Philip Graham

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Page Range

pp. 63–92

4. Finding A Place on the Couch

  • Philip Graham (author)
At the end of the First World War, Susan began to take a serious interest in psychoanalysis, then a relatively new science. The revelations of Sigmund Freud of the importance of the unconscious in determining human behaviour were receiving more and more publicity, promoted as they were by his English disciple, Ernest Jones. Susan travelled to Vienna for a brief psychoanalysis by Otto Rank, one of Freud’s closest disciples. In December 1921, she was elected an Associate Member of the British Psychoanalytical Society and began to attend its meetings.
Meanwhile, her marriage had gradually come apart. Her husband’s work in Hertfordshire meant that, from the end of the war, she spent more time apart from him. The other reasons for the breakup of the marriage are not clear but, by the end of 1920 she had begun a relationship with a student, Nathan Isaacs, on one of her Workers Educational Association courses. Nathan, born in 1895, had come to England from Central Europe at the age of twelve years. Although working in the metal industry, he had strong intellectual interests in philosophy and psychology. By the end of 1922, Susan was divorced and remarried to Nathan.
She had also established herself both as an academic psychologist and a practising psychoanalyst. In 1921, she published An Introduction to Psychology, an excellent overview of the subject. By the end of 1923, she was a full member of the British Psychoanalytical Society and had started to take on patients in private practice.


Philip Graham