Georg Groddeck

Last updated

Georg Walther Groddeck (13 October 1866 in Bad Kösen – 10 June 1934 in Knonau, near Zurich) was a physician and writer regarded as a pioneer of psychosomatic medicine.

Bad Kösen Stadtteil of Naumburg in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany

Bad Kösen  is a spa town on the Saale river in the small wine-growing region of Saale-Unstrut, Germany. It is a former municipality in the Burgenlandkreis district, in Saxony-Anhalt. Bad Kösen has a population of around 5,300. Since 1 January 2010, it has been a Stadtteil (part) of the town of Naumburg.

Knonau Place in Zurich, Switzerland

Knonau is a municipality in the district of Affoltern in the canton of Zürich in Switzerland.

Contents

Early life

Groddeck was born in a Lutheran family. [1] His works before World War I wholly accepted eugenics and Völkisch movement ideology. [2]

Eugenics Ethically controversial aims to improve the genetic quality of the human population through selective breeding

Eugenics is a set of beliefs and practices that aim to improve the genetic quality of a human population by excluding certain genetic groups judged to be inferior, and promoting other genetic groups judged to be superior. The definition of eugenics has been a matter of debate since the term was coined by Francis Galton in 1883. The concept predates the term; Plato suggested applying the principles of selective breeding to humans around 400 BC. Eugenics, in the modern understanding of the term, is seen by some as having close ties to white supremacism. However, many early advocates of eugenics considered it as a way of improving all groups of people, and modern bioethicists who advocate "liberal eugenics" liberal eugenics do not focus on groups of people, but instead on enhancing individual traits, regardless of group membership.

The Völkisch movement was a German ethnic and nationalist movement from the late 19th century up until the Nazi era. Erected on the idea of "blood and soil", inspired by the one-body-metaphor (Volkskörper) and the idea of naturally grown communities in unity, it was characterised by organicism, racialism, populism, agrarianism, romantic nationalism and, as a consequence of a growing exclusive and ethnic connotation, by antisemitism from the 1900s onwards.

Publications

In 1902 Groddeck published his first book, Ein Frauenproblem, dedicated to his wife; in 1909, the book Hin zu Gottnatur was released.

In 1913 he published Nasamecu. Der gesunde und der kranke Mensch (The healthy and the sick person), where "nasamecu" stands for the Latin motto " Natura sanat, medicus curat " Here Groddeck offers his understanding of what happens to the bones, muscles, the importance of food, talk about blood circulation, the eyes, the whole human body and what happens to this body when it obeys the orders of Isso (unconscious). According to these orders, a person becomes "healthy" or "sick."[ citation needed ]

In 1921 Groddeck published his first psychoanalytic novel, Der Seelensucher. Ein psychoanalytischer Roman, later published in English as "The Seeker of Souls". After reading it and promoting its publication Freud commended Groddeck to the Berlin Psychoanalytic Association. [3] Alfred Polgar in his comprehensive review (Berliner Tageblatt, 20 December 1921) found "nothing comparable among German books" and felt reminded of Cervantes, Swift, Rabelais. [4]

Alfred Polgar was an Austrian-born journalist, born into an assimilated Jewish family, one of the most renowned intellectuals of the Vienna coffeehouses.

In 1923 he published Das Buch vom Es, an unusual work in which each chapter is in the form of a letter to a girlfriend addressed as "my dear". [5]

Association with Sigmund Freud and psychoanalysis

In his introduction to the 1949 English version [6] of Groddeck's Das Buch vom Es (1923), [7] Lawrence Durrell comments that Groddeck is often mistaken for an orthodox disciple of Sigmund Freud. He goes on to say "Groddeck was the only analyst whose views had some effect on Freud", and "while he accepts and employs much of the heavy equipment of the master, he is separated forever from Freud by an entirely different conception of the constitution and functioning of the human psyche." [8]

Lawrence Durrell British novelist, poet, dramatist, and travel writer

Lawrence George Durrell was an expatriate British novelist, poet, dramatist, and travel writer. He was the oldest brother of naturalist Gerald Durrell.

Sigmund Freud Austrian neurologist and founder of psychoanalysis

Sigmund Freud was an Austrian neurologist and the founder of psychoanalysis, a clinical method for treating psychopathology through dialogue between a patient and a psychoanalyst.

Freud mentions Groddeck in The Ego and the Id , [9] crediting him with giving a name to what Freud had already given a local habitation, to wit, the Id.

