04/15/2024, 01:27, Vienna  DEUTSCH / ENGLISH

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Leading articles

THE VIENNA PSYCHOANALYST wants to give not only already internationally established psychoanalysts, but also still unknown psychoanalysts the opportunity to post a self-written and not yet published article on the FrontPage of our online magazine!

Our Users then can leave comments, ask questions or discuss the articles in our forum. Our aim is to provide an international platform where for the first time anyone interested in psychoanalysis can exchange ideas on certain topics.
Articles are welcome in German and/ or English.

If you are interested, please send your article to

(For reasons of readability, the male form is used with personal names, however the female form is also always intended.)


“If society is in danger, it is not because of man’s aggressiveness but because of the repression of personal aggressiveness in individuals” (Winnicott, 1991)

The word aggression is derived from the Latin word "aggredi" (deponent), which can be either translated as "charge, attack" or"advancing/charging forward (something)". The first translation indicates the hostility (destructiveness) associated with this term, while the other emphasizes its constructive potential. Both versions are legitimate interpretations of the term aggression. It is precisely this ambiguity that makes the discussion about aggression so delicate. Most people associate aggression solely with destruction and anti-social behavior. The perception of one´s own aggressive impulses causes feelings of fear or guilt that must be repressed, split off or compensated as of counteractions. >> continue

“My old and dirty Gods”

Author: Pamela Cooper-White


Freud’s consulting room has become a familiar historic image with its carpet-draped couch, and as is well known, every surface was laden with ancient archaeological figurines. With affectionate irony, he called them “meine…alten und dreckigen Götter[1].” These figures represented to Freud a metaphor for psychoanalysis itself – digging for long-buried evidence of powerful but often unacknowledged truths. That they were gods presents an even deeper mystery, never plumbed directly by Freud himself, but suggesting the simultaneous fascination and aversion characteristic of a neurotic symptom. >> continue


A transcultural, psychoanalytic essay for migrants.

The root of my interest in transcultural psychoanalysis is probably anchored in my own biography, and this interest grew while working with patients at the Sigmund Freud University’s outpatient clinic, and later in my own private practice. During my time at the outpatient clinic, I observed the phenomenon that many patients longed for psychotherapy in their native language, despite being proficient in German. This phenomenon took on a new dimension when individual patients preferred psychotherapy in German, although they were not proficient. >> continue

Who was Princess Alice of Battenberg? (Part I)

Author: Dany Nobus / Sabrina Zehetner (TVP)


In his interview with THE VIENNA PSYCHOANALYST, Professor Dany Nobus reconstructs the clinical history of Princess Alice of Battenberg and provides insight into the history of psychoanalysis.

What sparked your interest in Princess Alice of Battenberg? >> continue

What a piece of work is a man

Author: Sabrina Zehetner (TVP)


William Shakespeare and Sigmund Freud.

Everywhere I go, a poet has been here before me(Sigmund Freud)

No analysis will ever do justice to the scope and literary brilliance with which William Shakespeare illustrated the depths of the human condition. His iambic pentameter, or blank verse, is said to mimic the rhythm of the human heartbeat. The key to understanding his plays is empathy as the famous playwright had a profound and unsurpassed understanding of the human psyche - a gift that inspired both great admiration and ambivalence in Sigmund Freud. >> continue

What are the limits of scientific curiosity?

Author: Sabrina Zehetner (TVP)


On famous psychoanalysts and their study of parapsychology.

“You will learn nothing from this paper of mine about the enigma of telepathy; indeed you will not even gather whether I believe in the existence of “telepathy” or not.” (Dreams and Telepathy, Sigmund Freud, 1922)

As connoisseur of ancient Greek language and literature, Sigmund Freud must have had a nodding acquaintance with “Philopseudes” by the satirist Lucian of Samosata (the inspiration for “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe), in which the sharp-tongued author wittily ridicules those who believe in the supernatural.
>> continue

Transgenerational Trauma (Part II)

Author: Silvia Prosquill (TVP)


Trauma as Identification Process

Bohleber (1998) describes the transgenerational transmission of trauma as identification process and introduces 5 ”general characteristics” that are unique to this type of identification. First, the identification refers to a past event. Secondly, these processes refer to an absolute and crude identification with the parent. The traumatized parents require a „regulation of their precarious narcissistic balance and mentally take possession of the child out of necessity” by projecting the split, “written off” parts unconsciously onto the child.  >> continue

Transgenerational Trauma (Part I)

Author: Silvia Prosquill (TVP)


"Trauma is contagious“, states Judith Herman pointing towards the relationship between mental illness and how it is structurally passed on within different types of relationships. Freud already addressed the transgenerationally transmitted emotional processes in his book “Totem and Taboo”. He argues that

