arrowAbout PsychoanalysisarrowNoted Psychoanalysts

Noted Psychoanalysts

The biographies of the psychoanalytic pioneers and contemproary psychoanalysts included on this web page serve to illustrate the vitality and creativity that marks the past, present and future of psychoanalysis. The theories and ideas these analysts advanced vary, but they were all inspired by Freud’s discovery of psychoanalysis. 

The First German Psychoanalyst - Karl Abraham 1877–1925

Karl Abraham completed his medical training in 1901, then worked in Bleuler’s clinic in Zurich and, later, with Carl Jung. He first met Freud in 1907 and their correspondence, first published in 1965 as A Psycho-Analytic Dialogue: The Letters of Sigmund Freud and Karl Abraham 1907–1926.

Abraham founded the Berlin Psychoanalytic Institute which was a model for institutes to follow. Abraham was a member of Freud’s Secret Committee and a favorite of Freud. He was the analyst of Melanie Klein, Karen Horney, Sandor Rado, Theodor Reik, Edward and James Glover, and Helene Deutsch.

Abraham’s contributions during the early years of the psychoanalytic movement are outstanding: in addition to the Berlin Institute, he edited the Zeitschrift, and was both secretary and president of the International Psychoanalytical Association.

Abraham’s papers are collected in two volumes, Selected Papers of Karl Abraham (1949), and Clinical Papers and Essays on Psycho-Analysis (1955). They cover a wide range that includes work on pregenital stages of development, depression, mania, auto erotism, repressed hate, the female castration complex, anal character, as well as others on applied psychoanalysis that include papers on myth and the Day of Atonement. His work influenced Melanie Klein on infantile relationships as well as Rene Spitz’s research on hospitalism. Writing to Abraham’s widow, Freud said “I have no substitute for him....”

Back to Top

Individual Psychology and the Inferiority Complex - Alfred Adler 1870–1937

Born in Vienna, Alfred Adler graduated from the University of Vienna Medical School in 1895, was a coeditor of the Zentralblatt fur Psychoanalyse and president of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society. In 1911, Adler founded the Society for Free Psychoanalysis. His individual psychology emphasizes the blending of social interest with striving for personal superiority. Adler is a forerunner of contemporary psychoanalytic theory (although generally not acknowledged) and his work remains unappreciated.

Alfred Adler, a member of the original Wednesday evening group that became the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society, broke with Freud over his work on inferiority complex and the predominance of external factors in emotional disturbance. Adler relegated the role of instinctual strivings to feelings of inferiority and the crucial reaction to these feelings as a “masculine protest.”

Adler’s successful struggle as a child against rickets led him to believe that failure to adapt to organic weakness may lead to later disturbance. He viewed sexuality as symbolic and rejected the notion of penis envy.

There is a biography by Phyllis Bottome, Alfred Adler: A Portrait from Life (1957), another by Edward Hoffman, The Drive for Self: Alfred Adler and the Founding of Individual Psychology (1994), and a study by Heinz and Rowena Ansbacher, The Individual Psychology of Alfred Adler (1964). There are Alfred Adler Institutes and a journal The Journal of Individual Psychology. Adler’s work includes A Study of Organ Inferiority (1917), The Practice and Theory of Individual Psychology (1927), Problems of Neurosis: Case Histories (1929), What Life Should Be to You (1931).

Back to Top

Wayward Youth - August Aichhorn 1878-1949

After a career as a school-teacher in Vienna, and later at reformatory schools in Austria, August Aichorn developed an intuitive capacity to deal with delinquents. His success led him to be encouraged by Anna Freud to enter psychoanalytic training at the Vienna Psychoanalytic Institute in 1922 at age 44. He later organized a child guidance service for the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society.

August Aichhorn opened an entirely new field of study for psychoanalysis, the application of psychoanalytic principles to the study of delinquency. His magnum opus Verwahrloste Jungend (1925) (Wayward Youth (1925)) is still considered an important resource. It introduces students and workers in delinquency to the basic principles of psychoanalysis as well as psychoanalysts to the problems of working with delinquents. Aichhorn advanced the idea of the distinction between manifest and latent delinquency and believed that an arrest in development predisposes to antisocial behavior, which arises from disturbances in early child-parent relationships.

With the Anschluss in 1938, Aichhorn remained in Austria as a non-Jew; he analyzed a number of young psychiatrists preparing a psot-war future for psychoanalysis after the war. At the end of the war, he took steps to reopen the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society, which was renamed the August Aichhorn Gesellschaft. Kurt Eissler edited a volume in his honor, Searchlights on Delinquency (1949).

Back to Top

Berlin’s First Student - Franz Alexander 1891-1964

Franz Alexander, a brilliant creative teacher and organizer, director for 25 years of the Chicago Institute, the first Professor of Psychoanalysis at the University of Chicago, was an enemy of dogmatism and a defender of analytic innovation. His concept of a “corrective emotional experience,” although criticized, suggested that early experiences can be corrected by new experiences in the therapeutic situation. Alexander never suggested manipulation or role playing but was a forward thinking innovator. 

Born in Budapest, the son of a distinguished philosophy professor, Alexander graduated in 1912. At the Berlin Psychoanalytic Institute, his talents were immediately recognized. He rejected an offer by Freud to become his assistant, instead he left for the Chicago Institute, which was modeled after Berlin. Freud later referred to him as his most brilliant student in the United States. After a year at the Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Science, he spent the remainder of his life in Los Angeles where, as Professor of Psychoanalysis at the University of Southern California, he worked to integrate psychoanalysis and psychiatry.

Alexander co-founded the journal Psychosomatic Medicine in 1939. A prolific writer, his published works include: The History of Psychiatry (1966), Psychoanalysis of the Total Personality (1930), The Medical Value of Psychoanalysis (1936), Psychoanalytic Therapy: Principles and Applications (1946), Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy (1957), a semi-autobiographical study The Western Mind in Transition (1960), and The Scope of Psychoanalysis 1921–1961: Selected Papers of Franz Alexander (1961).

Back to Top

An Extraordinary Woman - Lou Andreas-Salomé 1861-1937

Lou Andreas-Salomé is known as much for her contributions to psychoanalysis as her novels, her friendships with Anna and Sigmund Freud, and her personal involvements with Friedrich Nietzsche and the poet Ranier Maria Rilke. Her best known novels are Ruth (1895), Das Haus (1919), and Rodinka (1923), which was dedicated to Anna Freud, and a book about Nietzsche, Nietzsche in Seinen Werhen (1894). Her essays and other writings were widely read and her fame was widespread. Her affair with Viktor Tausk and his subsequent suicide are documented in Paul Roazen’s Brother Animal (1969). There are several biographies including Binion’s Frau Lou: Nietzsche’s Wayward Disciple (1968).

Lou Andreas-Salomé met Freud in 1912, which she described as a turning point in her life. She published papers in Imago on narcissism and anality, and practiced psychoanalysis in Göttingen until shortly before her death. She became a member of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society along with Anna Freud in 1922 on the basis of a project that became Anna Freud’s famous paper on beating fantasies. Her correspondence with Anna Freud has yet to be published but will reveal that she played a prominent role in helping Anna Freud during critical periods in her life. Letters between Andreas-Salomé and Freud were published in 1977, and a diary of Freud’s lectures during her stay in Vienna, The Freud Journal of Lou Andreas-Salomé, was published in 1964. Hers was an extraordinary life for a woman at that time.