Now I think we shall gain a great deal by following the suggestion of a writer who, from personal motives, vainly asserts that he has nothing to do with the rigours of pure science. I am speaking of Georg Groddeck, who is never tired of insisting that what we call our ego behaves essentially passively in life, and that, as he expresses it, we are "lived" by unknown and uncontrollable forces. We have all had impressions of the same kind, even though they may not have overwhelmed us to the exclusion of all others, and we need feel no hesitation in finding a place for Groddeck's discovery in the structure of science. I propose to take it into account by calling the entity which starts out from the system Pcpt. and begins by being Pcs. the "ego", and by following Groddeck in calling the other part of the mind, into which this entity extends and which behaves as though it were Ucs., the "id". (Freud 1927/1961, 13).

Groddeck eventually had acrimonious disagreement with Freud about the definition and limitations of the It/ Id /das Es. [10] [lower-alpha 1] Groddeck regarded the ego as an extension or a mask for the id, whereas Freud regarded them as separate constructs. [11]

In contrast to Freud, Groddeck was primarily engaged with the treatment of chronically ill patients. Groddeck is considered by many as a founder of psychosomatic medicine – his reservations against strict science and orthodox medicine made him an outsider among psychoanalysts till today. [12]

Groddeck was a controversial but important figure within the psychoanalytic movement. He attended the congress of the German psychoanalytic association in 1930. He was invited to lecture to the British Psychoanalytic Society in 1928, and invited by Felix Boehm to lecture at the Berlin Institute in 1930. Eitingon disliked Groddeck until being treated by him in 1928, after which he regarded him warmly. [13]

Views

Psychosomatic integrative approach

Zen philosopher Alan Watts said that when people came to Groddeck for analysis, he would give them massage, and when they came to him for massage, he would give them analysis. [14]

"He who draws the conclusion that I mentally medicate a human who has broken his leg is very true – but I adjust the fracture and dress the wound. And then – I give him a massage, make exercises with him, give a daily bath to the leg with water at 45 °C for half an hour and I take care that he does neither gorge nor booze, and every now and then I ask him: Why did you break your leg, you yourself ?" [15]

With such and other methods the German physician Georg Groddeck, who practised in Baden-Baden and was the pathfinder of psychosomatic medicine, [12] astonished his numerous listeners and readers. His therapy connects naturopathic treatment with psychoanalytic, suggestive and hypnotic elements. His foot and arm bath, massages and dietary cuisine are still practised today, [16] although the bold doctrine of salvation, where he vigorously massaged his patients, is necessarily quite authoritarian, and a more reserved approach would be judged appropriate today. He said “To provide obedience [is the] foundation of medical art".

In contrast to Freud, Groddeck interpreted all physiological symptoms as being psychological, caused by the It/Id/das Es, and sought to interpret them through psychoanalysis. [17]

Psychology

Groddeck believed that all feelings are ambivalent, affection is always mixed with animosity [18]

Religiosity

Groddeck was deeply interested in Christian mysticism. [19] [1] [20] He regarded psychoanalysis as identical with Jesus' teachings. [21] [1] Groddeck analyzed Christian symbols with psychoanalytic methods [22]

Alan Watts described Groddeck, saying, "He was a completely wonderful man because everybody felt calmed by him. They felt an atmosphere of implicit faith in nature and especially in your own inner nature. No matter what, there is a wisdom inside you which may seem absurd, but you have to trust it." [14]

Later years

Toward the end of his life, many colleagues and admirers asked Groddeck to form a society that would promote his ideas. To this request, he would laugh and reply:

Disciples like their master to stay put, whereas I should think anyone a fool who wanted me to say the same thing tomorrow as I said yesterday. If you really want to be my follower, look at life for yourself and tell the world honestly what you see. [23]

See also

Notes

  1. Freud never used the terms ego and id in his writings. These were translations of his German terms das Ich and das Es, which were common German words for "The I" and "The it" (Mills 2010, p. 89).

