization and its Discontents (1930a) and Moses and Monotheism (1939). This talk, based on Martin’s chapter in The Topic of Cancer (2013, Ed. Jonathan Burke. Karnac, London), explores Freud’s final years and the dynamics at work in his writing.

Martin Schmidt MBPsS, is a Jungian analyst (Training Analyst of the Society of Analytical Psychology, London) psychologist and lecturer on the post-graduate arts therapies programmes at the Universities of Roehampton and Hertfordshire. He is in private practice in London and teaches widely both in the UK and abroad. His paper Psychic Skin: psychotic defences, borderline process and delusions (Feb 2012, Vol 57, no 1) won the Fordham prize for best clinical paper in the Journal of Analytical Psychology in 2012 and was nominated for the Gradiva award by the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis, New York in 2013. His most recent publication is a chapter entitled Freud’s cancer in The Topic of Cancer (Ed. J Burke, Karnac:2013). For over seven years, he has been a visiting supervisor/lecturer on the International Association of Analytical Psychology (IAAP) Russian Revival programme for the first trainee Jungian analysts in Moscow and St Petersburg. He is currently the IAAP liaison person for Serbia and provides support, teaching and supervision for Jungian analysts and trainees in Serbia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan.

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