AN INTERVIEW WITH DVORA KUTZINSKI
At the conference, Dvora Kutzinski spoke spontaneously and without notes. She kindly agreed to be interviewed. The interview took place in Hebrew, at the new home of Dvora Kutzinski on October 23, 2005 during hol hamoed sukkot [the intermediary days of the Festival of Booths] where she had recently moved to be near her daughter and new grandson.
Henry Abramovitch (HA): How did you first meet Erich Neumann?
Dvora Kutzinski (DK): I had a boyfriend. I was 22 and I couldn’t stand him. I didn’t know why I was going out with him. I didn’t let him touch me even with his fingertips. Later, I realized why. He was an extraordinary pianist. I came from a home [in Prague] in which my mother was a soprano who took singing lessons for twenty years, but as the wife of Herr Professor [of Greek and Latin Philology] she was forbidden to perform. It was just not done. Singers were considered as barely a notch above prostitutes. But once or twice a year, she would give a “benefit concert” and everybody who was somebody would come. The house would be full of flowers, she would sing and all the people would donate money for orphans or other worthy causes. I grew up listening to classical music, from morning to night. My boyfriend was an outstanding pianist and when he played, it was wonderful. Otherwise, I could not stand him. One day he told me that he was reading a fascinating book about dreams. Since I was little, dreams had always intrigued me. Even when I was only six years old, I remembered my dreams. It shows how much the soul guides us. It is an authentic example of Neumann’s idea of “centroversion”.
I had a brother, six years older than me and I would tell him my dreams and claim, “It means something.” He ran to our father and said, “Do something! She believes in dreams. She is going crazy.” My father, who I adored, took me onto his lap and said, “Little girl, I will explain. Dreams are like the mist of morning. There is a special atmosphere, everything is hazy, But when the sun comes out, it all disappears and dissipates. Nothing is left. Nothing remains…Dreams have no meaning.” “Yes, Daddy.” I said. But I did not believe one word of it. Even at six, I knew dreams had meaning. So when my pianist said he was reading a book about dreams, I said, “Tell me, tell me.”
“Do you want me to loan you the book?”
The book, until now, is still the foundation of my Jungian library. It was called Die Beziehungen Zwischen dem Ich und dem Unbewussten (The Relations between the Ego and The Unconscious 2nd edition, 1935 Zurich: Racher Verlag) by Carl Gustav Jung, a psychiatrist who placed enormous emphasis on dreams. I started to read it in the evening. I could not let it out of my hands. I did not sleep all night until the morning when I finished reading it. I was electrified, “turned on”. I could not wait and at 7 AM I called my boyfriend and asked him, “Can I meet you?”
“Yes!” he replied, “I will invite you for breakfast” He thought that I was going to declare my love for him. But I did not think about that at all. I wanted to know how to learn more about dreams. We met in Tel Aviv, at the corner of Ben Yehuda St. in a small café. We had breakfast and I burst out, “Where can I learn about dreams?” His face fell. I did not pay any attention. He said that he was in therapy with someone, who believed deeply in dreams, Erich Neumann.
“Shall I make you an appointment?”
That’s how I met Erich Neumann. I went to my appointment. He asked, as one always does, why I had come. I said that I had two minor problems.
“What problems?” he inquired.
“I have gone out with a number of young men (I added that nothing happened, since at that time, virginity was important). But after a month or two, I become bored and we break up. The same thing happens with my profession. In a short while, I am bored. All my friends say that the problem is not with the young men, or with the profession, but with me. They say that I need therapy. So I have come to you to ask whether I am crazy or not.”
That was my first meeting with Neumann. If you noticed, these were classic first half of life problems. How did he win my heart? He looked at me and said, “Maybe you are right. Maybe you have not yet met the right man. Maybe you have not yet found the correct profession.” He won over my heart. He continued, “You are not crazy. You must continue searching.” But then added, “You do need therapy.”
My face fell and I added, “So I really am crazy.” He said, “Therapy is not only for crazy people. You need therapy because you have conflicts.”
“So with whom shall I do therapy?” I asked.
“A woman.” He said.
“No, not a women!”
I said something that pursues me to this day: “Because a women is less intelligent than a man.” He burst out laughing and said, “That is why [you should go to] a women.” Ok, he said “A women” so a women it would be.
