04/19/2024, 13:45, 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.)




In our interview series "in conversation with“, we will briefly present the authors of the leading articles. We want to give our users the opportunity to read the leading article from a different point of view.

This week we are very glad to welcome Brigitte Boothe:

Prof.em.Dr.phil., Psychoanalyst (formerly DPG, DGPT), Psychotherapist FSP

Professor emeritus (since 1.2.2013) of Clinical Psychology at the University of Zurich, Department of Clinical Psychology, Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis.
By 2013, Head of the psychotherapeutic psychoanalytic praxis at the psychotherapeutic center of the University of Zurich.
By 2015, Head of postgraduate education Master of Advanced Studies in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy of the University of Zurich.
By 2012, Director of the Interdisciplinary Psychoanalytic Forum of the University of Zurich and the ETH.
Since 2013 psychoanalyst and psychotherapist in the group practice "Psychotherapie Bellevue".

Scientific interests
Theory and empirical research of desire
Theory and practice of oral storytelling in psychotherapy and everyday life as well as the biographical and literary writing (continuous lectures and seminars)

Selected book publication:
Boothe, B. (Hrsg.) (2013). Wenn doch nur - ach hätte ich bloss. Die Anatomie des Wunsches. Zurich: Rüffer&Rub.

DWP: What brought you to psychoanalysis?

Brigitte Boothe: Employment with Prof. Dr. Annelise Heigl-Evers in Dusseldorf. Opportunity for academic advancement. Psychoanalytic training was required. I had a doctoral thesis on Wittgenstein´s later philosophy, so I knew about his criticism of Freud and was quite taken by it. So I found psychoanalysis initially abundant undisciplined.

DWP: If you had the opportunity to talk with Sigmund Freud, what would be the topic?
Are there any specific questions?

Brigitte Boothe: If only Mr. Freud you had, drafted in greater detail your theory of desire. Your wish-fulfillment theory of dreams and the importance of wishful thinking in everyday life I find convincing, therapeutically fruitful and useful if one uses it to track his own illusions. Only the wishes arises mental life, you say. Sounds interesting. Please, go on!
Then I tried it myself together with other writers:
Brigitte Boothe (Hrsg.). (2013). Wenn doch nur – ach hätt ich bloß. Die Anatomie des Wunsches. Zürich: Rüffer & Rub.

DWP: Fabric or leather couch?

Brigitte Boothe: Fabric warms more.

DWP: According to Bruno Bettelheim and the importance of fairy tales in childhood. Will you tell us your favorite fairy tale? And do you see parallels to your own adult life?

Brigitte Boothe: No, I have not Cinderella´s abilities. But with great pleasure I wrote about the story:
Cinderella: From the ashes in the shine. A female career.
Cinderella acts independently and undercover. In the face of hostile power she does not set the cards on the table. She does not despondent behind the stove, but goes in all her glory and as a wise seductress to the royal festivities. In the face of the domestic power differential she is externally obedient, but formulated as Bertolt Brecht parable of the measures against violence a free inner No.

DWP: I dream,….

Brigitte Boothe: Mostly the typical dream of projects that you want to bring to an end or complete (for example giving a lecture), but then continuously something comes up to block it, for example, I don’t manage to don my coat or I can’t finishing to pack the bag, or find the way to the lecture room, the manuscript is forgotten ...
And by the way, to a dream of Freud:
In Freud´s famous dream of "Irma´s injection" there is one remarkable detail: "I am frightened and look at her" - He looks up to the sufferer, to Irma who is marked from life and then also falls in his dream into concerned restlessness. This point is noteworthy for me, because in the dream characteristically when it comes to a fright, one escapes, the scene changes or one wakes up. Freud, however, looks at it, he even puts the fear object closer, and in fact he coolly wants to subjects Irma to a medical examination. - Watching carefully instead of repelling, right? So the proud Freud takes the "expedition to the Dark Continent", "moved the underworld".

DWP: What do you find good or particularly good in psychoanalysis and is there anything you do not like about it?

Brigitte Boothe: Psychoanalysis has excellent ideas to what it means to think and act in relationships. Psychoanalysis extended and extends till today the idea of what the spirit, imagination and mental life is. It enriches and deepens the narratology research, the handling of storytelling and narratives. Psychoanalysis has formulated what defense is and what great importance it has for mental regulation and communication in everyday life. Psychoanalysis has the makings of a cheerful science.
But there is also a humorless ideology of the deeper significance of what one thinks to know psychologically about social life and one beliefs to recognize ..

DWP: What challenges did you have to face during your analytic training?

Brigitte Boothe: We learners were very lucky. New and interesting, for example, interactional, also group-oriented concepts and ideas (especially by Annelise Heigl-Evers, Franz Heigl, Ulrich Streeck and Siegfried Zepf) played an important role in regards to the content. The clinical institution in Dusseldorf had ambulance and consultation service, in-patient psychotherapy and a day clinic. It was possible to try new things. The training was structured, well constructed; we were encouraged to come to a conclusion in a reasonable time. The climate of cooperation and exchange was open and stimulating.

DWP: Do you have a favorite Freud - quote?

Brigitte Boothe: “Following a well-known pronouncement of Kant’s which couples the conscience within us with the starry Heavens, a pious man might well be tempted to honour these two things as the masterpieces of creation. The stars are indeed magnificent, but as regards conscience God has done an uneven and careless piece of work,...” (Freud “New Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis”)

Thank you very much for this conversation, we are already looking forward to your leading article!

Contact information of the author:
Brigitte Boothe

Sigmund Freud Museum SFU Belvedere 21er haus stuhleck kunsthalle
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