04/19/2024, 15:00, 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 Evelyn Böhmer-Laufer from Vienna, Austria:

1950 Born as a child of Holocaust survivors.
1968 Matura and Bacchalauréat at Lycée Français de Vienne.
1968-71: University of Vienna (Psychology, Jewish Studies, Romance Studies)
1971-73: Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Psychology). Master of Arts (Hebrew University) and Magistra Phil. (University of Vienna).

Marked by the miracle of survival, Evelyn Böhmer-Laufer refutes the idea that something should be impossible and attempts to reconcile what appears as contradicting.

1971 Emigration to Israel; 1991 Return to Vienna.
1974-76 Training in Behavior Therapy (ÖGVT, Vienna)
1991-95: Psychoanalytic Training (WAP-Wiener Arbeitskreis für Psychoanalyse)
1970-90: Psychotherapy, child guidance, child and adult therapy, teaching and supervision (Hebrew University).
1992 Founding member of the Psychoanalytic Counseling Service of WAP in Vienna
1992-98: Founder and director of the Böhmer-Laufer Psychosocial Practicum at Maimonides Centre (BLPP/Seniors)
Since 2004: Founder and director of the Böhmer-Laufer peacecamp project (BLPP/Youth)
October 2013: Austrian Cross of Honour for Science and Art by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture

DWP: What brought you to psychoanalysis?

Evelyn Böhmer-Laufer: “Psychopathology of Everyday Life” and “Jokes and their relation to the unconscious" by Freud, read as a 17-year-old as part of the philosophy - classes at school: I was fascinated by the idea that there are forces inside ourselves which govern our actions, counter our will and sabotage our rational planning. I liked the signs that the unconscious sends us and the detective work of interpretation that can help decipher them.

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

Evelyn Böhmer-Laufer: I would ask him if he disappointed as I am about the discovery of the death instinct, the destructive instinct, about the desire for destruction inherent in human being. For a long time I did not want to believe this, I thought that a "good enough", loving, safe environment would lead to human beings with more love than hate, more libido than Thanatos; I wanted to see sadism, masochism, the urge to destruction, greed, envy as symptoms rather than as a universal part of every human being.

DWP: Fabric or leather couch?

Evelyn Böhmer-Laufer: Fabric with colorful cushions - I find leather cold.

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?

Evelyn Böhmer-Laufer: My favorite fairy tales are the ones I tell myself:
"If you wish it, it is no legend." (Theodor Herzl). "Si tu n´existais pas déjà... je t´inventerais" („If you didn’t exist, I would invent you“- I don’t even know who wrote this lyrics). My oldest hobby is wishful thinking, and yes, I believe that dreams can create reality, provided that you believe in them and that you don’t stop working towards realizing them.

I loved the tales of Erich Kästner, especially the " Lottie and Lisa (N.T.original German title: Das doppelte Lottchen "The double Lottie")” - because I fantasized having a twin sister, an alter ego, a doubling of myself, a soul mate, someone to always love and always support. 

Another book that I loved: „Die Regenbogenkinder“ (N.T. "The Rainbow Children") with personal dedication its author Joséphine Baker. It’s about a "family of different races and skin colors", and Kot-Kot, the little black chick that finds its home in this family.

DWP: I dream,….

Evelyn Böhmer-Laufer: I´m still dreaming about having the power and the opportunity to have an impact in the world. When I was a child, I fantasized that I could fly; or stand on stage and accomplish something great. Or discover, invent something very important. I am still asking myself what I could be when I’m grown up. WHEN I’m grown up. So yes - I dream of, no, I believe in the possibility of people staying alive and continuing to grow until they die.

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

Evelyn Böhmer-Laufer: Psychoanalysis helps me to see human beings and their weaknesses with a gentler and more understanding eye: so much of what drives us, is and was always there, in each of us. Psychoanalysis draws the picture of an imperfect human being. The psychoanalytic technique makes it possible to learn more about ourselves, and thus to increase our range of action. I like the idea: "knowledge is power" or "where id was, there ego shall be".

I do not like it when colleagues view psychoanalysis as a dogma, as something people (clients) have to subordinate themselves to. In my opinion, these colleagues fail to recognize the main thing. What is therapeutic is the encounter of the two persons involved in the analytical process, the psychoanalyst and the client. I would rather adapt the technique to the person than the contrary.

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

Evelyn Böhmer-Laufer: The biggest challenge is to remain authentic and faithful to yourself, not to let school-specific imperatives gag you. During training I would sometimes conceal from my supervisors passages which, to my feeling were the most profitable, in order to not be blamed of digressing from, or, even worse, of not mastering, psychoanalytic technique. But, though I find it important to master technique, I do not want to be controlled by it.

DWP: Do you have a favorite Freud - quote?

Evelyn Böhmer-Laufer: "Where id was, there ego shall be"

DWP:  Are there other psychoanalysts, in addition to Sigmund Freud, who you like to study?

Evelyn Böhmer-Laufer: D. W. Winnicott. Nobody else gave as expressive account of the early mother-child relationship and its contribution to the development of the self. And Margaret Mahler with her wonderfully comprehensible presentation of the slow "psychological birth of the human infant” stretching over the first three years of life leading to separation and individualization.

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

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