Back to Top

Ferenczi’s Student - Michael Balint 1896-1970

Michael Balint was a student and loyal supporter of Sándor Ferenczi and translator of Ferenczi’s Clinical Diary, who upon Ferenczi’s death in 1933, became director of the Budapest Psychoanalytic Clinic. Balint received his M.D. from Budapest University and a Ph.D. in biochemistry in Berlin where he had fled to escape anti-Semitism in Hungary. In 1939, he moved to Manchester and then to London where he was a valuable member of both the British Psychoanalytical Society and the Tavistock Institute.

Balint is to be remembered for many achievements. He introduced the concept of the “basic fault” that illness is the result of early environmental factors which result in helplessness. He highlighted the importance of “primary love” and the importance of regression in treatment. Balint felt that a new type of patient had emerged, one who could not find his or her place in life and is afraid of pleasure and excitation. He felt that all analyses represent a “new beginning” in the life of a patient.

Michael Balint has been immortalized by his founding of “Balint Groups” in which physician-members discuss care of patients and the doctor-patient relationship. Inspired by a paper he wrote in 1955, “The doctor, his patient and the illness,” group leaders are generally psychoanalysts. There are Balint Societies and Groups worldwide as well as an International Balint Federation.

Among his books which generally collect his papers are Problems of Human Nature and Behavior (1957), Thrills and Regressions (1959), Primary Love and Psychoanalytic Technique (1965), The Basic Fault: Therapeutic Aspects of Regression (1968), and Psychotherapeutic Techniques in Medicine (1961).

Back to Top

Existential Analysis - Ludwig Binswanger 1881-1966

Ludwig Binswanger was introduced to Freud in 1907 and they remained close — despite significant differences in their ages and theoretical perspectives — until Freud’s death. Indeed, Martha Freud, after Freud’s death, confessed to him that “It is small comfort for me to know that in the fifty-three years of our married life not one angry word fell between us.” This friendship is recorded in Binswanger’s Sigmund Freud: Reminiscences of a Friendship (1957). The Freud-Binswanger correspsondence has been compiled and published by Gerhard Fichtner.

Binswanger, a Swiss who came from a distinguished family of psychiatrists and physicians was influenced not only by Jung but also by Husserl, Heidegger, and Buber. After receiving his M.D. from the University of Zurich, he became the medical director at the Bellevue Sanitarium in Kreuzlungen where he remained for 45 years.

With Medard Boss, he is the major figure in existential analysis and phenomenological psychiatry. His two famous cases are “The Case of Lola Voss” reprinted in Being in the World: Selected Papers of Ludwig Binswanger (1963) and “The Case of Ellen West” in Existence: A New Dimension in Psychiatry and Psychology edited by Rollo May, et al. (1958). Although not as popular as it was in the 50s and 60s, those who practice existential psychology stick close to the lived world of the patient with an emphasis on being, developing autonomy, and authenticity.

Binswanger’s other works have not been translated from the German but include such titles as (English translations) On the Flight of Ideas (1933), Basic Forms and Cognition of Human Existence (1953), and Schizophrenia (1957).

Back to Top

Memory and Desire - W. R. Bion 1897-1979

W.R. Bion was analyzed by Melanie Klein who greatly influenced him and with whom he is linked. In 1968, Bion went to Los Angeles where he exerted a great influence on analysis, staying for 11 years.

With the outbreak of World War I, he saw action as a youthful tank commander on the Western Front for which he was awarded a DSO. He later received a medical degree, and with the outbreak of World War II, was an army psychiatrist and is remembered for his introduction of group therapy.

It is hard to characterize Bion’s writing, as it is both heavily philosophical and enigmatic. He is known for a short paper in which he suggested that analysts listen to their patients without “memory or desire” experiencing each session as new and unique. “Bion’s style is a mixture of dazzling illuminations, provocative aphorisms and tiresome digression.”

Bion’s posthumously published War Memoirs: 1917-1919 (1997) tells of the horrors of World War I. Other autobiographical works are The Long Weekend: 1897-1919 (1982), All My Sins Remembered (1985), and A Memoir of the Future (1991). Experience in Groups (1961) is an excellent introduction to group therapy. Seven Servants (1997) collects four major works: Learning from Experience (1962), Elements of Psycho-Analysis (1963), Transformations (1965), Attention and Interpretation (1970). New Introduction to the Work of Bion (1993) is by León Grinberg, Darío Sor, and Elizabeth Tabak de Bianchedi. There is a biography by Gérard Bléandonu, Wilfred Bion: His Life and Works 1897-1979 (1994). His posthumously published Cogitations (1991) has received critical praise.

Back to Top

Savior of Psychoanalysis - Princess Marie Bonaparte 1882-1962

It was to Marie Bonaparte that Freud remarked: “The great question that has never been answered and which I have not yet been able to answer, despite my thirty years of research into the feminine soul is ‘What does a woman want?’” This comment did not deter Marie Bonaparte from a lifelong exploration of the feminine soul. In Female Sexuality (1953) she advanced a biological theory of bisexuality to explain why a masculinity complex is more common in women than a femininity complex in men and why women must grieve for and accept the loss of her penis. Although later writers have challenged her ideas, she is, nonetheless, a pioneer in the study of female development.

She was a great-grandniece of Napoleon Bonaparte and the wife of Prince George of Greece. Her notebooks published as Five Copy Books (1952) tell of her very early fantasies between the ages 7 1/2 and 10, which reflect the loss of her mother at a very early age. Her psychoanalytic study of Poe, The Life and Works of E. A. Poe (1949), demonstrated the presence of the importance of his sexual impotence linked to a fixation on his dying mother. Topsy (1940) is a charming love story about her dog.

Rudolph Loewenstein, one of her many lovers, edited a festschrift for her seventieth birthday Drives, Affects and Behavior: Essays in Honor of Marie Bonaparte (1952).

Marie Bonaparte’s generosity was extraordinary. She loaned Freud the money for his ransom by the Nazis. She supported Geza Roheim’s anthropological explorations, and she saved Freud’s letters to Wilhelm Fliess in spite of Freud’s wish that they be destroyed.

Back to Top

Attachment Theory - John Bowlby 1907-1990

John Bowlby, with Mary Ainsworth, is the founder of attachment theory which is a theory that explains ways in which infants establish ties to mothers or caregivers. Bowlby saw attachment as continuing into adult life. He wrote: “Evidence is accumulating that human beings of all ages are happiest...when they are confident that standing behind them, there are one or more trusted persons who will come to their aid should difficulties arise.”

