Anna, Irma und Dora--der Schlüssel zu den Müttern im Schöpfungsprozess der Psychoanalyse.

Translated title of the contribution: Anna, Irma and Dora--the key to the mothers in the creation of psychoanalysis

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1 Scopus citations


As a science caught up between the mythical and the rational, psychoanalysis is subject to the pulls of two opposing currents, a creative enlightened one concerned with the investigation of the unconscious, and a conservative counter-current observable in the psychoanalytic theory of femininity. In her analysis of these warning elements the author goes back to the genesis of psychoanalysis and its creator and takes a close look at the primal myth (the legend of Breuer and Anna O.), the primal dream (Irma), and finally the primal analysis (the case of Dora). King's analysis demonstrates that Freud unconsciously appropriated female psychic features and--in unconscious identification with the mother of the Urszene, bound up with adolescent regression and attendant bi-sexual grandeur fantasies--imagined himself as ideal woman and "conceiver". By appropriating female potency for himself and thus making the opposite sex superfluous, Freud's theory of femininity leaves the place of women vacant, relegating them to the role of a defective entity, a castrated man, rather than acknowledging their otherness. In King's view, this phallic monism is inextricably interwoven with adolescent bisexual identifications and fantasies of grandeur about Freud's own gender, while denying gender-difference genuine recognition and integration.

Translated title of the contributionAnna, Irma and Dora--the key to the mothers in the creation of psychoanalysis
Original languageGerman
Pages (from-to)838-866
Number of pages29
Issue number9-10
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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