Beatrice Hinkle/Psychoanalysis

Topics: Sigmund Freud, Psychoanalysis, Unconscious mind Pages: 5 (1641 words) Published: June 22, 2011
Beatrice Moses Hinkle (1874-1953) was born in San Francisco. She was privately educated, and enjoyed the arts and literature. Beatrice was an extraordinary thinker. She had the strong encouragement of her parents who were committed to educational methods and thrive for success, but little else is known about her family relations. In 1892, Beatrice married Walter S. Hinkle, a lawyer and assistant district attorney, and that same year entered the Cooper Medical School, which later was taken over by Stanford University. Sadly, her husband died in 1899 after only seven years of marriage.

Beatrice Hinkle, whose own interest in psychological processes led her to a medical degree and a psychoanalytic career. Beatrice overcome her grief for her husband through working hard, graduated from the medical school and became a talented and dedicated physician. She was appointed as San Francisco's city physician. This particular fact was very important in her career because this was the very first time a female doctor was given such a responsibility. Hinkle was the first woman physician in the country to hold a public health position. While working as a physician, Hinkle became very intrigued in the time's latest method of mental treatment: psychotherapy and the controversy created by Sigmund Freud and his psychoanalysis. Her curiosity and her search for more information about psychoanalysis resulted in a move to New York City (1905), where she soon became associated with Dr. Charles R. Dana who helped her to get familiar with the psychoanalytic theory. Hinkle's fascination with the human unconscious was so enormous that in 1908, both Hinkle and Dana, founded the country's first psychotherapeutic clinic at Cornell Medical School (McHenry, 1980).

Hinkle's main goal was to personally meet the creator of the psychoanalytic theory, Sigmund Freud, so she went to Vienna in 1909 to study under Freud's guidance. However, Freud's lack of recognition to women's psychological autonomy led her to change her mind about Freud's understanding of the human psyche. Instead, she aligned herself with the psychoanalytic group that supported Carl Jung's theories, which were less biased than Freud's, and tended to prove Freud wrong in some aspects of his theories. Hinkle was fascinated with Jung's ideas and proposals, mainly because they were more adaptable to both males and females than those proposed by Freud. She preferred Jung's treatment of the unconscious. She thought that one of the most attractive parts of Jung's theories was referred to the relief for those in revolt against the repressive character of the patriarchal society that under girded Freud's worldview (Karier, 1986). In this aspect, Jung proposed that the mother is the real dominant figure in the child's life and not the father as proposed by Freud. This also allowed for a break with the masculine dominance of Freudian psychology while keeping the traditional distinctions between masculine and feminine psychosexual roles.

About this particular Jung's assertion, Dr. Hinkle expressed: "Jung's development of this point of view shows very clearly that, just as the problem of the father is the great fact of Freud's psychology, the problem of the mother is the essence of Jung's, with the struggle carried on between the two great forces of love and power" (Karier, 1986, p. 291). This Jung's consideration of the female psyche as independent from males, attracted the admiration of Dr. Hinkle in such degree that she became the official translator of his work in America. Tired of hearing Freud's assertion that female psyche was a derivation of the male's, Dr. Hinkle returned to New York in 1915 determined to spread Jung's words in America (

Hinkle argued that women must do more than overthrow male domination, but all individuals must develop their own nature, regardless of sex...

References: Hinkle, B. (1916). Psychology of the unconscious: A study of the transformations and symbolisms of the libido. New York: Vail-Ballou Press. Retrieved May 26, 2010 from
Hinkle, B. (1923). The recreating of the individual. New York: Dodd, Mead and Company. Retrieved May 26, 2010 from
Karier, C. (1986). Scientists of the mind: Intellectual founders of modern psychology. Chicago, Illinois: University of Illinois Press. Retrieved May 26, 2010 from
McHenry, R. (1980). Famous American Women: A Bibliographical dictionary from Colonial times to the present. New York: Dover Publications. Retrieved May26, 2010 from
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