Date of Award

Spring 5-17-2010

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Social Work (DSW)

First Advisor

Jeffrey Applegate

Second Advisor

Lina Hartocollis

Third Advisor

Ram Cnaan


These two papers seek to interrogate the theoretical, intellectual and personal histories of the management of love within the psychotherapeutic dyad. The first paper examines the foundational work of Sandor Ferenczi. The life and theory of Sandor Ferenczi provide insight into both the historic admonition and the presumed dangers of loving feelings in the therapeutic relationship. Ferenczi believed in the creation of mutuality in all analytic dyads. His refusal to subscribe to a hierarchical structuring of the treatment relationship led to his subsequent marginalization from the traditional psychoanalytic canon for nearly a century. On close inspection, however, he was a formative figure who laid much of the groundwork for current thinking about the intersubjective and relational approaches to treatment. Much of his life and theory can be understood through the lens of his relationship with Sigmund Freud. That relationship is closely scrutinized in the following historical examination. The second paper broadens this examination and studies its long -range impact on the theoretical canon, seeking to examine the steps that have taken us from the initially distant and non-mutual psychotherapeutic relationship to the more egalitarian and co-created format in which many clinicians are working today. Love, as a central concept and tenet of psychotherapy, is examined in both its absence and presence over the course of the history of psychoanalysis.