Telepathy in Psychoanalysis


    DR. H. J. EHRENWALD, formerly of Prague, has directed attention to the possibility of telepathy in the psychoanalytic situation (Brit. J. Med. Psych., 20, Pt. 1; 1944). It is well known to psychical researchers that since Freud mentioned this factor in his new series of introductory lectures, his pupils have obediently followed him and are themselves now at pains to discuss the question in relation to their own patients. In this paper, Dr. Ehrenwald extends these observations not only regarding telepathy from patient to analyst but also from analyst to patient. He mentions some of Freud's own cases, including the famous case of his patient, Mr. P., which Freud thought to be very suggestive, but which few psychical researchers would regard as worthy of serious consideration. What is, however, of more interest in Dr. Ehrenwald's paper is his obvious anxiety to warn his colleagues of the possibility of telepathy occurring during sittings with their patients, and the implications which can be derived from it. From the point of view of the psychical researcher this attitude is somewhat diverting, since for so many years psychoanalysts have declined to learn what parapsychologists could have taught them and now, having become almost convinced through Freud's influence that telepathy exists, present examples of it which exhibit so many sources of error that it is clear that they still have little appreciation of the problems on which they write. If Dr. Ehrenwald's paper disturbs still further their complacency, it will have performed a useful service.

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    Telepathy in Psychoanalysis. Nature 154, 206 (1944).

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