“[…] we may safely assume that no generation is able to conceal any of its more important mental processes from its successor. For psycho-analysis has shown us that everyone possesses in his unconscious mental activity an apparatus which enables him to interpret other people’s reactions, that is, to undo the distortions which other..."
>> continue


"Normopathy" refers to a social aberration whose collective pathology is no longer perceived or accepted because a majority of the population consistently thinks and acts in relation to the socially dominant values. It is dominated by the primitive defense mechanism: "What everyone does, cannot be wrong!"  >> continue


Abstract: I offer my reflections on the current state and future of psychiatry from the latest International Conference of Psychiatry and Philosophy celebrated in Madrid (November, 2017). Those who take seriously the philosophical nature of psychiatry are more sensitive to the lingering sense of impasse. Indeed, some openly expressed their frustration. >> continue

Satire on the Couch

Author: Sabrina Zehetner (TVP)


Dear Readers!

THE VIENNA PSYCHOANALYST is pleased to present today the first article written by o
ur editor Sabrina Zehetner.

Enjoy reading!

In an age of political conflicts and intense, public scrutiny on the internet, satire as Enfant Terrible has become ubiquitous. Looking back on a long history of ridicule and political dissent, satire - like psychoanalysis - discusses social taboos and human agency – satire on the couch.

Satire 2.0

The John Oliver Show, SNL, The Stephen Colbert Report, The Onion und Kate Beaton’s cartoons, the New Yorker and Charlie Hebdo – the list of modern satire is inexhaustible and multifaceted while the satirists’ motives are as diverse as their targets. It is not surprising that satire as a genre – as is the case with the majority of European cultural history – happens to be another child of ancient Greek poetry. At the English court, it was aristocrats such as the notorious John Wilmot (The 2nd Earl of Rochester) who could afford making fun of English royalty and its lifestyle. In its obscenity, however, these satirical works were in no way inferior to their modern successors. In France, the birthplace of the caricature, satirists the likes of Charles Philipon faced imprisonment for expressing dissent and criticizing royal agency. Later, during the French revolution, the genre played a significant role in empowering citizens through political engagement. As the court ceased to be the cultural center and the readership became increasingly heterogeneous, satire evolved into an independent art form. Finally part of the mainstream media, satire enjoyed great popularity and regular publication. The golden age of grand-scale satire written by the likes of Swift, Pope or Molière belongs to the past and gave way to Memes and Late-night-TV. In the digital age, where politicians find themselves under public scrutiny 24/7, leaders present the perfect target for satirists – paradoxically, the virtual reality both demands and persecutes authenticity. Good satire combines humor with informed critique. An audience only derives pleasure from satire when the irony is understood as such – if not due to opposing political views or misleading social critique, the genre ceases to be effective and even runs the risk of representing the very thing it set out to criticize. Why do we derive pleasure from an art form known for its obscenity and hostility? A number of modern critics refer to Freud, according to whom, the sadistic pleasure is gained through rhetoric violence while others link the release of aggression to the source of pleasure. Surprisingly, psychoanalysis has never properly addressed satire despite its topicality. >> continue


Intersubjectivity in psychoanalysis

As a result of dealing with the theory and technique of psychoanalysis, I came across the "theory of intersubjectivity" which brought me closer to my goal. I want to give a small insight. A definition that I find succeeded puts the patient and analyst at the center of understanding and shows that "psychoanalysis tries to illuminate phenomena that occur within a specific mental field, which through the intersection of two subjectivities - of the patient and the analyst - is constituted" (Atwood and Stolorow in Donna M. Orange et al. 2001, 11).

Subjectivity is presupposed in the theory of intersubjectivity. More precisely, it is about two or more different subjectivities and the interaction between these (cf. Donna M. Orange et al. 2001,11). The point is to understand that we can work and understand psychoanalytically only within the intersubjective field, that means, we "have to check the theories, the prejudices and assumptions that underpin our own subjectivity" (Donna M. Orange et al. 2001, 13). It is argued, "that relational contexts reciprocally constitute each other: As literary theorists sometimes say, the writer creates the reader, and the reader let the writer emerge" (Donna M. Orange et al 2001, 13). >> continue


Ferenczi´s contribution

On the question what psychoanalysis is, Freud once replied: "A conversation between two … people. [...] Nothing else goes on between them they just talk to each other" (Freud in Haynal, 2000, 11).

It soon turned out that this definition was more than insufficient, especially in terms of technique. "Freud has worked passionately for theoretical research, but the technique, the practice and the unique relationship were not always the focus of his interest" (Haynal, 2000, 13).

André Haynal presented in his book that there were problems associated with the technique, and that it had a double ambiguity: "In his technical writings he establishes rules, while he seems to devalue them elsewhere and says those rules are like bridges for > Beginners < [...] The second ambiguity - perceived or real - is in the contradiction between Freud’s practice as we know it by his case reports and from testimonies, and his > official < position as it appears in his writings on the technique" (Haynal, 2000, 1). >> continue

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