Robin's Reviews > A Dangerous Method: The Story of Jung, Freud & Sabina Spielrein

A Dangerous Method by John Kerr
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Nov 12, 2011

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Read from November 12 to 20, 2011 — I own a copy

This was not what I was expecting. I was under the impression that this would be a book in plain english that would discuss in detail the affair between Spielrein and Jung as well as their relationship with Freud. Instead, it read like a 500+ page essay written in psych jargon. Reading it was arduous as I had to put it down many times to think about what author John Kerr had written. in addition, there are many other psychologists mentioned and the text drifts to their stories. The book becomes less about Jung, Freud and Spielein and just about the history of sexual psychology and it's development in the early twentieth century.

That said, the book is very well researched and John Kerr is passionate about the subject. Clearly, Mr. Kerr sympathizes with Ms. Spielrein and the other women who were under the care of Mr. Jung and Mr. Freud as well as the other founding fathers of modern psychology and how their stories were used to advance the careers and fame of the men who were treating them. He also questions the Jung's ethics; the affair with Spielrein was not only a violation of the code of ethics between a therapist and their patient, but was also taking advantage of a mentally unstable young woman.

Though the founding of modern psychology changed the world, understanding of the human mind, and has helped people, how it came to be was due to in part to exploitation and the clash of egos. All were men looking for greatness, often by using their patients for glory. But it was their egos that really got in the way of their greatness.
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