His trilogy Attachment and Loss (Attachment 1969, Separation: Anxiety and Anger 1973, Loss: Sadness and Depression 1980) spells out his views. Additional books include The Making and Breaking of Affectional Bonds (1979) and A Secure Base: Clinical Applications of Attachment Theory (1988). Following World War II he wrote a groundbreaking report for the World Health Organization, Maternal Care and Mental Health (1951). Bowlby wrote a biography of Charles Darwin, Charles Darwin: A New Life (1990). There are two studies: Jeremy Holmes’s John Bowlby and Attachment Theory (1993) and Suzan Van Dijken’s John Bowlby: His Early Life. A Biographical Journey into the Roots of Attachment Theory (1998).

The son of a surgeon, Bowlby completed his medical training at Cambridge but not before spending time as a counselor in a residential treatment center for children, an experience that had a lasting influence on his life. Bowlby trained at the British Psychoanalytic Institute where he developed an interest in the early family environment as opposed to the fantasy life of the child. Although at first a supporter of Melanie Klein’s work, he gradually drifted away from her theories. With Sylvia Payne, he exercised an important modulating influence during the Freud-Klein controversial discussions.

Back to Top

American Psychoanalyst - Abraham Arden Brill 1874-1948

A. A. Brill, the first to translate Freud’s writings into English, was a person of enormous energy and missionary zeal. Arriving penniless from Austria at age 15, he slept on floors of saloons in exchange for work and later taught English to foreigners for twenty-five cents a lesson. He graduated from New York University in 1898 and from Columbia’s College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1903. After working in numerous hospitals, he met Freud and had what appears to be an informal analysis. Freud entrusted him as his translator although the quality of his translations has been criticized. In 1938, he published Basic Writings of Sigmund Freud, which introduced an entire generation to Freud.

For a time, Brill was the only analyst in America. He  wrote papers on topics that ranged from wit and humor to slips of the tongue to the importance of smell. In spite of his loyalty and service to Freud, he was viewed with ambivalence by Freud. Among his writings are: Psychoanalysis: Its Theory and Application (1912), Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis (1921), Freud’s Contribution to Psychiatry  (1944), Lectures on Psychoanalytic Psychiatry (1946).

Brill founded the New York Psychoanalytic Society in 1911 and was active in founding the American Psychoanalytic Association. He was vehement in his opposition to lay analysis in spite of Freud’s support of lay analysis.

The Abraham A. Brill Library at the New York Psychoanalytic Institute and Society is named in his honor. Although there is no official biography of Brill, material about him is available in Freud’s letters and biographies.

Back to Top

Female Psychology - Helene Deutsch 1884-1982

Helene Deutsch, the first important woman analyst in the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society, lived a long vital life both in Europe and the United States. Analyzed by Freud, her first analytic patient was Viktor Tausk. Later, she was in analysis with Karl Abraham in Berlin and at the Salzburg Conference, gave her first paper on women, which became “The Psychology of Women’s Sexual Functions.” Criticized by Karen Horney for equating women with masochism, her work has more recently been accepted by feminists because of her attention to problems posed by women’s identification with their mothers. Deutsch formulated a theory of “as if” identification and illustrated it with examples from such fictional works as Mann’s Felix Krull. Arriving in Boston from Vienna in 1935, she played a major role in the Boston Institute as she previously had for 10 years as Director of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Institute.

Her works include the two-volume The Psychology of Women (1944, 1945), Psychoanalysis of Neurosis (1932), Neurosis and Character Types (1965), and Selected Problems of Adolescence (1967). There is a major biography by Paul Roazen, Helene Deutsch: A Psychoanalyst’s Life (1985), and an autobiography, Confrontations with Myself (1973). Her papers are collected by Paul Roazen in The Therapeutic Process, the Self and Female Psychology (1992).

Back to Top

Kurt Eissler 1908–1999

Kurt Eissler was born in Vienna in 1908, studied psychology at the University of Vienna, receiving a Ph.D. in 1934 under Professor Karl Buher. He was awarded his M.D. in 1937. He worked with August Aichhorn, a pioneer in treating adolescent delinquency, before narrowly escaping the Nazis after the Anschluss and emigrating to Chicago. In 1943 he volunteered for the U.S. Army and served as captain in the medical corps. After World War II he moved to New York, where he remained until his death, writing and practicing to the end.

A superb clinician and a scholar of profound depth and erudition, Eissler introduced the term ‘parameters’ into clinical parlance and pioneered analytic investigations of creativity with books on Goethe, Leonardo,  Shakespeare and Freud himself. He wrote prolifically, making major contributions to technique, theory and applied analysis. His rigorously scientific approach led him to revise and extend many of Freud’s ideas without rejecting established principles. The posthumously published book Freud and the Seduction Theory (2001) definitively refuted erroneous claims that Freud had ignored the impact of extrapsychic trauma, while simultaneously providing a magnificent psychological explication of the evolution of genius.

As a co-founder and later secretary of the Sigmund Freud Archives, Eissler virtually single-handedly created one of the world’s great biographical collections. He also established the Anna Freud Foundation, which  provided crucial assistance to Anna Freud’s Hampstead Child Therapy Course and Clinic.

His wife Ruth S. Eissler, was also a noted psychoanalyst.

Back to Top

Childhood and Society - Erik Erikson 1902–1994

Erik Erikson, who wrote of Gandhi and Martin Luther, and visited Indian tribes, was a major figure in educating Americans to the societal influences on childhood as well as expanding human development beyond the earliest influences of early childhood.

Born in Germany, Erikson wandered through Europe hoping to become an artist. He found himself in Vienna where he taught school and trained at the Vienna Psychoanalytic Institute. His personal analysis with Anna Freud ended in 1933 when, in spite of Miss Freud’s assurance that the Nazis would never invade Austria, he left for America.

In the United States he first taught at Harvard, then Yale, then at the University of California where he left because of a loyalty oath requirement, then at The Austen Riggs Center and, finally, back to Harvard.

Erikson emphasized the creative qualities of the ego, developed a theory of ego development, and created eight developmental stages from basic trust versus mistrust in infancy, to parenthood, to integrity versus despair in old age. Libidinal stages and psychosexual development are incorporated into his epigenetic schema through his concept of organ modes. Major works include: Childhood and Society (1950), Gandhi’s Truth (1969), and Young Man Luther (1959). Identity and the Life Cycle (1959) inaugurated the journal Psychological Issues and was followed by Insight and Responsibility (1964) and The Life Cycle Completed: A Review (1982). There is an excellent biography by Lawrence J. Friedman, Identity’s Architect (1999), and Robert Coles’s Erik H. Erikson: The Growth of His Work (1970) is worth reading.

Back to Top

Object Relations - W. Ronald D. Fairbairn 1889-1964

Ronald Fairbairn, though somewhat isolated in that he spent his entire career in Edinburgh Scotland, has had a profound influence on British object relations and the relational schools. For Fairbairn, libido is object seeking rather than pleasure seeking and the infant is oriented toward others from the beginning of life. Thus, Fairbairn proposes an alternate theory of motivation: a search for contact with others. Although Fairbairn never broke with Freud, his theory of development is not based on stages but on a maturational sequence of relations to others. Fairbairn wrote that impulses alone could not explain the disparate failures in human relations. Fairbairn’s work has had widespread influence on the study of the self, trauma, multiple personality, infant development, religion, and pastoral care.

