4 december 2015 – Judit Mészáros – Sandor Ferenczi and the Budapest School of Psychoanalysis : Initiations and influence

How Ferenczi changed the relational dynamic between the analyst and the patient by integrating countertransference into the psychoanalytic process? How he and the Budapest analysts – among them Michael and Alice Balint, Imre Hermann, Margaret Mahler, René A. Spitz – discovered the importance of the early infant-mother relationship and created the first object relational approaches in the psychoanalytical theory? What was Ferenczi’s paradigm-shift in the trauma theory?  How did psychoanalysis find its way from Ferenczi’s terminology of ‘traumatic progression’, ‘precocious maturity’ or ‘wise baby’ phenomenon to the research of resilience? How Ferenczi and Otto Rank, later Balint and Franz Alexander realized effective tools and techniques deepening the therapeutic process and facilitating changes of the patients as well as to be able shortening the lenght of the therapy?


I will also talk about the Budapest School’s other initiatives on the theory and practice of psychoanalysis and the school’s far-reaching influence via its members that subsequently emigrated far and wide. The presentation will give orientation of how early initiatives of the Budapest School interplayed with other outstanding intellectual tendencies and how it has fertilized modern psychoanalytic theories and practice.


The paper will reach the main elements of the Freud-Ferenczi friendship/relationship and later the difficulties between them.

affiche meszaros


Judit Mészáros is a psychologist, PhD, a training and supervising analyst of the Hungarian Psychoanalytical Society (IPA). She is also training and supervising in psychoanalytic psychotherapy and short-term dynamic psychotherapy. Mészáros is an Honorary Associate Professor at the Eötvös Loránd University (Budapest), as well as a staff member of the postgraduate education of European Training for Psychotherapy (Tündérhegy, Budapest). She is also a founding member and the President of the Sándor Ferenczi Society and of the International Ferenczi Foundation. She works in private practice as a psychoanalyst and psychotherapist. She was also a member of the Trauma Group at the European Psychoanalytical Federation (EPF).

Her research fields are the history of the Budapest School, the cultural-political background and exile of the psychoanalysts and the topic of trauma, which addresses the traumatization process, transgenerational effects and healing possibilities. She has written scores of papers and is the editor and author of several books, the most recent being: Ferenczi and Beyond (Karnac, 2014). She was the curator of several exhibitions on psychoanalysis embedded in cultural life and influenced by political/societal changes in the 20th century in Europe, among them in the Freud Museum (London, 2004) and the Gallery of the Open Society Archives (Budapest, 2006); she was the scientific advisor of a documentary film on Ferenczi (ed. Edit szendi, Hungarian TV, 2001).

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