“Who?” I inquired.
At that moment, I felt he was a charlatan. “Such things are just not done!”
You do not recommend to family members. He saw my reaction on my face and said, “It is not what you think!”
I blushed. “First, you are going to her not for therapy, but for a test.” he explained.
“A hand test.”
Again my face fell. I was now certain I had fallen in the hands of charlatans or gypsies. He saw my face and again said, “It is not what you think.”
He made an appointment with her. I went to see her. She asked why I had come and I said, “Because your husband said so.”
She asked me which profession was I interested in pursuing. I said I had no idea. Beforehand, I had decided not to give away anything, lest she tell me what I wanted to hear. I really was interested in psychology, but I said I had no idea. She took my hand and said, “Let’s see.” She we did the hand test [based on examination of an inked palm print] and she said, “You can do many things but you are suited for psychology.” Still wary, I said that there were very different kinds of psychology and she said, “You could become an analyst.”
I was only a year or a year and a half in Israel. I had no family, not a penny, torn shoes and I said, “I must support myself. I have no family. I do not speak Hebrew.”
She said, “You need to go to the University. You must study psychology. At least for a Master’s Degree.” I expressed doubts about money, support, university…but none of this interested her whatsoever. “You will manage.” She said. I was still in my army uniform; it was 1948 [just after the Israeli War of Independence]. I went AWOL, deserted the army since I was “on fire”. I went to Terra Santa [where the Hebrew University of Jerusalem was located in 1948] straight from Tel Aviv, with my last pennies. Look at what happened.
I arrived on the very last day of registration. They accepted me on the spot and so I saved entire year. They heard I was a survivor from the [concentration] camps and had no money. I immediately received a stipend on the spot, as a refugee. They asked me where I planned to live. I said I had no idea. They said, “You can live in the student dorms but you will have to pay 2 pounds. Will you be able to pay 2 pounds?” I said, ”I will find a way to pay.” So I received a place in the dorms with two other young women and began my studies and became an analyst. That’s how I met Neumann. All my friends said, “ Oh, now it is your fourth profession; and who will be the next boyfriend? In another three months, you will leave all that.” But I said to them, “Wait and see. Meet me in five years time.” In five years, I had completed my M.A. in Psychology. I had a steady boyfriend whom I later married. I never looked back. That was Erich Neumann.
HA: What was your first impression of Erich Neumann?
DK: My first impression was enormous. When we first met, I think he was 43. I thought he was 70. In my eyes, he was older than he really was. Quiet. Here and there a word. He had very warm eyes. Very introvert. Quiet. He emanated tranquility, calming. I was so impressed by him. He had long, full massive mane – before it was in style, long beautiful fingers and he smoked with an elegant cigarette holder.
The essence of what he said in that first meeting: “Perhaps you are right…it’s not
what you think…you need a woman…It’s not what you think.” I went out in the
clouds. After I met for the first time with Julia, I was also in the clouds.
They lived all the time in the same apartment near the sea.
at No.1 Gordon St. in Tel Aviv. It was an apartment they bought with “key money”. Old. Modest. Two children. When patients came, they had to disappear (see Rali Levinthal-Neumann, this issue). One waited in the children’s room and the front room was for his mother. Erich’s patients waited on one side of the curtain. Julia’s patients waited in the children’s room. He had patients on the hour; she on the half hour. But there was total discretion. No one knew who came and who left. Not like today, when people talk about who is with whom in analysis.
HA: How did he become your supervisor?
DK: I began analysis with Julia…
HA: …about your development as a therapist?
DK: In the first session of analysis, I was asked if I had a dream and not much about my personal history. Now that I am at the other end of the ‘spiral of life’, I understand it was an alchemical dream but then I did not understand it at all. It was a dream of someone coming from Deutsche Kultur (German-speaking Culture).
HA: All the meetings with the Neumanns were in German?
DK: Yes, everything was in German. Julia did not know Hebrew at all well. Erich knew some Hebrew. German was my mother tongue, so for me it was wonderful. Here is the [initial] dream: “My father delivers me to my mother. Mother is standing over a cauldron with boiling water in which she is going to cook me. Around this scene a black poodle is running around.” I awoke frightened. My father delivering me to my mother to cook…the black poodle…Julia asked whether I had any associations. I said, ”I have an association to Goethe’s Faust.” Perhaps English-speakers do not know but Mephisto [the Devil] appears as a black poodle who runs around Faust. Faust sees the dog and suddenly takes out a cross and forces the Devil to disclose himself. Mephisto appears and Faust says: Das ist des poodles kern (“That is the essence of the poodle”).