Educated at Edinburgh University, he spent three years in divinity and Hellenic Greek studies and, after serving with General Allenby in the Palestinian campaign, he undertook medical training, taught psychology, practiced analysis and, on the basis of his writings, became a member of the British Psychoanalytical Society. There is a biography by John Sutherland, Fairbairn’s Journey into the Interior (1989) a study of his work by James Grotstein and R. B. Rinsley, Fairbairn and the Origins of Object Relations (1994), and an edited study by Neil J. Skolnik and David E. Scharff, Fairbairn Then and Now (1998). His works include Psychoanalytical Studies of the Personality (1952) and From Instinct to Self: Selected Papers of W. R. D. Fairbairn (1994).

Back to Top

The Encyclopedist - Otto Fenichel 1897–1946

Otto Fenichel, who wrote a comprehensive textbook of psychoanalysis, was a person of enormous energy, political awareness, and social conscience. Born in Vienna, he was active in youth movements as a student. Shortly after graduating from medical school, he began training at the Vienna Psychoanalytic Institute where he gave a paper in 1918 at age 21. He completed his training in Berlin and in 1933, fearing the Nazis, left for Norway, then for Prague in 1936, and finally to Los Angeles in 1938.

The Psychoanalytic Theory of Neurosis (1945), recently reprinted, is his magnum opus, a statement about psychoanalysis that endures to this date. A small gem of a book, often referred to as the “red book,” Problems of Psychoanalytic Technique, appeared in 1939 and remains an excellent introduction to technique. The Collected Papers of Otto Fenichel in two volumes (1953, 1954) contain papers on screen memories, scoptophilia, boredom, counterphobia, and transvestism among many other topics.

For over a decade, Fenichel sent Rundbriefe (circular letters) to a group of analysts who shared his political views and analytic orientation. Although secret, they have now been collected in two extraordinary volumes by Elke Muhleitner and Johannes Reichmayr, Otto Fenichel: 119 Rundbriefe (1934-1945) (1998), and represent an extraordinary resource for historians of psychoanalysis. A history of the change in the political climate of psychoanalysis can be read in Russell Jacoby’s The Repression of Psychoanalysis: Otto Fenichel and the Political Freudians (1983).

Back to Top

Freud’s Dear Son - Sandor Ferenczi 1873–1933


Sandor Ferenczi completed his medical training in 1894 at the University of Vienna. He first met Freud in 1908 and began a friendship that continued until Ferenczi’s death in 1933. Their correspondence is now collected in three volumes (The Correspondence of Sigmund Freud and Sandor Ferenczi1993, 1996, 2000). The Ferenczi-Groddeck Correspondence 1921-1933 was published in 2002.

Ferenczi established Budapest as a psychoanalytic center, has at last received the recognition he surely deserves. Labeled as mentally ill by Ernest Jones, he was actually suffering from the deleterious effects of pernicious anemia. Totally devoted to Freud, who was his analyst, and a member of the Secret Committee, he once offered Freud the opportunity to be analyzed by him.

Ferenczi helped found the International Journal of Psycho-Analysis and and served as president of the IPA. He wrote (with Otto Rank) on the problems of therapy in The Development of Psychoanalysis (1924), on phylogenesis in Thalassa: A Theory of Genitality (1933-34), and on mutual therapy in The Clinical Diary of Sandor Ferenczi (1988). In addition to innovations in technique, he wrote on the sense of reality, the importance of the seduction theory, the need to be authentic, the emphasis of the role of countertransference, the trauma theory of neurosis, and child treatment. His papers are collected in three volumes: First Contributions to Psycho-Analysis (1952), Further Contributions to the Theory and Technique of Psycho-Analysis (1951), Final Contributions to the Problems and Methods of Psycho-Analysis (1955).

Back to Top

The Dutiful Daughter - Anna Freud 1895–1982

Anna Freud, the youngest child of Sigmund Freud and the only one to become part of psychoanalysis, was a founder of child psychoanalysis and the guardian of the Freudian heritage. Born in Vienna, she did not receive a formal education but did study psychoanalysis at the Vienna Psychoanalytic Institute. Her personal analysis with her father is documented in her paper “Beating Fantasies and Daydreams” (1922) and in Freud’s paper “A Child is Being Beaten” (1919). In Vienna, she conducted child analysis, taught, became her father’s assistant, and helped Jewish analysts escape Germany. In 1939, she escaped to England with her family and did much to help English children during the war. Her work with Dorothy Burlingham, documented in War and Children (1943) and Infants Without Families (1943), was done at the Hampstead Nursery, a precursor of the Hampstead Child Therapy Clinic, now the Anna Freud Centre, a training facility in London for child analysis.

Anna Freud is known as well for The Ego and the Mechanisms of Defense (1937) in which she emphasized the role of the ego as the seat of observation, discussed the various defense mechanisms and elaborated on the concept of defense in relation to reality. Her differences with Melanie Klein are documented in The Freud-Klein Controversies 1941–45 (1991). Her excellent writing style is revealed in Normality and Pathology in Childhood (1966) and Psychoanalytic Psychology of Normal Development (1982). Her papers are collected in eight volumes: The Writings of Anna Freud. A biography, Anna Freud, by Elisabeth Young-Breuhl, appeared in 1988.

Back to Top

The Founder - Sigmund Freud 1856–1939

Sigmund Freud, who introduced the world to unconscious forces in human motivation, the role of dreams and infantile sexuality, has become a whole “climate of opinion” as W. H. Auden so aptly stated.

Born in Moravia, his family moved to Vienna where he graduated from medical school, trained as a neurologist and wrote on neurology and aphasia. His great works, Studies on Hysteria (1896), The Interpretation of Dreams (1900), and Three Essays on Sexuality (1905), launched a new theory. The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, in 24 volumes, translates all of Freud’s work. 

Freud’s is an enduring legacy that is alive today and Freudian ideas have been applied to every aspect of the human enterprise: history, art, literature, and biography.

Freud founded the Vienna Psychoanalytic Institute, the International Psychoanalytical Association, which numbers over ten thousand members, numerous journals, and a publishing house. There are two Freud Museums, one in Vienna and another in London. A biography in three volumes by Ernest Jones,  Sigmund Freud: Life and Work (1954, 1955, 1957), an edited story of Freud’s life, is valuable as is Peter Gay’s Freud: A Life for Our Time (1988). Freud, one of the greatest letter writers of the 20th century, revealed himself to his many correspondents: Sandor Ferenczi, Karl Abraham, Carl Jung, Ernest Jones, among others.

Back to Top

Marxism, Society, and Psychoanalysis - Erich Fromm 1900–1980

Erich Fromm, who synthesized Marxism, Freud, and Weber in his many books on fascism, authoritarianism, and social character, was a best-selling author and popularizer of psychoanalysis. Born in Frankfurt and educated by Jewish teachers, he received a Ph.D. in sociology from Heidelberg. He then edited a Jewish newspaper and began several analyses, one with Frieda Fromm-Reichmann whom he later married. Fromm trained at the Berlin Institute and, with others, founded the Frankfurt Psychoanalytic Institute. He was later to help found the William Alanson White Institute.

