Dosuzkov, Theodor (1899-1982)

views updated


Theodor Dosuzkov, a physician and practicing psychoanalyst, was born on January 25, 1899, in Baku, then Russia, and died in Prague, Czechoslovakia, on January 19, 1982. He was the only child of a jurist aristocrat father and a Jewish mother.

The October 1917 revolution surprised the family in Saint Petersburg. They fled before the Red Army and finally arrived at Novorossiisk in 1919. There Theodor Dosuzkov took his baccalaureate and met his future wife, with whom he left the country in 1920 bound for Prague via Constantinople. The Prague government was offering grants to Russian students. He studied medicine from 1921 to 1927 and then worked in the university neurology clinic, specializing in neurology and psychiatry.

Through a circle of Russian intellectuals he met Nicolai Ossipov, who awakened his lifelong interest in psychoanalysis. When Ossipov died in 1934, Dosuzkov inherited his library and his correspondence with Freud. Internal intrigues prevented Dosuzkov from winning a university appointment. Disappointed, he left the university clinic and opened his own clinic in 1934 and practiced as a neurologist and psychoanalyst. He finished his psychoanalytic training in Prague with Annie Reich and then with Otto Fenichel.

Dosuzkov survived the German occupation of Czechoslovakia from 1939 to 1945, during which he continued to teach and practice psychoanalysis in secret as the only properly trained psychoanalyst in all of Czechoslovakia. Subsequently, he received the professional and moral support of his students in 1946. He then reestablished the Society for the Study of Psychoanalysis, resumed contact with colleagues in other countries, and was appointed training analyst by the International Psychoanalytic Association. From 1946 to 1948 Dosuzkov and his students engaged in intense scientific and therapeutic activity. In 1947 and 1948 Dosuzkov published articles in the Annales de psychanalyse (Annals of psychoanalysis), but the 1949 volume never appeared because of the putsch in 1948. Dosuzkov had to go underground again. In 1968, during the Prague Spring, he was finally able to work openly for a short time.

Dosuzkov's interests and scientific activity are important in the study of neuroses and in applied psychoanalysis. Dosuzkov forged the notion of scoptophobia as a fourth psychoneurosis and worked on other phobias, which he interpreted in relation to urethral erotism. He also wrote works popularizing psychoanalysis. His work had an immense influence on the introduction of psychoanalysis in Czechoslovakia. He was an indefatigable proponent of psychoanalysis among specialists and to the general public. He was recognized as a representative of the discipline, defending its viewpoints with fervor, even during politically disturbed periods. He was also important for his scientific contributions. As a student of Fenichel, Dosuzkov took an interest in the psychology of the instincts. Owing to his work, psychoanalysis has survived in Czechoslovakia to the present day.

He died in an accident in a railway yard closed to traffic. The circumstances surrounding his death have never been explained.

EugÉnie Fischer and RenÉ Fischer

See also: Czech Republic.


Dosuzkov, Theodor. (1965). Skoptophobie: die vierteÜbertragungsneurose. Psyche, 19, 537-546.

. (1965).Über die drei Haupttypen des neurotischen Stotterns. Acta XIII Congressus therapia vocis et loquelam, Vienna.

. (1969). Zur Frage der Dysmorphophobie. Psyche, 23, 683-699.

. (1975). Idrosophobia: A form of pregenital conversion. Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 64, 253-265.

. (1979). Skoptophobie bei männlichen und weiblichen Patienten. Psyche, 33, 620-633.