It was so significant: Mephiso, the shadow circling. It is an alchemical dream. I was much closer to my father than my mother. We spoke mostly, however, about the poodle, Mephisto. Of course, I knew Faust from A to Z. Mephisto says the famous lines which I will translate: “I am part of the Power who always wills evil, but always leads to good.” That is the definition of the “Shadow”. I quoted it and the hour ended. I came out elated. That was my first session of analysis. I was all of 23.
After some years, Julia said, now you are ready to start clinical work [in supervision] with my husband. But I was not allowed to see patients in analysis until I was 28. I was very jealous of a friend of mine – we studied together at the University – she did a Freudian analysis and began to see patients at 26. Later, she became the chief psychologist at Shalvata Psychiatric Hospital [where Erich Neumann’s son Micah Neumann subsequently worked and become Hospital Director].
At 28, I wanted to begin to work [in analysis] but I was told I needed to get into life more, to have more life experience. It was absolutely correct [decision]. So I only received my first analysand at 30. Neumann accepted me for supervision for my first patient and it seemed to work. I had such an enormous transference on him (and to her also). For me, he was truly the “wise old man”. In the meantime, I had married the man I had been going out with - the only man who never bored me - so I married him. We looked for an apartment. We wanted to live near the sea and found one four doors from the Neumanns. Chance? No, transference! I asked if it bothered them for us to be 4 houses away and they said no.
Erich, then, started to send me anybody he could not see himself and it became a flood of referrals, even patients older than me. I was concerned, frightened but he only said, “Work it out yourself! You will manage.”
HA: What was Neumann like as a supervisor?
DK: He gave you total independence. He was never patronizing, nor like a parent who needed to support his “child” [supervisee]. I would say, “I do not understand this dream” and he would respond, “It is your patient.” over the dream [i.e. you must figure it out for yourself].
“But I really do not understand.”
“No matter. “Work it out yourself!.”
It was not even a Socratic dialogue with questioning. He spoke very little, merely a comment here and there. The one time I received praise, he said, “You are good in the interpretation of dream material except when it touches upon sexuality - there you are absolutely hopeless. I do not know what to do with you.”
I said, “You have to understand that I came from a puritanical German (“Yekke”) family. At twelve, I still did not know where babies came from.” Then, he sent me a religious woman from an extremely devout family Jewish family in Spain. She had a love affair with a gentile, a juggler/acrobat and so her family packed her off to Israel and to me. What happened? She already had sexual experiences in Spain and ‘the woman saw that it was good to taste’ (cf. Genesis 3:6). In Israel, she began to have a wild sex life, which brought her into analysis. It is from her that I learned about sex. I told Neumann that this woman at her age knows more than I will ever know even at fifty. He said, “So, perhaps you should be paying her since you are learning so much from her.” He had a terrific sense of humor. Fantastic. Where was I?
HA: You were talking about Neumann as a supervisor.
DK: First, he was extremely clear. Second, I learned from him to speak directly. He did not mince words. If he had something negative to say, he would say it. If he had something difficult to say, he would say it. He exposed the patient [to what he felt he or she needed]. I learned from him. I have a reputation for being “tough”, even frightening. From him I learned, as van Franz says, “You can best serve the patients at times, if you tell him their awful things, the blackest things. That is what works.” That is the biggest help you can be. It is not my job to be nice. Not the patient’s ego, but his soul is what should be served.
He remarked once to me: “Why are most of your interpretations along the lines of matriarchal consciousness? Because I did not write The Great Father, but wrote The Great Mother?” He saw the transference, of course. But I had an answer. “It is no coincidence that you wrote The Great Mother, Amor & Psyche, The Psychology of the Feminine…”
“OK, you may have a point. You may be right.”