Although seen as a critic of Freud, Fromm’s work is not easily categorized and is best viewed as an extension of Freud into the social sphere. Fromm did, however, believe that strivings are not the outcome of instincts but of psychic needs, which society teaches through the family. Fromm’s is a theory of human interrelatedness, often associated with the interpersonal theory of Harry Stack Sullivan.

Coming to the United States in 1933, he was first associated with Karen Horney. Splitting with Horney, Fromm’s career is primarily connected to the White Institute and a Mexican institute that he founded.

Among his many books are: Escape From Freedom (1941) about authoritarianism, Man for Himself (1947), The Forgotten Language (1951) about dreams, fairytales and myths, The Sane Society (1955), The Art of Loving (1956), Sigmund Freud’s Mission: An Analysis of His Personality and Influence (1959), and The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness (1978). There is an important study by Daniel Burston, The Legacy of Erich Fromm (1991).

Back to Top

An Independent Scotsman - Edward Glover 1888-1972

Edward Glover, who published critiques of Melanie Klein and Carl Jung, played a major role in the development of psychoanalysis in England. Graduating with distinction from medical school in Scotland at age 21, he undertook psychoanalytic training with Karl Abraham in Berlin. Following the death of his brother James in 1926, he became Jones’s second in command at the British Psychoanalytical Society. Although Glover enjoyed a considerable reputation in the United States, because of his conflicts with the British Kleinians, he had a certain notoriety in England. He resigned from the British Psychoanalytic Society because of these conflicts, which are well documented in The Freud-Klein Controversies, 1941-45 (1991). In spite of the controversy around Glover, he was a model of independence and integrity.

Glover helped found the Institute for the Study of Delinquency, the Portman Clinic, the  British Journal of Delinquency, and wrote The Roots of Crime (1960). His other major works in addition to his 200 published papers are: The Technique of Psychoanalysis (1955), Freud or Jung (1956), The Birth of the Ego (1968), Psycho-Analysis: A Handbook for Medical Practitioners and Students of Comparative Psychoanalysis (1939), War, Sadism and Pacifism (1933). There is an excellent study by Paul Roazen, Oedipus in Britain: Edward Glover and the Struggle over Klein (2000).

Back to Top

The Two Analyses of Harry Guntrip - Harry Guntrip 1901-1975

Harry Guntrip is known not only for his major contributions to object relations theory but also for his revealing paper on his analyses with Ronald Fairbairn and D. W. Winnicott. Guntrip contrasted the engaging and informal style of Winnicott, which focused on early childhood experiences, with the more formal, stereotyped oedipal interpretations of Fairbairn. Guntrip kept a diary of his analysis with Fairbairn, which may someday be published.

Although never a member of the British Psychoanalytical Society, his work greatly influenced the middle group of the BPS. Trained at London University, Guntrip was first a minister of the Congregational Church and later a lecturer in psychology at Leeds University. His religious background clearly influenced his life and work. It was in Leeds that he practiced analysis, often seeing ministers for treatment for modest fees.

A biography by Jeremy Hazell, H. J. S. Guntrip: A Psychoanalytical Biography (1996), tells much of his recorded analysis and dreams. Hazell also edited Personal Relations Theory: The Collected Papers of H. J. S. Guntrip (1994). Works by Guntrip include Schizoid Phenomena, Object Relations and the Self (1969), Personality Structure and Human Interaction (1973), and Psychology for Ministers and Social Workers (1949).

In Guntrip’s lucid writing, the work of Klein, Fairbairn, and Winnicott are synthesized. But he also advanced his own ideas in which he criticized Freud for being too oriented toward biology and therefore dehumanizing. He argued that the regressed ego exerts a powerful effect on life and understood the schizoid sense of emptiness as reflecting the withdrawal of energy from the real world into a world of internal object relations.

Back to Top

The Ego Psychologist - Heinz Hartmann 1894-1970

Heinz Hartmann was born in Vienna to a distinguished family of historians and academicians. His father was Austrian Ambassador to Germany after World War I Hartmann graduated from medical school at the University of Vienna in 1920 but pursued several careers before turning to psychoanalysis. He was his father’s personal secretary during his ambassadorship. Hartmann underwent analysis with Sandor Rado, Josef Breuer, and Sigmund Freud, collaborated with Rado in the editorship of theInternationale Zeitschrift fur Psychanalyse, helped establish Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, and served as President of the International Psychoanalytical Association.

Hartmann's ego psychology influenced a whole generation of psychoanalysts. Considered a major figure in the second generation of psychoanalysts after Freud, Hartmann was challenged to fulfill Freud’s hope to create a general psychoanalytic psychology. He emphasized the independence of ego processes versus drive, and the role of external reality. In his writings there are few clinical observations as he felt that it was important to develop a conceptual framework that illustrated a general theory. Hartmann believed in a conflict-free sphere of the ego, which functions from birth or soon after, that is not the result of drive modification. In Ego Psychology and the Problem of Adaptation (1939), he noted that the newborn human and his average expectable environment are adapted to each other from the very first moment.

His books include Psychoanalysis and Moral Values (1960), and Essays on Ego Psychology (1964). An edited festschrift that collects his major papers, Psychoanalysis: A General Psychology, was published in 1966. Hartmann is best known for his collaboration with Ernst Kris and Rudolph Loewenstein and for his influence on David Rapaport.

Back to Top

A Courageous Dissident - Karen Horney 1885-1952

Born in Hamburg, Karen Horney received her medical degree in Berlin in 1915. Analyzed by both Karl Abraham and Hans Sachs, she became an early faculty member of the Berlin Psychoanalytic Institute. Her work criticized the male bias in psychoanalysis and challenged many of Freud’s ideas about women. She saw the ego as evolving over life and believed in the limitless ability of people to develop. Horney saw the neurotic personality as stemming from a lack of warmth in parent-child relationships.

Coming to America in 1934, she first went to the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis and then to the New York Psychoanalytic Institute where her ideas helped to disqualify her as a training analyst. In part, she was perceived as a threat to classical theory because of her critique of Freud in New Ways in Psychoanalysis (1939). There was also considerable envy of her because of the popularity of her lectures and the New School for Social Research and the popularity of her books — best sellers emphasizing the cultural and social aspects of psychoanalysis.

Karen Horney founded the American Institute for Psychoanalysis.

Bernard Paris, the founder of the Karen Horney Society, has written her biography, Karen Horney: A Psychoanalyst’s Search for Self-Understanding (1994). Horney  wrote about her youth in The Adolescent Diaries of Karen Horney (1980), she also wrote The Neurotic Personality of Our Time (1937), Self-Analysis (1942), Our Inner Conflicts (1945). Her Final Lectures appeared in 1987.

Back to Top

Freud’s Boswell - Ernest Jones 1879–1958

Ernest Jones had a distinguished but problematic career. A fierce publicist for psychoanalysis, he was described as “a fiery little man, with a staccato, military manner and at his worst he could be spiteful, jealous, and querulous.”

