The Freud Museum

Events Archive

24 November 2014
7pm at The Anna Freud Centre - Museum open for viewing from 6pm

Sex Versus Survival: The Life and Ideas of Sabina Spielrein

Author's Talk: John Launer with Dr Graham Music

Who was Sabina Spielrein? Her dramatic life story is most famous for her notorious affair with Carl Jung, dramatised in the film A Dangerous Method starring Keira Knightley. Yet she was a woman who overcame family and psychiatric abuse to become an original thinker in the field of sexual psychotherapy.

Drawing on thorough and novel research into Spielrein’s diaries, professional papers and correspondence, Sex Versus Survival is the first biography to put her life and ideas at the centre of the story. John Launer examines Spielrein’s tumultuous affair with Jung and its influence on both of their lives and intellectual journeys, and her key role in the rift between Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud, and in the development of psychoanalysis.

A Russian Jew, who lost her life in the Holocaust in 1942, Spielrein’s innovative theories have chiefly been suppressed because of her gender. Sex Versus Survival is a significant stage in the rediscovery of the life and ideas of an extraordinary woman and an acknowledgment of her prominent role in the history of sexual psychology.

John Launer was on the senior staff of the Tavistock Clinic in London, the leading training institute in the UK for psychological treatment, and is now an Associate Dean for postgraduate medical education at the University of London. He is a doctor and family therapist, and a renowned medical columnist both nationally and internationally.

The talk will be chaired by Dr Graham Music, Consultant Psychotherapist at the Tavistock and Portman Clinics, author of 'The Good Life' and 'Nurturing Natures.

Part of a season of talks and events accompanying the exhibition 'Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing' 22 October 2014 - 22 February 2015.

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