[At other times,] he called me “stupid sheep”. There was a dream I understood only after two supervision sessions and I thanked him profusely for his help. He said (in German): “ ”Stupid sheep!” did you not notice that I did not even open my mouth the entire time [in the session].” Much later, I understood that it was his empathic contact that was the key. I told Julia why he called me “stupid sheep” and she said that it was the same for her. “I just have to tell him [a dream] and then I understand it.” Later I related to Neumann what Julia had told me and added “ But you did not call her a stupid sheep!” He replied, “So…you are still a stupid sheep.” I got used to be called “stupid sheep” and later it was even nice.
Another anecdote. The two couples, Erich and Julia Neumann, and my husband and myself became friendly and we used to get together for evenings of listening to classic music recordings. We had an extensive collection and so did they. By then, in our relationship, it seemed appropriate and so I invited them over to our apartment. I did not know that he especially liked Camembert cheese with salami. And he did love to eat. He loved to eat.
We listened to classic music until 2AM. Erich and my husband competed to see who had the better collection. At 1AM, Neumann discovered that he had a recording that my husband did not. He asked if we would like to hear it and so went down three flights of stairs to his flat down the road and returned with Hayden Quartet 72, Number 3 and played it. We became friendly and later he asked if he could bring another couple that also loved classical music. Rather the woman, who became my best friend and is today 92 [and who called during the interview] loved the music; her husband a lawyer did not and he would sit with a Illustrated Magazine or National Geographic and for 3-4 hours we would all listen to music. Then we discovered we all liked to travel and to walk, and we began at holiday times, 3-4 times a year to take trips together. On one of these trips, we were sitting in a café and someone was speaking about philosophy and said that it was odd that none of the great philosophers were married. Neumann says that he knew one married philosopher, Socrates. I laughed and Erich says to his wife Julia, with whom I was still in analysis, “Dvora has something against you.” “Excuse me.” I said, “This is a big projection. You say “Socrates” and I have something against Julia.” Everyone burst out laughing.
Another anecdote from supervision: Recall that Neumann said that I had no idea about analysis of sexuality and once stimulated by Freud’s famous question, “What do women want?” I asked Neumann, “What do men want? Is that all they want? I do not understand.”
Neumann replied, “You have to read Freud and again Freud and you will understand eventually. You are still a stupid sheep.” On another occasion,
I said, “But sex is all they talk about.” I had a number of men in analysis, ”That is all they want.” Neumann replied, “You will understand eventually. You are still a stupid sheep.” On another occasion, we were walking in the old city of Acre (Acco) and there were a number of children running around in dresses and he remarked what a cute girl. As we continued walking, I looked back at the “girl” who raised her dress and saw that “she” was a boy. I said, “Maestro” (that’s how I used to call him), “Maestro, turn around, your interpretations of sexuality are not good.” We both burst out laughing.
He gave me a free hand, but you felt his presence in everything. He had great modesty. You probably know he gave me the impression that he knew everything, but he was really very modest. Once I asked him, “In music you argue with my husband as if you are the great expert, but in psychology, you are so modest.” Neumann replied, “What do we really know about the human soul/psyche? If we know 10%, then that’s a lot. Ninety percent we do not know.” On another occasion, he said to me that I had made a good interpretation, “How did you know this?” I answered, “But you yourself wrote it.”
“In Origins and History of Consciousness on p. 126.”
“It is possible, it is possible…”
Every summer Julia and Erich would go to Europe for two months. One day, maybe in May or June, he said, “While I am away, I want you to see this patient of mine. She is my most difficult patient. She comes to me everyday and needs support. I cannot leave her alone. I want you to take her. She is 28 years old and I am her seventh psychologist. She was hospitalized for six months. There are psychiatrists involved.” I asked him to tell me about her but he refused and did not tell me a word, saying “You will hear it from her.” Total Independence! “I will hear from you when I return.” I did not feel honored. On the contrary, I was terrified. What mistakes shall I make! It will be a total catastrophe. I only
had 2-3 years experience at that time.