Citations

  1. 1 2 3 Hoffman 2011, p. 379.
  2. Fuechtner 2011, p. 85.
  3. Freud/Groddeck correspondence in Groddeck, Georg (1970). Schicksal, das bin ich selbst[Fate, that's me]. Limes Verlag.
  4. cited in Luetkehaus, Ludger (24 September 1998). "Der Nabel der Welt" [The Navel of the World]. Die Zeit.
  5. Groddeck, Georg (1951). The World of Man. Translated by Collins, V. M. E. London: Vision.
  6. Georg Groddeck, The Book of the It, Vision Press (1979 ed), ISBN   0-85478-234-6
  7. Groddeck, Georg (1923). Das Buch vom Es. Psychoanalytische Briefe an eine Freundin [ The Book of the It ] (in German). Vienna: Internationaler Psychoanalytischer Verlag.
  8. Durrell's introduction originally appeared as an essay, Number VI in the series "Studies in Genius," Horizon magazine (London), Vol. XVII No. 102, edited by Cyril Connolly, June 1948.
  9. Freud, Sigmund (1923). Das Ich und das Es (in German). Leipzig, Vienna, and Zurich: Internationaler Psycho-analytischer Verlag. English translation, The Ego and the Id. Translated by Riviere, Joan. London, UK: Hogarth Press and Institute of Psycho-analysis. 1927. Revised for Strachey, James, ed. (1961). The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud. New York, NY: W.W. Norton and Company.
  10. Fuechtner 2011, p. 73,82.
  11. Fuechtner 2011, p. 73.
  12. 1 2 Peter L. Rudnytsky, Reading Psychoanalysis: Freud, Rank, Ferenczi, Groddeck, Cornell Studies in the History of Psychiatry; Cornell University Press (November 2002), ISBN   0-8014-8825-7
  13. Fuechtner 2011, p. 82f.
  14. 1 2 Watts, Alan. Who is it who knows there is no Ego? (Speech). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HpwrTKNUY8k?t=39m via YouTube.
  15. Georg Groddeck, The Meaning of Illness: Selected Psychoanalytic Writings, International Universities Press (June 1977), ISBN   0-8236-3205-9
  16. Gerda Boyesen, "Entre psyché et soma", Payot (December 1996), ISBN   2-228-89064-2
  17. Fuechtner 2011, p. 73,83.
  18. Blumenfeld 2006, p. 125f.
  19. Blumenfeld 2006, p. 123.
  20. Rudnytsky 2002.
  21. Rudnytsky 2002, p. 219.
  22. Fuechtner 2011.
  23. Homer, Frederic D. (1988). The interpretation of illness. West Lafayette, Ind: Purdue University Press. ISBN   978-0-911198-88-1. OCLC   16090968.

Related Research Articles

Jacques Lacan French psychoanalyst and psychiatrist

Jacques Marie Émile Lacan was a French psychoanalyst and psychiatrist who has been called "the most controversial psycho-analyst since Freud". Giving yearly seminars in Paris from 1953 to 1981, Lacan influenced many leading French intellectuals in the 1960s and the 1970s, especially those associated with post-structuralism. His ideas had a significant impact on post-structuralism, critical theory, linguistics, 20th-century French philosophy, film theory, and clinical psychoanalysis.

Id, ego and super-ego three parts of the psychic apparatus defined in Sigmund Freuds structural model of the psyche

The id, ego, and super-ego are the three distinct, interacting agents in the psychic apparatus defined in Sigmund Freud's structural model of the psyche. The three agents are theoretical constructs that describe the activities and interactions of the mental life of a person. In the ego psychology model of the psyche, the id is the set of uncoordinated instinctual desires; the super-ego plays the critical and moralizing role; and the ego is the organized, realistic agent that mediates, between the instinctual desires of the id and the critical super-ego; Freud explained that:

The functional importance of the ego is manifested in the fact that, normally, control over the approaches to motility devolves upon it. Thus, in its relation to the id, [the ego] is like a man on horseback, who has to hold in check the superior strength of the horse; with this difference, that the rider tries to do so with his own strength, while the ego uses borrowed forces. The analogy may be carried a little further. Often, a rider, if he is not to be parted from his horse, is obliged to guide [the horse] where it wants to go; so, in the same way, the ego is in the habit of transforming the id's will into action, as if it were its own.

Arnold Zweig German writer

Arnold Zweig was a German writer and anti-war and anti-fascist activist. He is best known for his six-part cycle on World War I.

In psychoanalysis, anticathexis, or countercathexis, is the energy used by the ego to bind the primitive impulses of the Id. Sometimes the ego follows the instructions of the superego in doing so; sometimes however it develops a double-countercathexis, so as to block feelings of guilt and anxiety deriving from the superego, as well as id impulses.

In Freudian psychoanalysis, the pleasure principle is the instinctive seeking of pleasure and avoiding of pain to satisfy biological and psychological needs. Specifically, the pleasure principle is the driving force guiding the id.

Death drive concept from Freudian psychoanalytics

In classical Freudian psychoanalytic theory, the death drive is the drive toward death and self-destruction. It was originally proposed by Sabina Spielrein in her paper "Destruction as the Cause of Coming Into Being" in 1912, which was then taken up by Sigmund Freud in 1920 in Beyond the Pleasure Principle. This concept has been translated as "opposition between the ego or death instincts and the sexual or life instincts". In Pleasure Principle, Freud used the plural "death drives" (Todestriebe) much more frequently than in the singular.

