The so-called “Vienna School” of psychoanalysis represented a radically-different approach to the study of psychology. Its emergence during the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, and most closely identified with the work of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, injected an entirely new element into the field of psychology, with its emphasis on the interpretation of dreams and its efforts at delving into the human subconscious, and its extraordinary visibility thanks in no small part to Freud’s emphasis on sexual identification and repressed sexuality. In order for a new or transformative academic field to take hold and expand its influence, however, it generally requires an instrument in which contending theories and supplemental research can be shared across the academic and professional communities. Such an instrument takes the form of a journal, in which researchers can publish their research and findings and receive greater feedback than would otherwise be possible. Such was the case with the emerging school of psychology known as psychoanalysis. In 1918, Ernest Jones, a British psychoanalyst, president of the International Psychoanalytic Association, and biographer of Freud, wrote to the latter suggesting the establishment of a professional journal unique to the field of psychoanalysis. In 1920, the International Journal of Psychoanalysis was founded. The new journal’s impact on the field of psychology was the role it played in providing a forum for psychologists and others engaged in the study of psychoanalysis to share data and findings and to further the institutionalization of psychoanalysis as an independent branch of psychology. The journal continues to be published, and continues to provide a forum for contemporary study into the field of psychoanalysis.
In 1920, The International Journal of Psychoanalysis made its debut. This publication was an English-language version of Freud’s Die Internationale Zeitschrift für ärtzliche Psychoanalyse by the British psychoanalyst Alfred Ernest Jones, after reassurances to Freud that it would not be identical.
Jones held tight editorial reigns on the journal until 1939. Under his leadership, the International Journal of Psychoanalysis was responsible for the translation and publication of many of Freud’s most important arguments. Other luminaries published by the journal included Anna Freud, Karl Abraham, Sándor Ferenczi, Melanie Klein. The journal also had a dedicated section devoted to the review of books on psychoanalysis.
One of Jones’s original goals was, through the journal, to make British Psychoanalytic Society the English the “controlling authority” of psychoanalysis in the English-speaking world. Jones wanted to quash competition from the United States in particular; Jones was less than laudatory of American scientific standards and he distrusted American translations of Freud’s work in particular.
Jones tenure was followed by James Strachey, who heralded the International Journal of Psychoanalysis from 1940-1945. Strachey was followed by Adrian Leslie Stephen in 1946 and from 1947-1948, the journal was led three people: Willie Hoffer, John Rickman, and W. Clifford M. Scott. During this time, many of Viennese psychoanalysts moved the United States to escape Nazi persecution; at this same time, the journal became the official repository for the bulletins and other information disseminated by the International Psychoanalytical Association (IPA), which had ceased publishing in 1947. Anna Freud, (Sigmund Freud’s youngest daughter) agreed that the “British Psychoanalytic Society that the IPA would continue to own the heading of the International Journal of Psychoanalysis but that the British Psychoanalytic Society would become the custodian of the journal.” It is a compromise that exists today.
Source: International Dictionary of Psychoanalysis, ©2005 Gale Cengage. All Rights Reserved.