And then this beautiful 28-year-old woman appears: tall, thin, with blue eyes. As she enters, she suddenly says, “I have become blind. I cannot see. Help me” and she stretched out her had. Intuitively, I took a step back and said, “If you reach out with your right hand you will feel the threshold, turn right and feel, if you move along the wall, you will come to my consulting room and on the right is a chair. You will find your way.” She was a classical hysteric. Once at 3AM, she called me from her fiancé’s house, with whom she had been together for five year, saying that she was going blind and that I must come. I went. My husband, you can imagine, was not pleased. I dressed, drove, calmed her and returned. When Neumann returned and I told him the story. He said that I should not have gone to her in the middle of the night as it only reinforced her illness. I countered, “If it had been my own patient, then I would not have gone; but since she was your patient, I was worried and so I went.” What I did not know at the time was that he used to see her everyday for 20 minutes, in addition to three times a week for their regular hour; and that he held her hand. They also said “du” to each other which in German is used only for intimate relationships. The next year, the same arrangement. She came to me when Neumann is away. Then one day, she reports that a young man noticed her at the seashore, courted her and now she is in love with him. After a week, she has left her fiancé and moved in with the new boyfriend. What will I say to Neumann! My husband and I went on vacation to Nahariya, [a seaside resort town on the northern coast of Israel]. There were no phones in those days and so I had given her my address. The next day she shows up with her new boyfriend and insisted on her daily session. You can imagine how I felt, on holiday with my husband! At least she had the tact to stay at a different hotel. One day, I almost fainted. She comes and tells me that she is pregnant.
What do I feel? What will I say to Erich Neumann?
He returns. I am terrified. “How was it?” he asks.”
“Not bad overall, but…”
“She left her fiancé for a new boyfriend who loves her and she says she loves him in return. The boyfriend had a dream about her. In the dream, she is drowning in the ocean and he comes and saves her.” “Excellent.” he says. “Perhaps, it is all for the good.”
So I dare to add, “And she is pregnant. What should I have done?”
“You should have been underneath their bed.”
I blurted out, “What?”
He burst out laughing saying, “Stupid sheep!” That is how it was with him.
[In 1960,] I came as usual to him for my session but he was with another patient. “Excuse me. Come again next week.” he said. The next week, the same thing happens. He apologized again and I began to wonder what was going on. I arrive on the third week and he says, “I have analyzed what has happened and I realized you do not need supervision any longer. Twice I forgot. That means you have finished supervision. You are on your own.”
I began to beg him “It is just before your summer holiday, give me one more session. What is your hurry?”
He said, “You will be better off without me!”
It is a sentence I will never forget. That was Neumann the supervisor, who gave you the freedom to grow. He added, “You will develop better on your own. What is your hurry? I am not yet going to die.”
I don’t know what made me say: Carpe diem. In the end, he did yield and gave me another hour and went to Europe. Soon afterwards, I received the news that he had become sick, fatally ill, with liver cancer. There was no hope. He received the diagnosis that was made by two physicians in England, but he did not believe it.* He said maybe they made a mistake. Let us go to Germany for another opinion. In Germany, the same diagnosis. They returned to Israel by night and I went with his son Micah to receive him. He was already in a wheelchair, unable to walk. In a matter of two months or six weeks, you could hardly recognize him. He had lost weight. They had consulted the I Ching in England. His answer was: “The Wanderer”**; while Julia received: “Possession of Greatness” Shortly afterwards, on November 5 he died. Carpe diem. He was just 55.
I was devastated and I will tell you why. For me, Neumann symbolized a wall against the terrible psychological effects of the holocaust, which I went through. He deeply believed that there is renewal out of the hell (see his books, Crisis and Renewal; Depth Psychology and the New Ethics). He meant salvation for me. I was afraid that without him I would descend into a suicidal depression that I had when I first came from Auschwitz to Israel. My unconscious came to the rescue in a dream: “I am in amphitheater, not a half but a full circular one. There are people sitting all around. On the stage is a gigantic lion, three meters tall, who opens its mouth. The lion faces me and inside his maw, I see is the gate of Auschwitz, “Arbeit Macht Frei”. He wants to swallow me. I turn around and see outside the circle fields of gold, golden wheat that came nearly shoulder high, moving in the wind. Suddenly, I see Neumann, only his head above the golden wheat, his hair blowing in the wind. I turn to my friend who is there and say, “Look! Look! He is alive. He is only walking now in other fields.”
Julia did become depressed. Our roles reversed. I felt I had to look after her. I had received so much from both of them felt I must.