Jones was born in Wales and had completed his medical training by the age of 21. He met Freud in 1906 at the Salzburg Congress and a lifelong relationship ensued in spite of Freud having been warned about Jones by Jung. Exiled to Toronto, he founded the American Psychoanalytic Association and was active in promoting psychoanalysis in North America. Jones returned to London to practice psychoanalysis in 1912. His analysis with Sandor Ferenczi left him ambivalent and even hostile to Ferenczi for the rest of his life. In 1919 he founded the British Psychoanalytical Society and in 1920 he became president of the IPA and founded the International Journal of Psycho-Analysis. He later founded the International Psychoanalytic Library, which produced seminal volumes in psychoanalysis.

His sanitized and hagiographic biography The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud (3 vols. 1954, 1955, 1957) endures to this day. His autobiography Free Associations: Memoirs of a Psychoanalyst (1959) was preceded by On the Nightmare (1931) (he suffered from nightmares), Essays in Applied Psychoanalysis (2 vols. 1951), Papers on Psychoanalysis (1912), and his much admired Hamlet and Oedipus (1949).  The Complete Correspondence of Sigmund Freud and Ernest Jones 1908–1939 (1993) is rich with psychoanalytic lore.

Back to Top

Analytical Psychology - Carl Gustav Jung 1875-1961

Jung ranks in second only to Freud in the  importance to the history of psychoanalysis. In spite of the contributions of this great Swiss psychiatrist, few of his ideas have been integrated into mainstream psychoanalysis although many terms, such as complex, archetype and word association are part of the psychoanalytic vocabulary. His view of libido as being a life force, rather than sexual, remains today a distinction between analytical psychology and psychoanalysis. For Jung, the growth and transformation of the individual’s total life experience defines the core of psychic life. Jung had a lifelong interest in the occult and spiritualism. Jung’s work has been particularly attractive to people in the creative arts and religion.

Born in Switzerland, Jung received his medical degree from the University of Zurich where he wrote a dissertation on the pathology of occult phenomena. A confidante of Freud, he accompanied him to America for the Clark lectures in 1909 and became permanent president of the IPA. Their relationship deteriorated, however, and it is well documented in The Freud-Jung Letters (1974).

The Collected Works of C. G. Jung numbers 18 volumes and ranges over many subjects including art, literature, synchronicity, alchemy, religion, symbolization, and psychoanalysis. There are many studies of Jung including Jung: A Biography (1985) by Gerhard Wehr, Jung: Man and Myth (1978) by Vincent Brome, and an excellent introduction in The Cambridge Companion to Jung (1997). His autobiography is Memories, Dreams, and Reflections (1963).

Back to Top

Unconscious Phantasy - Melanie Klein 1882–1960

Melanie Klein, the first Kleinian, occupies a singular place in the history of child analysis and the psychoanalytic movement. Born in Vienna, she intended to study medicine but an early marriage and children intervened. She moved to Budapest where she was analyzed by Sandor Ferenczi, and later to Berlin where she trained and was analyzed by Karl Abraham. After an invitation from Ernest Jones, she moved to London where she worked for the remainder of her life.

Melanie Klein not only pioneered child analysis but contributed to the psychoanalytic vocabulary as well. She highlighted early (pre-oedipal) experience, introduced the concept of positions rather than stages in development, namely, the paranoid-schizoid and the depressive position. She dated the oedipal period much earlier than Freud had, and traced anxiety and guilt to the child’s early relationship to the breast. Klein placed emphasis on aggression, unconscious phantasy, and the death instinct. Her concept of projective identification has been applied to technique.

She split from Anna Freud over child analysis methods, and her theories, hotly debated in London during World War II, are published in The Freud–Klein Controversies 1941–45 (1991).

A major biography by Phyllis Grosskurth, Melanie Klein: Her World and Her Work (1987), includes material from an unpublished autobiography. Her work is collected in several volumes: Narrative of a Child Analysis  (1961), The Psychoanalysis of Children (1975), Love, Guilt and Reparation 1921–1945 (1975), and Envy and Gratitude (1957). Introduction to the Work of Melanie Klein (1975), by Hanna Segal, provides a valuable overview.

Back to Top

The First Self Psychologist - Heinz Kohut 1913-1981

Heinz Kohut founded a school of psychoanalysis that is not only a theory but a movement replete with conferences, training centers and organizations. Born in Vienna, he trained in medicine and in 1939 barely escaped the Nazis to arrive in the United States. In Chicago, Kohut trained at the Chicago Institute and became a major figure in American psychoanalysis, which included the presidency of the American Psychoanalytic Association.

Kohut envisioned self psychology as an extension of psychoanalysis and fought against its becoming a separate movement. He emphasized the importance of an empathic immersion into the experience of the patient by the analyst. He deemphasized the role of the vicissitudes of drive and defense and the Oedipus complex as the cause of pathogenesis. Instead, he highlighted the role of early empathic failure and the importance of narcissism as a separate line of development. Kohut differentiated “tragic man” one with a depleted self from “guilty man” one who avoids oedipal guilt. For Kohut, the goal of psychoanalysis is to help the patient rid himself of archaic selfobjects and to develop a cohesive self that completes development.

Kohut’s groundbreaking book is The Analysis of the Self (1971) and is followed by The Restoration of the Self (1977) and the posthumously published How Does Analysis Cure? (1984). Kohut’s letters were edited by Geoffrey Cocks, The Curve of Life: Correspondence of Heinz Kohut 1923-1981 (1994). There is a biography by Charles B. Strozier,  Heinz Kohut: The Making of a Psychoanalyst (2001). A four-volume collection of his papers, The Search for the Self (1978, 1979, 1990, 1991), includes “The Two Analyses of Mr. Z.” that has been revealed as Kohut’s self-analysis.

Back to Top

Psychoanalysis, Art, and Ego Psychology - Ernst Kris 1900–1957

Ernst Kris combined two careers in a life cut short at age 56. Having graduated from the University of Vienna at 22 with a Ph.D. in art history, he was to become a curator at the Kunsthistorishe Museum in Vienna. He published a work with the noted historian C. H. Gombrich on caricature, and another on art history with O. Kurz, parts of which were reworked into Psychoanalytic Explorations in Art (1952).

In in 1927 Kris married the analyst Marianne Rie, the daughter of Oscar Rie, Freud’s friend and pediatrician, and in 1928 he became a member of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society. With Robert Waelder, he edited the journal Imago, and later in the United States he was instrumental in establishing Psychoanalytic Study of the Child.

Fleeing to Britain, he did research on German war propaganda, which resulted in his coauthoring with H. Spier The German Radio Propaganda (1944).

Arriving in the United States, he became a sought-after teacher at the New York Psychoanalytic Institute, the New School for Social Research, and the City College of New York. His papers are collected in Selected Papers of Ernst Kris (1975). Kris’s work on insight, child analysis, psychoanalytic technique, the “good hour,” and his concept of regression under the control of the ego endures. Papers written with Heinz Hartmann and Rudolph Loewenstein on ego psychology are now regarded as classics. Study groups that he founded and named in his honor at the New York Psychoanalytic Society produced a monograph series of excellent studies.

