05/23/2024, 02:31, 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.)

Brexit Q&A with Susie Orbach

Author: Susie Orbach / Sabrina Zehetner (TVP)


Thank you for giving the psychoanalytic community outside of Britain the opportunity to ask questions related to Brexit – a topic that many people across the globe, and especially fellow Europeans, follow with a great deal of interest.

Britain’s decision to leave the European Union came as a great surprise to many Europeans - Were the British surprised by the referendum’s result? >> continue


“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

Psychoanalysis: A foreign field (Part II)

Author: Dany Nobus / Sabrina Zehetner (TVP)


In Part II, Dany Nobus discusses the Bloomsbury Group, the psychoanalytic tradition (or lack thereof) in the United Kingdom, Shakespeare and the status quo of mental health services.

When did psychoanalysis arrive in Britain? >> continue


This article aims to examine the special circumstances that mourning work has to take into account when dealing with relatives of the Desaparecidos - people who went missing during the last civilian-military dictatorship in Argentina.

I will examine how the absence of a beloved person’s body requires a different approach concerning the psychic apparatus and the mourning process. How does one mourn a missing person? >> 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


The ritual as a container or framework to act out the forbidden

The film excerpt documenting the destruction of the Lenin Monument on Maidan 2013/2014 (Techynskyi / Solodunov / Stoykov 2014, 16:37–25:00) focuses on a group of people who gather around the already fallen Lenin statue and start smashing it with a hammer.

The scene is imbued repeatedly with ambivalences.

The first feelings that emerge when watching the film sequence are disgust and revulsion: towards the "nationalist" mob, the nationalist slogans, the violence as a form of protest, the "lynch mob". In the course of the film excerpt, tension builds up, which is perceived partly as physical tremors.
>> continue


On the destruction of monuments in times of upheaval, using the example of the Revolution of Dignity 2013/2014 in the Ukraine


An old Russian proverb says, "Destroying is not building." To gain life experience, both destroying and being creative, building - are immanent. The problem of the human psyche often and again announces itself as the following problem of punctuation: "Destroy, not build?" Or "Do not destroy, build?".  >> continue

Can politics be psychoanalyzed?

Author: Sabrina Zehetner (TVP)


The status quo of the interplay between psychoanalysis and politics - Dr. David Bell and Dr. Martin Engelberg are familiar with both worlds.

Psychoanalysis in the Public Sphere

The election of Donald Trump has motivated not a few hobby psychoanalysts and journalists to analyze his behavior. Thus far he has been described as narcissistic, megalomaniac, and even fascist. To put political leaders on the public couch is not a new phenomenon. Body language and rhetoric in the context of politics have always been subjected to scrutiny, but are they really part of psychoanalysis? The field has had difficulties finding its place in the modern political debate and being taken seriously. >> continue


What distinguishes political from economic conduct and is it possible to analyze public figures like Trump? We met the US-based professor and expert on personality disorders to discuss leadership and the fundamental difference between personality and behavior.

In your lecture, you discussed the characteristics of leadership and you also talked about foresight as a form of intelligence. What promotes this foresight and how can one obtain it? Is it formal education, or experience?

Otto Kernberg: Intelligence is a complex concept comprised of various abilities. When we refer to “intelligence”, we are talking about a sum of cognitive abilities, basically measured by the level of abstract thinking. Abstract thinking is the best indication of general intelligence, but one can obtain and integrates knowledge in multiple ways. There is an emotional intelligence, a social intelligence, a mathematical intelligence. These are different concepts. First, intelligence is genetically determinated and related to the structure of the central nervous system, particularly the cerebral cortex.

So intelligence is partly determinated…

Otto Kernberg: Partly yes, partly it depends on the cognitive experiences during the first years of life – especially on how a child develops an interest in his own thinking in an environment that strengthens it, so that the interest in emotional and mental inner life is displayed, and there is the possibility to discuss it with the parents. Thereby, intelligence is developed in multiple ways, and is essentially as important as innate abilities. It really is a combination of abilities that stem from genetics and constitution as well as from environmental influences and interpersonal relationships in the first years of life, which then further develop. The special ability to extrapolate from current behavior to future developments is a special function that can be developed and learned, and as I said yesterday, the longer the span of the influence of current developments on the future, the higher is the institutionally vital intelligence that allows for the development of leadership in organizations and politics. >> continue

5 Royal Links to Psychoanalysis

Author: Sabrina Zehetner (TVP)


Royal Visitors! Prince Charles and Camilla pay Vienna a visit on their European tour. With Freud’s emigration to Great Britain, psychoanalysis gained popularity in England. What connects psychoanalysis with the British Monarchy? A story about brave spies and eccentric princesses.