Franz Alexander American Hungarian-born psychoanalyst

Franz Gabriel Alexander was a Hungarian-American psychoanalyst and physician, who is considered one of the founders of psychosomatic medicine and psychoanalytic criminology.

<i>The Ego and the Id</i> book by Sigmund Freud

The Ego and the Id is a prominent paper by Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis. It is an analytical study of the human psyche outlining his theories of the psychodynamics of the id, ego and super-ego, which is of fundamental importance in the development of psychoanalysis. The study was conducted over years of research and was first published in the third week of April 1923.

In Freudian psychoanalysis, the ego ideal is the inner image of oneself as one wants to become. Alternatively, "the Freudian notion of a perfect or ideal self housed in the superego," consisting of "the individual's conscious and unconscious images of what he would like to be, patterned after certain people whom ... he regards as ideal."

Resistance (psychoanalysis) oppositional behavior when an individuals unconscious defenses of the ego are threatened by an external source

Resistance, in psychoanalysis, refers to oppositional behavior when an individual's unconscious defenses of the ego are threatened by an external source. Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalytic theory, developed his concept of resistance as he worked with patients who suddenly developed uncooperative behaviors during sessions of talk therapy. He reasoned that an individual that is suffering from a psychological affliction, which Sigmund Freud believed to be derived from the presence of suppressed illicit or unwanted thoughts, may inadvertently attempt to impede any attempt to confront a subconsciously perceived threat. This would be for the purpose of inhibiting the revelation of any repressed information from within the unconscious mind.

Max Schur was a physician and friend of Sigmund Freud. He assisted Freud in euthanasia. Ernest Jones considered that "Schur was a perfect choice for a doctor...his considerateness, his untiring patience, and his resourcefulness were unsurpassable".

Paul Federn austrian-american MD & psychoanalyst

Paul Federn was an Austrian-American psychologist who was a native of Vienna. Federn is largely remembered for his theories involving ego psychology and therapeutic treatment of psychosis.

Metapsychology is that aspect of any psychological theory which refers to the structure of the theory itself rather than to the entity it describes. The psychology is about the psyche; the metapsychology is about the psychology. The term is used mostly in discourse about psychoanalysis, the psychology developed by Sigmund Freud, which today is regarded as a branch of science and/or a hermeneutics of understanding. Emphasis on the scientific status of psychoanalysis has been renewed in the emerging discipline of neuropsychoanalysis, whose major exemplar is Mark Solms. The hermeneutic vision of psychoanalysis is the focus of influential works by Donna Orange.

Electra complex generally defined as the girlss desire to possess the father and to compete with her mother for the possession of her parent

In Neo-Freudian psychology, the Electra complex, as proposed by Carl Jung in his Theory of Psychoanalysis, is a girl's psychosexual competition with her mother for possession of her father. In the course of her psychosexual development, the complex is the girl's phallic stage; a boy's analogous experience is the Oedipus complex. The Electra complex occurs in the third—phallic stage —of five psychosexual development stages: (i) the Oral, (ii) the Anal, (iii) the Phallic, (iv) the Latent, and (v) the Genital—in which the source of libido pleasure is in a different erogenous zone of the infant's body.

Ernst Simmel was a German-American neurologist and psychoanalyst.

<i>The Memory Wars</i> 1995 book by Frederick Crews

The Memory Wars: Freud's Legacy in Dispute is a 1995 book that reprints articles by the critic Frederick Crews critical of Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, and recovered-memory therapy. It also reprints letters from Harold P. Blum, Marcia Cavell, Morris Eagle, Matthew Erdelyi, Allen Esterson, Robert R. Holt, James Hopkins, Lester Luborsky, David D. Olds, Mortimer Ostow, Bernard L. Pacella, Herbert S. Peyser, Charlotte Krause Prozan, Theresa Reid, James L. Rice, Jean Schimek, and Marian Tolpin.

Narcissistic neurosis is a term introduced by Sigmund Freud to distinguish the class of neuroses characterised by their lack of object relations and their fixation upon the early stage of libidinal narcissism. The term is less current in contemporary psychoanalysis, but still a focus for analytic controversy.

<i>Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego</i> literary work

Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego is a 1921 book by Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis.

Edoardo Weiss (1891-1970) was the earliest Italian psychoanalyst, and the founder of psychoanalysis in Italy.

References

Further reading