Back to Top

French Freud - Jacques Lacan 1901–1981

Lacan has become a whole climate of opinion with some adoring his work and finding great meaning in it, while others dismiss him as a fraud. Attempts to summarize his work are difficult. Lacan introduced a range of topics that are connected with his ideas: the primacy of language functions in the structuring of the unconscious, the nature of the symbolic order, the recentering of psychoanalysis on the speech of the analyst, the mirror stage, the critique of any form of therapy that strengthens the patient’s ego, a general critique of ego psychology.

Expelled from the International Psychoanalytical Association in the 1960s for heresies including short sessions, his stage became Paris where he founded the French Psychoanalytic Society and established his own school, Ecole Freudienne de Paris, which remains in existence to this day. His work is carried on by his son-in-law Jacques-Alain Miller, the head of Ecole de la Cause Freudienne.

Numerous studies of Lacan exist and his work has influenced the humanities and literature. A major work is The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis (1977). Studies include Malcolm Bowie’s Lacan (1991) and Bice Benvenuto and Roger Kennedy’s The Works of Jacques Lacan: An Introduction (1986).

Back to Top

Relational Psychoanalyst - Stephen A. Mitchell 1946-2000

Stephen Mitchell trained in interpersonal psychoanalysis at the William Alanson White Institute and became a sought-after speaker and advocate of new trends in psychoanalysis. He claimed that there had been a paradigm shift in psychoanalysis (à la Kuhn) to a two-person relational approach emphasizing the analyst’s potential impact on the patient along with highlighting the importance of postmodern and feminist views in psychoanalysis.

In his first major work with Jay Greenberg, Object Relations in Psychoanalytic Theory (1983), the authors surveyed the development of psychoanalysis dividing psychoanalysis into two distinct traditions, an intrapsychic one as opposed to a relational/interpersonal one exemplified by the work of Sullivan, Fromm, Kohut, and others. This pioneering work was followed by Relational Concepts in Psychoanalysis (1988), the establishment and editorship of a journal Psychoanalytic Dialogues (1991), Hope and Dread in Psychoanalysis (1993), Influence and Autonomy in Psychoanalysis (1997), Relationality (2000), and, with his wife Margaret Black, Freud and Beyond: A History of Modern Psychoanalytic Thought (1995). A posthumous work, Can Love Last? The Fate of Romance over Time (2002) was written for a general audience.

A Stephen A. Mitchell Center has been established in New York City as well as the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy (IARPP).

Back to Top

Trauma of Birth - Otto Rank 1884–1939

Otto Rank, born in modest circumstances in a troubled home with an alcoholic father, through the generosity of Freud and his own talents made lasting contributions to psychoanalysis, many of which are now part of contemporary psychoanalysis. Freud said of Rank, “One day a young man who had passed through a technical training college introduced himself with a manuscript which showed very unusual comprehension....I gained in Otto Rank a most loyal helper and co-worker.” The manuscript became The Artist (1907) and was followed by The Myth of the Birth of the Hero (1909), The Incest Theme in Literature and Legend (1912), The Double (1914), The Don Juan Legend (1922), and The Trauma of Birth (1924), which challenged the primacy of the Oedipus complex. Rank changed his name from Rosenfeld, gained a Ph.D. from the University of Vienna in 1912, became secretary of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society (the minutes of the society are his work), and, with Hans Sachs, edited the Imago.

Although never analyzed, he was, nonetheless, a member of the Secret Committee. Rank broke with Freud and became, along with Adler and Jung, a major early dissident. His other major work, with Sandor Ferenczi, The Development of Psychoanalysis (1923) highlights the importance of the patient-therapist interaction. Rank stressed the preoedipal mother-child bond, conceived of transference in maternal terms, emphasized the role of birth in later development, rejected the libido theory, and shortened the length of analysis.

There is an excellent biography by E. James Lieberman, Acts of Will: The Life and Work of Otto Rank (1985).

Back to Top

Diagnostic Testing and Systematizing - David Rapaport 1901-1960

Born in Budapest, David Rapaport earned a Ph.D. in psychology from Budapest University in 1938 and, upon coming to the United States, worked briefly in New York before going to Kansas and the Menninger Clinic where he was head of psychology and research. In 1948, he went to The Austen Riggs Center in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

Rapaport was not a practicing analyst although he saw a few patients in psychotherapy in order to understand thought organization. Beside his work on testing, he studied how thought becomes socialized, logical, and goal directed and the codetermination of drive and environment. His emphasis on cognitive structure and the autonomy of the ego led to important research by others on cognitive controls. Rapaport’s interests were always on the major issues of psychology—affects, memory, and learning.

David Rapaport helped to define clinical psychology as a unique and valuable profession and to define psychodiagnostic testing as a means of understanding how thought functions in personality. His works are monumental, beginning with the two-volume (with Roy Schafer and Merton Gill) Diagnostic Psychological Testing (1945, 1946) followed by Organization and Pathology of Thought: Selected Sources (1951), a vast array of papers that he translated and annotated. Other books are Emotions and Memory (1950), a survey of the topic; and The Structure of Psychoanalytic Theory: A Systematizing Attempt (1958). Merton Gill edited his papers in The Collected Papers of David Rapaport (1967).

Back to Top

Character Analysis, Orgone Therapy, and a Life of Controversy - Wilhelm Reich 1897–1957

Wilhelm Reich was born in Galisia to parents who both committed suicide. He received a medical degree from the University of Vienna and attained membership in the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society. His major work, Character Analysis (1933, 1961), endures as it released psychoanalysis from narrower definitions of neurosis. In this tome, Reich demonstrated that psychological traits of character and physical habits of posture or reaction are motivated by and reflect people’s need to defend themselves against threatening thoughts and feelings. Reich’s work on vegetable therapy, working directly on the body, influenced Frederick Perls on Gestalt therapy and Alexander Lowen in bioenergetics. His later work on orgone therapy led to his downfall.

Reich had the dubious distinction of having been expelled from the International Psychoanalytical Association and the Communist Party. He died while in prison, sentenced for contempt of court relating to his claim that his orgone accumulator could cure cancer.

There is a major biography by Myron Sharaf, Fury on Earth (1983), and his letters and journals are collected in Beyond Psychology: Letters and Journals 1934–1939 (1994) and American Odyssey: Letters and Journals 1940–1947 (1999). Other works include The Mass Psychology of Fascism (1932, 1969), The Murder of Christ (1953, 1979), The Sexual Revolution (1936, 1974), and Reich Speaks of Freud (1967).

Back to Top

Listening With the Third Ear - Theodor Reik 1888-1969

Theodor Reik, disciple of Freud, author of twenty books and hundreds of papers on literature, music, religion, masochism, and analytic technique, was the founder of the National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis (NPAP) a major training facility for nonmedical psychoanalysts in the United States. Working in four international cities, 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. Thus his ideas predate contemporary psychoanalytic theory.

Back to Top

Psychoanalytic Anthropology - Geza Roheim 1891-1953

Geza Roheim was one of the very first to apply psychoanalytic theory to the study of primitive societies. Born in Budapest, he studied geograohy and anthropology and received a Ph.D. at the Univeristy of Berlin. Analyzed by Sandor Ferenczi, he became a member of the Budapest Society and gave papers at all psychoanalytic congresses. He was appointed a professor of anthropology at the University of Budapest and, in 1921, Freud awarded him the prize for the best paper on applied psychoanalysis. He explained the Oedipus complex on the basis of man’s retardation and delayed infancy and viewed culture “to protect mankind against the danger of object loss, the colossal efforts made by a baby who is afraid of being left alone in the dark.”

