Theodor Reik widely wrote on literature, music, religion, masochism, and analytic technique, and was the founder of the National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis (NPAP) a major training facility for nonmedical psychoanalysts in the United States. Reik wrote in a free associational and confessional style about his life, loves, failures and triumphs.
Reik received his Ph.D. from the University of Vienna in 1912, having written the first psychoanalytic dissertation. He met Freud in 1910, immediately became a member of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society and, on the resignation of Otto Rank, was appointed Secretary. Freud wrote The Question of Lay Analysis (1926) as a defense of Reik who was prosecuted under the quackery laws of Austria.
Upon emigrating to New York, Reik was denied full membership in the New York Psychoanalytic Society and, with several students, founded NPAP in 1948. He popularized psychoanalysis with the writing of such best sellers as Listening with the Third Ear (1948) and Masochism in Modern Man (1949). Some of his other works are Surprise and the Psychoanalyst (1935), From Thirty Years With Freud (1940), The Search Within (1956), Ritual (1958), and Of Love and Lust (1959). Critical of Wilhelm Reich and Otto Fenichel, whom he viewed as systematizers, Reik saw the psychoanalytic experience as an unconscious dialogue between patient and analyst, in which insights occur from surprise and unconscious interplay beyond theoretical assumptions.
Primary source material:
- 1912 – Flaubert und seine "Versuchung des heiligen Antonius". Doctoral thesis, University of Vienna.
- 1923 – Der eigene und der fremde Gott. Neuausgabe: Der eigene und der fremde Gott: zur Psychoanalyse d. religiösen Entwicklung, Mit e. Vorw. z. Neuausg. von Alexander Mitscherlich, Frankfurt (am Main): Suhrkamp, 1975.
- 1925/1959 – The Compulsion to Confess. In J. Farrar (Ed) The compulsion to confess and the need for punishment. (pp. 176–356). New York: Farrar, Straus, and Cudahy.
- 1932/1959 – The Unknown Murderer. In J. Farrar (Ed) The compulsion to confess and the need for punishment. (pp. 3–173). New York: Farrar, Straus, and Cudahy.
- 1937 – Surprise and the Psycho-Analyst: On the Conjecture and Comprehension of Unconscious Process. New York: E. P. Dutton and Company.
- 1941 – Masochism and Modern Man. New York: Toronto, Farrar & Rinehart.
- 1944/1974 – A Psychologist Looks at Love. In M. Sherman (Ed.) Of Love and Lust. (pp. 1–194). New York: Jason Aronson.
- 1946 – Ritual: Four Psychoanalytic Studies". 1962 Grove Press edition.
- 1948 – Listening with the Third Ear: The inner experience of a psychoanalyst. New York: Grove Press.
- 1952 – The Secret Self. New York: Farrar, Straus and Young.
- 1953 – The Haunting Melody: Psychoanalytic Experiences in Life and Music. New York: Farrar, Straus and Young.
- 1957 – Myth and Guilt. New York: George Braziller.
- 1959 – Mystery on the Mountain: The Drama of the Sinai Revelation. New York: Harper & Brothers, Publishers.
- 1960 – The Creation of Woman: A Psychoanalytic Inquiry into the Myth of Eve. New York: George Braziller.
- 1961 – The Temptation. New York: George Braziller.
- 1962 – Jewish Wit. New York: Gamut Press.
- 1964 – Voices From the Inaudible: The Patients Speak. New York: Farrar, Straus and Company.