Through a re-reading of Freud’s Rat Man’s case of 1909, two theses are advanced. The first one asserts that, when drawing up this clinical case, Freud was influenced not only by Jung, according to Mannoni (1969), but also by claims Adler maintained in two lectures he read at the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society: in the first one he presented an ereutophobic patient whose childhood had many similarities with that of Freud’s patient; the second one concerned the aggressive drive in life and in neurosis. Some aspects of these lectures are surfacing in Freud’s writing. The second thesis argues that Freud was not able to keep the promise he had put forward in his Introduction to the clinical case to develop his first observations on the subject, published in 1896 (the paper Further Remarks on the Neuro-Psychoses of Defence), because in the meantime he had given up his traumatic theory that was the kernel of his sexual etiology of neuroses. Hence sexual trauma lost his relevance in the Rat Man’s neurosis, and childhood sexual experiences became irrelevant in the case history like the many sexual infantile experiences of Adler’s patient were meaningless for his neurosis.
Keywords: Rat Man; Jung and Adler; Infantile sexuality; Theory of trauma; Sadism in the neurosis