Alice of Battenberg (25 February 1885 – 5 December 1969)

Alice of Battenberg was perhaps Freud’s most famous royal patient along with Marie Bonaparte. Congenitally deaf, Alice was the mother of Prince Philip and mother-in-law of Queen Elizabeth II. She and her husband Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark were forced to flee the country after a defeat against the Turkish army with Prince Andrew escaping execution only by a hair’s breadth with the help of Princess Alice’s royal relatives. The family moved to the outskirts of Paris, where Alice’s behavior became increasingly eccentric. The princess immersed herself in spirituality – religion and mysticism soon became crucial parts of her life. She was convinced she was in touch with Buddha and Jesus Christ and even claimed to have healing powers. She started to practice the art of hands-on healing to the point of exhaustion, was obsessed with occultism and believed herself to be saint-like. Eventually, Alice’s gynaecologist Dr. Lourus was consulted, who said she was showing signs of a psychosis and sent her to Dr. Ernst Simmel, a former colleague of Freud, to Tegel to undergo psychoanalysis – Dr. Simmels diagnosis: Paranoid Schizophrenia. >> continue


Bank Transfer is getting more and more popular among psychoanalysts and psychotherapists. Is the data protected and what are the potential risks? We checked with psychotherapists as well as banks and looked at the current legal situation in Austria.

There are two payment options offered by psychoanalysts and counselors in Austria –cash and credit card. Whilst bank transfer presents the easiest and fastest option, one not only transfers money but also data on who receives the money and to what purpose. The argument that the vitreous human is a phenomenon of the digital age is all too common and serves as a reminder of the careless attitude towards data protection.

Cash register and bank transfer

Since its implementation in 2016, the cash register hasn’t been very well-received by psychoanalysts and counselors. According to the ÖBVP (The Austrian Federal Association for Psychotherapy) there are no exact figures on how many psychotherapists own a register. For many psychotherapists, using a register entails high investment but low revenue. The widespread uncertainty, high effort and lack of information regarding technical requirements and legal status prevent many from obtaining a register. >> 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


“Come with me”
“Let’s go with the princess”
“Yes, I am a princess”

Landing is not the last effort they have to deal with. It is only one of the many obstacles they have to overcome in order to achieve freedom, their freedom. That freedom, strived for youth, made of freely living without any problems. “I’m an adolescent, I don’t know what´s happening to me. My body, my thoughts, everything is changing. Although changes and war, I must survive!” They are escaping: from war, hunger, thirst, violence, abuses, wiped out hopes and the forthcoming death. They abandon their family and friends. They are no longer safe. Their beautiful cities have been destroyed, overpowered by hate. That kind of hate, that lasts over time and does not make room. No room for anything, not even for corpses. “I could be one of those corpses, it’s better to run away!”. Once arrived, some are disoriented; their eyes are full of terror. That terror, which has infested their minds and hearts during these months lasting trip. Their eyes are lifeless because of physical and mental tortures inflicted both overboard and on land. Others arrive with the dream to rejoin a relative or a friend, which “made it through Europe!”. Sicily, we are almost there! Yes, I saw them. I had the honor to watch and go along with them during their last strain: the post-landing inspections. While they were arriving into the harbor of my city, I remembered all the newscast scenes and I can state that they are as we see them on television.

Trauma senza fine: giovani migranti in “fuga” dalla realtà
“Andiamo con la principessa”

“Venite con me”

“Andiamo con la principessa”
“Si, sono una principessa”
Lo sbarco non è l’ultima fatica che devono affrontare, è soltanto uno dei tanti ostacoli che devono superare per raggiungere la libertà, la loro libertà, quella a cui tutti i ragazzi aspirano, quella del vivere liberi dai problemi e godersi la vita: “Perché sono un adolescente, perché non so cosa mi sta succedendo, qui cambia tutto, il mio corpo cambia, cambiano i miei pensieri. Ma c’è la guerra, devo sopravvivere, intanto continuo a cambiare, ma devo sopravvivere!”. Scappano, scappano dalla fame, dalla sete, dalle violenze, dai maltrattamenti, dagli abusi, dalla morte dietro l’angolo, dalle speranze distrutte, dagli affetti, dagli amici, non sono più al sicuro. Le loro bellissime città sono distrutte, annientate dall’odio, quello che persiste nel tempo e non lascia spazio, non c’è spazio per nessuno, non c’è più spazio nemmeno per i cadaveri.  “Tra i cadaveri potrei esserci io, allora, Sì scappiamo!”. Arrivano disorientati, alcuni hanno gli occhi spenti dal terrore, quello che ha pervaso le loro menti e il loro cuore durante i mesi di viaggio, occhi spenti dalle torture fisiche e psicologiche subite in mare e in terra. Altri, arrivano con gli occhi sognanti, sognano di poter raggiungere un parente o un amico che “ce l’ha fatta”, è riuscito ad arrivare in Europa. Sicilia, ci siamo quasi! Si, io li ho visti, ho avuto l’onore di guardarli, di accompagnarli pochi minuti durante l’ennesima fatica, i controlli post-sbarco. Mentre li vedevo arrivare, scesi, dal gommone che dalla nave che li conduce dentro i confini del porto della mia città, ricordavo le scene che che mandano in tv, sì sono come li vediamo in tv. >> continue

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