Saturday 6 Jun 2020

Current Issues

Articles and Papers


Well Known Figures in Psychoanalysis

Psychoanalysis Ireland


Well Known Figures in Psychoanalysis

Ernest Jones (1879 - 1958)

Ernest Jones has been described as Freudís ĎBoswellí and he was indeed a fierce publicist and dedicated worker in launching the ship of Psychoanalysis. Born in Wales, he studied medicine in Cardiff and London, qualifying as a psychiatrist. He soon became interested in Freudís work and learned German in order to understand his ideas more clearly and he actively sought means of applying Freudís theories to his practice. He was also interested in politics and became an early member of Plaid Cymru. An unfortunate incident in the London hospital where he worked which led to his dismissal proved to be the catalyst for his work with Freud, which in turn led to the dissemination of psychoanalysis in the English speaking world.
Jones was 21 when he first met Freud at the Saltzburg Congress in 1906 where he presented his first paper. This was the start of a lifelong collaboration with Freud which very much displeased Jung. Jones was faithful and reliable to Freud but never became as close as others. In later years he came to the assistance of the ailing Freud in his bid to escape the rise of Nazism.
Jones has been described as a larger than life character, tempestuous and difficult. In his life and his relationships with women he was colourful and controversial. He once wrote a famous essay analyzing the character of Shakespeareís Hamlet in terms of the Oedipus Complex. Perhaps there is a description of himself in his famous quote ĎManís chief enemy is his own unruly nature and the dark forces put up within himí.
Jonesís first wife was the composer Morfydd Llwyn Owen. In 1908 he emigrated to Canada where he taught from 1910-13 at the University Of Toronto and then became the Director of Nervous diseases at the Ontario Clinic. He founded the American Psychoanalytic Association and actively promoted psychoanalysis in North America. However, Jones left America after a scandal and went to Vienna where he underwent a short psychoanalysis with Freud followed by one with Ferenczi, which is reported to have left Jones hostile to him for the rest of his life.
Jones settled in London in 1919 and founded the British Psychoanalytic Society. In 1920 he became President of the International Psychoanalytic Association.
In 1925 Jones founded the London Clinic for Psychoanalysis and dedicated the rest of his life to the promulgation of Freudís work. He was the author of 200 essays on the theory and application of Psychoanalysis. His famous essay on the Theory of Symbolism (1916) was praised by Jacques Lacan in his Ecrits. Though Jonesís biography of Freud has been described as sanitized, it still remains a seminal work on the development of psychoanalysis.
The Life and work of Sigmund Freud (3 vols. 1953-1957) and Free associations: Memories of a Psychoanalyst (1959) are among his major contributions to psychoanalysis.

Selected Works:
The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud (3 vols. 1953 - 1957)
Further Reading:
Free Associations: Memories of a Psychoanalyst (1959)
« Back to Biography Listing
Website by Host Ireland