Case Studies – Dora & Rat Man

By | December 29, 2015

Patrick Mahony

When it comes to teaching many subjects, the use of case studies is a component of the entire process. That’s because of the belief that an individual seeking to further their knowledge learns more from a clear example than a drier approach that simply emphasizes the bedrock principles which support the foundation of a principle.

During his research on the writings of Sigmund Freud, Patrick Mahony made an effort to delve more deeply into the case studies offered by the iconic father of psychoanalysis. As with many innovations in all fields, a period of evolution that resulted in Freud’s methods of producing these case studies changing over time developed.

Patrick Mahony has devoted specific books to two of Freud’s most legendary case studies: Dora, whose real name was Ida Bauer; and Rat Man, which was the infamous nickname given to Ernst Lanzer.

In the first instance, Mahony notes how Freud’s writings were shaped to neatly fit into his beliefs, while also taking him to task for what appears to be blatant sexism. In the latter case, it was an approach that was present for all aspects of early 20th Century life.

With regard to Lanzer, Patrick Mahony found that Freud’s claims of the length of his treatment was not in line with his actual notes. Also, Freud’s boast of being able to discern the name of Lanzer’s girlfriend was false, since his own notes clearly show he found it out early in treatment.