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Ernest Jones

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“[Censors are] people with secret attractions to various temptations…They are defending themselves under the pretext of defending others, because at heart they fear their own weaknesses.”- Ernest Jones

Alfred Ernest Jones was a renowned British psychoanalyst and neurologist. Born on January 1st, 1879, he also served as the official biographer of Sigmund Freud. He was the first British practitioner in the field of psychoanalysis and was also a leading supporter of psychoanalysis in the English-speaking world. He served as an influential personality in the field through his designation as a president at the International Psychoanalytic Association as well as British Psychoanalytic Association.

Alfred Ernest Jones acquired his education form Swansea Grammar School, Llandovery College, Cardiff College and University College, London. He completed his medical degrees and specialized in neurology. After that, he worked at several posts at hospitals throughout London. He heard about Freud’s work through his association with Wilfred Trotter. Wilfred Trotter and Ernest Jones had common interests in literature and philosophy. Both of them shared accommodation with Jones’s sister.

Ernest Jones had a flourishing career despite some of the major controversies. While attending a congress of eminent neurologists in Amsterdam in 1907, Jones met Carl Jung from whom he received a first-hand account of the work of Freud and his circle in Vienna. Ernest Jones realized the significance of Freud’s work. Ernest Jones joined Jung in Zurich to plan the inaugural Psychoanalytical Congress. This meeting was held in 1908 in Salzburg where Jones met Freud for the very first time. Jones then traveled to Vienna for further discussions with Freud and introductions to the members of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society. Eventually, a personal and professional relationship developed between the two, to the acknowledged benefit of both that would survive the many dissensions and rivalries which marked the first decades of the psychoanalytic movement, and would last until Freud’s death in 1939.

Ernest Jones moved to Canada as he was facing difficulties in continuing his career at Britain. He started teaching at the University of Toronto in the department of Psychiatry. He later co-founded the American Psychopathological Association as well as the American Psychoanalytic association. He became its first secretary and served at the position till 1913.

Jones was one of the major contributors of psychoanalytic research that included monographs on Hamlet as well as On the Nightmare. A number of works by Ernest Jones secured its status in Freud’s inner circle by his unmatchable works in the field of psychoanalysis.  Jones started practicing as a psychoanalyst in London, laid the foundation for London Psychoanalytic society. Besides that, he continued to lecture and write on psychoanalytic theory. A collection of his works got published as Papers on Psychoanalysis in the English language. He had a keen interest in ice-skating besides psychoanalysis. He acquired the fellowship at the royal college of physicians in 1942. He served as the honorary president at the International Psychoanalytic Society. He died on 11th February, 1958.


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