Today is an historic event in the Jungian community. For the first time, a major film production is released with C.G. Jung as the central focus. We will be hosting a webinar about this film on January 25. More details will follow. Do try to see this film in theaters and spread the word around your community if possible. This is a great opportunity to spread the word about Carl Jung...
On August 17th, 1904 a 17 year old Russian girl by the name of Sabina Spielrein was admitted to the famous Burghölzhi Psychiatric Clinic in Zurich, Switzerland into the care of a young fledgling psychiatrist by the name of Carl Gustav Jung. Fresh from reading about the newest methods of psychiatric treatment published by Sigmund Freud, a method later to be called psychoanalysis, Jung applied these new ideas to his treatment of Miss Spielrein' hysteria. In two years her disturbing symptoms subsided and Jung, impressed with this new technique and wanting to impress his new mentor, Jung used the Spielrein case to impress Freud while showing him the positive results of his method.
Thus began a relationship between three people whose influence on Jung's work would be immense in pointing the way forward to something new even as he was separating from the old. Based on John Kerr's well researched work called A Most Dangerous Method published in 1993, the play titled The Talking Cure by Christopher Hampton was published and performed in London in 2002 and focused on the relationships of Freud, Spielrein, Jung and Otto Gross. Hampton adapted the screenplay for the film eventually called A Dangerous Method starring Viggo Mortensen as Freud, Michael Fassbender as Jung and Keira Knightley as Spielrein.
As Jung crossed the sacred boundaries of medicine with his client Spielrein, he descended into his own madness even as she emerged from hers to go on to medical school and become a psychoanalyst in her own right, always harboring a deep love for Jung. Though her relationship with Jung freed her from the patriarchal shackles into which she was born, her work was never seriously recognized and she moved back to her home town in Russia, married and had children. There her psychoanalytic work focused on children. Years later she would be executed by the Nazi's marching through Russia along with all her family.
The nine years of the relationship between Jung, Spielrein and Freud shaped all their careers and fatefully led to the breakup of Freud and Jung and left a gulf between Jung and Sabina. In January 2012 we will present a televised seminar and discussion of the film A Dangerous Method by David Cronenberg while reflecting on the works from which the film drew, Kerr's A Most Dangerous Method, whose title is based on a statement of caution by William James when reading about Freud's new method of psychoanalysis and the play by David Hampton, The Talking Cure.