Lecture Notes: Freud, "Fragment of an Analysis of a Case of Hysteria ('Dora')"I. Background:1. Published 1905; Freud's motivation = to substantiate his earlier work on hysteria ("Studies in Hysteria," written together with J. Breuer and published in 1895; "Aetiology of Hysteria") and defend his theory on the origin of hysteria in sexual, infantile material. The treatment of Dora dates back to 1900-01.B. "Dora" = Ida Bauer (1882-1945); she came to Freud in Oct. 1900, when she was 18 years old. (To view a picture of Dora, age eight, with her brother Otto, click here.) Her case history is the history of a failure: Dora broke off her treatment before a cure was effected.–Freud learned a great deal about his own analytical methods and their weaknesses from this case. In particular, he came to appreciate more the impact of the phenomenon known as transference for the therapeutic project.1. Transference = the projection by the patient of the cause of his or her symptoms onto the analyst. The interaction between the patient and the analyst is structured or constructed by the patient as one in which the cause of the hysterical symptoms is transferred to the relationship with the physician.C. The original working title of this essay was "Dreams and Hysteria": The functional or strategic purpose of the essay hence was to demonstrate the importance of dream interpretation for the work of analysis.ñFreud thus conceived this essay as a companion piece to the Interpretation of Dreams, which had just appeared shortly before Dora came to Freud. Hence the aim of the essay isto demonstrate the practical application of the theory Freud developed in Interpretation ofDreams.II. The Clinical Picture of "Dora's" Case: (to view a diagram that graphs the pattern of Dora's hysteria onto the structure of hysteria Freud developed in the essay "The Aetiologyof Hysteria," click here.)A. Dora comes from a typical upper-middle-class family, composed of father and mother,son and daughter = "classical" configuration of bourgeois family.1. In terms of personality and familial status, the father is the dominating figure in the family circle. Dora exhibits an extreme emotional attachment to her father.2. Mother suffers from "housewife psychosis" = she is confined largely to the household, obsessed with order and cleanliness in the household sphere.[Note Freud's derogatory, demeaning attitude toward this position of the mother inthe family; he seems to have no sense that this role might be enforced upon the woman asa function of her demeaning status in the family or the limitation of her activities (by society) to the sphere of the home.
3. Dora's brother has nothing but a distant emotional attachment to his father. On the contrary, he tends to side in all familial disputes with the mother, while Dora defends her father.