Allgemeine Ärztliche Gesellschaft Für Psychotherapie

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The Allgemeine Ärztliche Gesellschaft für Psychotherapie (General Medical Society for Psychotherapy, AÄGP) was an organization of physicians headquartered in Germany dedicated to the promotion of psychotherapeutic theory and practice.

Its membership was comprised primarily of young internists and neurologists concerned with that aspect of a "crisis in medicine" having to do with a "materialist" university psychiatry beholden to abstract research and nosology (classification of diseases) instead of the prevention and treatment of mental disorders. Although there was some diversity of political and ideological opinion within the AÄGP, the membership by and large displayed a conservative medical critique of modern industrial society in general and the democratic Weimar Republic in particular. The AÄGP also sought to differentiate psychotherapy from neighboring disciplines inside and outside medicine; there was significant debate in particular about its relationship to psychiatry.

The AÄGP was founded as an international organization in 1928 with its own journal; its first annual congress had been held in Baden-Baden in 1926. In 1930 the journal was renamed Zentralblatt für Psychotherapie and was published in Leipzig until 1944. The society was reorganized in 1934 as a result of the Nazi seizure of power; a new InternationaleÄrztliche Gesellschaft für Psychotherapie in Zurich under the presidency of Carl Gustav Jung was created along with the Deutsche AllgemeineÄrztliche Gesellschaft für Psychotherapie under Matthias Heinrich Göring. In 1940 Göring succeeded Jung; the AÄGP was resurrected as a West German entity in 1948 under psychiatrist and former president Ernst Kretschmer.

While some individual psychoanalysts were members of the AÄGP, the German Psychoanalytic Society did not recognize such an organization of "wild analysts." Althoughand becauseit was one of the purposes of the AÄGP to unify the schools of thought in psychotherapy, criticism within it of psychoanalysis, especially after 1928, was common. The Freudians who were members of the AÄGP tended to be revisionists like Karen Horney, Georg Groddeck, Wilhelm Reich, and Harald Schultz-Hencke, or apostates such as Carl Gustav Jung, Alfred Adler, and Wilhelm Stekel. In this regard, it was ironic that under National Socialism the society, for largely political reasons but still in keeping with Freud's view of the dangers of the medicalization of psychoanalysis, opened its membership to lay practitioners.

Geoffrey Cocks

See also: Germany; Göring, Matthias Heinrich; Neopsychoanalysis; Schultz-Hencke, Harald Julius Alfred Carl-Ludwig.


Cocks, Geoffrey. (1997). Psychotherapy in the Third Reich: The Göring Institute (2nd rev. ed.). New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers.

Lockot, Regine. (1985). Erinnern und Durcharbeiten: zur Geschichte der Psychoanalyse und Psychotherapie im Nationalsozialismus. Frankfurt am Main: S. Fischer.

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Allgemeine Ärztliche Gesellschaft Für Psychotherapie

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