DK: I will add one more thing. For years afterwards, I was bothered that he could not accept his diagnosis. He was the most developed person I ever met. That is clear. Why did he deny it? Years later, I realized that he was too young. He was only fifty-five. He still had so much to write. He was in the middle of writing The Psychology of the Child
that was published posthumously as The Child. Julia edited it but it did not come out as he had planned. He would have made revisions. He wanted to write another book, The Psychology of Creative Men, about artists. That was his topic. He had so many plans. Remember all his Eranos lectures. He was not able as he still had so much to create, to understand, to grasp that this is his earthly death. I was naïve when he died. I thought that if you are individuated than you can face your own death. In contrast to Jung who when he had his heart attack wanted to die. But Jung was so much older.
HA: Which do you consider his greatest contributions to analytical psychology?
DK: His greatest contributions, which are not so well known, are his Eranos lectures, which were ahead of his time.
HA: Even today. At the last IAAP Congress in Barcelona, there was an entire morning devoted to Eranos.
DK: Did they mention his lectures? Not his first lectures but especially his later ones on the Place of Creation; Levels of Reality; The Earth and Matriarchal Archetype.
He predicted that all that would happen here in Israel, how the Earth, the Great Mother Archetype will take over the people in a negative, regressive way (cf. Baumann, this issue). One time, he entered Julia’s room. He did not see that I was already there and said, “I must struggle with evil once more.” Another incident. We were listening to classical music at his house. Coffee, cake, music. There was a vase with beautiful roses. From one rose, a petal fell. During the music, I picked up the petal and started rolling it open and closed in my finger. He took the petal from me. Straightened it out. Put it back on the rose and said, “It too is alive.” He felt that it was painful for the petal who was alive. That is what remains with me: My admiration for him not only as a psychologist but also for his humanity. He had feeling for everything living.
HA: Which moments were the most difficult?
DK: The sudden parting. I had such a tremendous transference to him that I never had any complaints. He showed so much acceptance with his eyes.
HA: You felt confirmed.
DK: Yes. He did not say much. He would never give compliments. He was a “yekke” a German Jew [known for emotional restraint]. But one felt his presence…except for those two times when he forgot [my appointments].
HA: He deliberately pushed you away.
DK: But he was right to do so. “You will develop better on your own. You have finished [supervision].” His unconscious understood. The unconscious said, “Enough.”
HA: I understand that transference was never directly discussed.
DK: Never. I will tell you that both of them did not understand transference issues well enough. Neumann was empathic, intuitive e. g. when he knew to hold the hand of that patient, which was forbidden then but not today.
HA: It was without mentioning it “relationship oriented therapy”.
DK: Jung knew more about the relational, relationships and transference than anyone. I had a strong transference to Julia, in my analysis. I dreamt about her a lot and she always appeared in the clothes of a Queen, with signs of royalty and crown. She always interpreted it as the Self. But one day, she said, “I wish I had clothes like that.” That statement ended it for me completely. I never had another dream like that. I learned from that [mistake] never to put myself into a transference in a personal way. It was so human, a typical feminine weakness for clothes. Dreams of the Self about her stopped and moved over to another [dream] figure.
But then, Erich and Julia were in analysis for a short time. He worked with Jung and she worked with Toni Wolf. Each summer, they would go to Zurich for 2 months of analysis. But they were supremely gifted and he outstanding so. I learned from their mistakes and I think we Jungians should not b an analyst without a thorough complete analysis.
HA: Jan Wiener argues that supervision is more complicated than analysis, since in the former it is much harder to work with the transference that develops between supervisor and supervisee. One is less free to work with it because the goal is educational and not analysis.
DK: No. Neumann always pointed out my personal blind spots. That was for him the right sort of supervision and I learned this from him.
HA: Today, people are much more concerned about boundaries.
DK: I feel completely free to interpret the transference and to work with patients. I have a patient, a German Professor, very intellectual, with phobias, who comes to see me. He asked me to hold his hand [for reassurance] and of course I agreed. He is 57 and it is fine.
HA: That brings me tot he question: How did your experience with Neumann influence your own work as an analyst and as a supervisor?
DK: First of all, he taught me that you have to serve the Self and the soul, not the ego. [An analyst should] not be nice or pleasing. If you want to be nice, become a beautician and not an analyst. But what you say should come out with the right affect. If I have something to say than I say, “You have this and that which is your black point or blind spot.” You can only help if you have a positive relationship.