His many books, based on his studies in east Africa, central Australia, Melanesia, and the Yuma Indians of Arizona and financed by the generosity of Princess Marie Bonaparte, include The Gates of the Dream (1952), The Riddle of the Sphinx (1934), The Origin and Function of Culture (1943), The Eternal Ones of the Dream (1945), Psychoanalysis and Anthropology (1956), and Animism (1934). They represent the first ethnographic field trips undertaken by a trained psychoanalyst.

Although many in academic anthropology have rejected his work, others such as George Deveraux, Margaret Mead, and Weston La Barre have championed Roheim.

Back to Top

American Imago - Hans Sachs 1881-1947

Hans Sachs, a member of Freud’s inner circle and Secret Committee, was trained as a lawyer. He reported that reading Freud’s dream book changed his life and shortly thereafter entered the world of psychoanalysis. With Otto Rank, he edited the journal Imago and, with Rank, published  The Significance of Psychoanalysis for the Mental Sciences (1915). Sachs founded the American Imago in the United States in 1939, which continues to be published and is the major journal covering applied psychoanalysis.

At the Berlin Institute, where he was a major figure, his training-analytic patients were legion and included many who have had long and outstanding influences on psychoanalysis. No doubt affected by the rise of Nazism in Germany, in 1930 he wrote a study of the Emperor Caligula. He wrote countless papers on dream analysis, the application of psychoanalysis to literature and art, the formation of the superego, obsessional rituals, the genesis of perversions, as well as psychoanalytic portraits of Julius Caesar, Napoleon Bonaparte, Benvenuto Cellini, Friedrich Schiller, and Arthur Schnitzler. He is known for Freud, Master and Friend (1949), The Creative Unconscious: Studies in the Psychoanalysis of Art (1942), and Masks of Love and Life, the Philosophical Basis of Psychoanalysis (1948).

In 1932, he emigrated to Boston where he helped to develop psychoanalysis and where he became one of the first nonmedically-trained faculty members at the Harvard Medical School. Sachs remains a major figure in the history of nonmedical analysis.

Back to Top

Integration and the Hampstead Index - Joseph J. Sandler 1927-1998

Joseph Sandler, who played a major role in psychoanalytic organizations, education, and theoretical advances, is not easily categorized as he proposed no new school of psychoanalysis but chose to integrate and update psychoanalytic theorizing. The range of his contributions is wide. He wrote of the representational world, the concept of safety, feeling states, role responsiveness, internal object relations, projective identification, unconscious fantasy, trauma, the basic psychoanalytic model, and the Hampstead Psychoanalytic Index in numerous books and journals, all the while attempting to transform traditional psychoanalytic drive theory to a more object relations model.

As an editor, he was exemplary. At one time he edited three journals: The International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, The International Review of Psycho-Analysis, and British Journal of Medical Psychology. He served as president of the International Psychoanalytical Association from 1991 to 1995.

Born in South Africa, Sandler received his PhD in psychology from London University in 1950 and graduated from the British Psychoanalytical Institute. Sandler first held the Freud Chair at London University and, for six years, held the Sigmund Freud Chair at Hebrew University, followed by the Freud Memorial Chair at University College, London until his retirement.

There is an edited book about his work Psychoanalysis on the Move: The Work of Joseph Sandler (1999). Among his books are: The Analysis of Defense: The Ego and the Mechanisms of Defense Revisited (with Anna Freud, 1985). What Do Psychoanalysts Want? The Problems of Aims in Psychoanalytic Thinking (with A. V. Dreher, 1996), Freud’s Models of the Mind: An Introduction (with others, 1997), From Safety to Superego: Selected Papers of Joseph Sandler (1987).

Back to Top

Interpersonal Psychoanalysis - Harry Stack Sullivan 1892–1949

Harry Stack Sullivan is generally regarded as the major founder of the interpersonal school of psychoanalysis. For Sullivan, psychoanalysis is, foremost, interpersonal and interactive. Rejecting Freud’s libido theory, the notion of the analyst as blank screen and a non-participant observer, he shares with other theorists such as Erich Fromm and Karen Horney, the object relations theorists, and ego psychologists a focus on adaptation, reality, the social field, the intersubjective field of experience, the analyst as participant observer, character analysis, and the modification of technique for the disturbed. Sullivan’s work on the treatment of schizophrenia is considered revolutionary. He defined psychiatry as “all that is known of persons and their interaction.”

Born in upstate New York, Sullivan obtained his medical training from the Chicago College of Medicine and Surgery, was co-editor of Psychiatry from 1939 to 1947, professor at the Washington School of Psychiatry, a consultant to UNESCO, and a president of the William Alanson White Foundation. In later life, he wrote on black youth in the South, anti-Semitism in Nazi Germany, and international hostilities. His work has influenced that of Edgar Levenson, Benjamin Wolstein, the William Alanson White Institute in New York, and its journal Contemporary Psychoanalysis. Sullivan’s major works are: Conceptions of Modern Psychiatry (1940), The Interpersonal Theory of Psychiatry (1953), The Psychiatric Interview (1954), Clinical Studies in Psychiatry (1956). There is a major biogrpahy by Helen Swick Perry Psychiatrist of America: The Life of Harry Stack Sullivan (1982).

Back to Top

The Good-Enough Analyst - Donald W. Winnicott 1896-1971

D. W. Winnicott introduced the concept of the “good-enough mother” by which he meant an ordinary woman whose maternal instincts protect the infant from anxiety and allow an illusion of omnipotence. Winnicott was convinced by his own clinical experience, first as a pediatrician and later as a child analyst, of the importance of the first months of infancy. He is often quoted as saying that there is no such thing as a baby but, instead, the mother-child interaction. He introduced significant concepts as transitional object, which bridges the gap between internal and external, and is the preparation for the later use of symbols.

Winnicott worked successfully with children and the severely disturbed and was able to tolerate considerable regression in his patients. His work is groundbreaking and even revolutionary in spite of the fact that he never founded a school.

Born in Devon, England he completed his medical training at Cambridge, worked first as a pediatrician and later completed his psychoanalytic training at the British Psychoanalytical Association where he served as president.

There is a study by Adam Philips, Winnicott, (1988), a selection of his letters, The Spontaneous Gesture: Selected Letters of D. W. Winnicott (edited by F. Robert Rodman, 1987), a study, The Facilitating Environment: Clinical Applications of Winnicott’s Theory (edited by M. Gerard Fromm and Bruce L. Smith, 1989), and a biography by Brett Kahr, D. W. Winnicott: A Biographical Portrait (1996).

His contributions include Collected Papers: Through Paediatrics to Psycho-Analysis (1958), Mother and Child. A Primer of First Relationships (1957), Maturational Process and the Facilitating Environment (1965), and Therapeutic Consultations in Child Psychiatry (1971).

Back to Top