Hungarian Psychoanalytic Society

Hungarian Psychoanalytic Society

I was very privileged to be able to attend the 100th anniversary meeting of the Hungarian Psychoanalytic Society while in Budapest! Although the Hungarian language washed over me like a preverbal baby, I was actually able to pick up the gist of topics (yay, cognate words!), and in the afternoon Eszter came along and translated some of the discussion. The Society has fairly recently reclaimed Ferenczi and his legacy (having previously dismissed him in favor of Freudian orthodoxies), and they are well versed and interested in contemporary psychoanalysis, relational theory, and intersubjectivity. Although Ferenczi took many of his ideas much farther than most modern analysts would go, the Hungarian Society is now proud of Ferenczi’s early and influential contributions to the psychoanalysis of psychotic and “untreatable” patients, the shift from a “one-person” to a “two-person” therapeutic paradigm, and his attention to preoedipal traumas and the importance of the mother-infant relationship. My hosts at the meeting, the President of the Society, Dr. Zsuzsa Lőrincz, and the director of the Ferenczi House restoration project, Dr. Judit Mészáros, were extremely welcoming, and even facilitated a laptop for me to view a film about Ferenczi with English subtitleds! They have asked me to return in January to give a lecture to the Society, which is an extreme honor! To visit the web site of the Society, go to: For more about the Ferenczi house project (which I will visit when I return in January), see


About pcooperwhite

Christiane Brooks Johnson Professor of Psychology and Religion, Union Theological Seminary, New York NY
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