I will give you another example. I had a patient who was hypomanic. Even before I opened the door, I could hear her talking already on the other side of the door. She would talk so much that I could not get a word in edge wise. After each session, I was totally exhausted, squeezed dry. She was intelligent, a professor at the University. She told me that a colleague told her that she was insufferable and she did not know why. She asked me why the colleague thought so. We had a good relationship and I said to her quietly, “You are. If you notice I always schedule our session so that I have an hour afterwards to recover. You do not see the other, do not hear the other. You are insufferable.” I said that we did have a good relationship. She could accept what I told her. Three months following this incident, she was able to complete her doctorate, which she had put off for years, to earn a place at the University and later to complete her analysis. That is what I learned from Neumann that you must have courage…
HA: To speak “dugri” [straight talk].
DK: But never to hurt and never in anger.
HA: If it is done within the relationship.
DK: Someone else would have left [if I said “you are insufferable.]
I will give you another example of another analysand. She was a psychologist with a high standing in the profession. One day, she discovered the Jungian training program and asked why I had not suggested that she do it. I said: “In my opinion, you are unsuited.” To say that to someone with an academic career, with high standing in psychology, who lectures, appears on the internet and in the media, in Israel, overseas…but she was unsuited. It was not worth it for her to put in the effort. I thought, after that, I would never see her again. After, two weeks, she did end on some pretext. I told her it is clear that you were hurt by what I said. Think about it. A year later, she calls and asks for supervision. She says that I was right.
You must be ready to lose the patient. You must not lie to the patient. I took a chance.
HA: My Burmese meditation teacher taught me that you can say anything to anybody if you say it with an open heart.
DK” Absolutely, so long as you are “clean”. I will give you another example from Neumann. When Neumann saw how tense I was concerning sexuality he said, “ Perhaps you should “lie down’ “[in Hebrew the word, lishkav also can mean ‘to have sex’]. “Here?” I asked, shocked. There was a couch in the room. We both burst out laughing. I was blushing from ear to ear. He meant for me to lie down on the couch [not to have sex with him], but to be more relaxed. I often blushed because he tried to teach me with about sex. Little by little, I understood that sex is not just sex, but also a symbol of union, coniunctio. But then, he used strong language. Whenever he would say “coitus”, I would jump. When he asked about a patient, “So how are things in sex life?” I would respond, “How can you ask such an indiscreet question?” So he would say, “You are a stupid sheep!”
HA: What was the hardest thing about the supervision with Neumann?
DK: The most difficult thing was my jealousy when I heard that he was holding hands with that patient. One day, he noticed my resentment and inquired, “What is with you?” I snapped back, “You hold her hand.” Then he made a mistake. He began to speak of her as “the poor, little one”. I understood that he wanted to take me out of my jealousy by implying that I was grown up, capable and not fragile. Then in my stupidity, I burst out, “If you say “little one” one more time about this very tall women, I will explode with anger. That will never cure me of my jealousy.” Then he apologized. That also shows humility, that he apologized.
HA: Was there any issue of unclear or fuzzy boundaries between the two of you?
DK: What fuzzy boundaries? The boundaries were always clear. He was Neumann the Great Man and I was a “nothing”.
HA: Did you participate in seminars with Neumann?
DK: Of course. The seminars began at 8 pm but everyone was already in their place and sitting by a quarter to eight. No one dared to come at eight, or even ten to eight. He gave seminars on topics on which he was working, as a sort of trial balloon. But most of the people were so intimidated by him that they did not dare speak. I later learned that he complained to Julia, who subsequently told me. Most of the audience were women, not all, but most. It was such male chauvinism that he said: “These women only think about their children, their husbands and their cooking. What is the matter? Can they not think a little! “
The seminars were the newest Eranos lectures, like Zeit und Kunst [Time and Art], that he first presented to us. The Development of the Child, on automorphism; he gave seminars on creativity…
HA: So these were really lectures rather than seminars.
DK: Yes, lectures. I always sat at the back. He did ask people what they thought, but most did not dare.
HA: He did not realize how intimidating he was, but neither did he identify himself with the role of “Great Man”.
DK: He was modest, not inflated. He washed dishes at home, brought groceries, admired his wife very much. I never saw anything like it…I also had six months of analysis with him. But Julia was the better analyst in my opinion. You cannot expect a person to be a great theoretician and also a great clinician. Once he even said that he envied my ability to make quick connection with people. Of course, I am an extrovert [and he was an introvert]. I felt in turn, if only I had his profound clinical intuition. Once I did not want to interpret something because I did not want to use my intuition. He responded, “Why? Because intuition belongs to me. I have no monopoly on intuition, you silly sheep!” It completely liberated my own intuition.
HA: To what extent was there any integration of Neumann’s theoretical ideas in the clinical supervision?
DK: There was but I will tell you why. I read a lot [of his work]. I knew all of his books almost by heart. But he was not a didactic theoretician. He gave total freedom.
HA: He believed in you and envisioned you as you would become.
DK: Exactly and that helped me enormously. Though it broke my heart to hear him say, “You will develop better without me.”
HA: He ended the supervision.
DK: His unconscious ended it.
HA: What were his greatest contributions in your opinion?
DK: His Eranos lectures, the emphasis on creativity. Also he was deeply religious, not in the sense of organized religion, or Judaism, but in the sense of respect for the Numinous, for the Self. If the Self had spoken, then it must be followed. He was deeply ethical with real integrity. I had a strong positive father complex. When Neumann saw that I still over-admired my father, he remarked, “Do you not see that because of him your whole family was murdered [by the Nazis].” And it was true. My father believed in the Germans. He would say: “Nothing like this can happen to the German People. It is all a panic.” The night Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia, on 14-5 March , my father received a phone call telling him to escape via the open border to Poland. He hung up and said, “It was a madman. Nothing will happen.” I had told Neumann the story and when he said “What stupidity by your father!” I was terribly angry with him and wanted to leave at once. He said firmly, “Sit down! You are not going anywhere.” [After I calmed down], I realized that he was one hundred percent correct.
HA: He could be aggressive.
DK: Yes, he could. He was a thinking, intuitive type. Julia was a pure feeling type. She used to say that when she has to think, she gets a stomachache. But we managed very well since we were both on the rational axis. He could be aggressive and Julia, like a feeling type, tried to make everything nice and smooth it over. She was extremely pleasant. He was, like most men, very dependent on his wife.
HA: What was the training program?
DK: I was never a candidate. There was no formal training, no seminars. I started the training in Israel. I gave the first formal seminars to the first training group of six strong women. But I do not believe that there will be Jungian analysis in twenty years. It will merge with other streams [of psychotherapy and depth psychology]. Who has the patience for 4-5 years of analysis? Today, people are in a hurry. They want a quick fix. I do not believe there will be analysis, except perhaps for artists. You will see. I will not live to see it. Apres moi, la deluge.
HA: Jungian analysis is developing and changing; and Jungian Institutes provide an important sense of identity and community.
DK: But there are dangers to be collective
HA: Of course.
DK: On Israeli television, there is a new show “In Treatment” about a therapist. He is really OK mostly. Except once when he lied. The patient said that he had fallen in love with her but he denies it, but it is true. He should have said that he had a problem and needed to work on it.
HA: Thank you very much for sharing so intimately.
After reading and re-reading Wolfgang Giegerich’s essay, “The End of Meaning and the Birth of Man: An Essay about the State Reached in the History of Consciousness and an analysis of C. G. Jung’s Psychology Project.” Journal of Jungian Theory and Practice v. 6. No.1 2004, pp. 1-66. Dvora decided to add the following summary in the spirit of this most important work:
“When I arrived in Spring 1946, in Palestine, after more than four years in concentration camps- Wolfgang Giegerich was not yet born, I think my whole family perished and I had fallen out of every in-ness, nothing to look up to, mother earth having turned in a graveyard. I felt extra ecclesiam, extra naturam, exttra vitam
Two years later, I met Erich Neumann and my quest began. Little did I know then that the aim of the quest is finding the source of life and finding vitality, of which I was so badly in need. After seven years of analysis - married with two children and my university degree- I got permission to start my private practice. At the end of 1958, Neumann founded with four of us the Israel Association of Analytical Psychology. The Association quickly developed especially when the group of Jungian Child Psychologists joined. Some time later we started our training program.
Looking back now after 5o years of working as an analyst, I am still fascinated by the movement of the soul. I feel that just living my life has meaning enough for me.”