Emden, Jan Egbert Gustaaf van (1868-1950)

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Jan van Emden, Dutch physician and psychoanalyst, was born in Paramaribo, Surinam, on August 5, 1868, and died in the Hague on March 23, 1950, aged 82. He was trained as a medical doctor at the University of Leiden and received his degree in 1896 for his dissertation "Bijdragen tot de kennis van het bloed" (Contributions to knowledge of the blood). Van Emden met Freud in 1910 when the latter was vacationing in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, and they subsequently became good friends. During the First World War van Emden functioned as intermediary between Freud and Ernest Jones, who was instrumental in introducing psychoanalysis in England, and also arranged for Anna Freud's return to Vienna.

In 1912, after a short training with Freud, van Emden established himself in the Hague as one of the first practicing psychoanalysts there. He was a member of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society from 1911 to 1914. One of the founders of the Nederlandsche vereeniging voor psycho-analysise (Dutch society for psychoanalysis) in 1917, he was chairman from 1919-1929. In 1934 he became president after the split of the society and the founding of the Vereeniging van psychoanalytici in Nederland (New Dutch society of psychoanalysis).

Van Emden's contributions to psychoanalysis are modest. He was a regular participant in the Congresses of the International Psychoanalytical Association, at which he presented four papers (in 1913, 1918, 1924, and 1925). As a member of the Dutch society for psychoanalysis, he gave a number of presentations. He translated two works of Freud into Dutch: Five Lectures on Psycho-analysis and Thoughts for the Times on War and Death.

Jaap Bar and Christien Brinkgreve

See also: Netherlands.


Brinkgreve, Christien. (1984). Psychoanalyse in Nederland: een vestigingsstrijd. Amsterdam: Arbeiderspers.

Van Emden, Jan. (1912a). Over psycho-analyse. Leiden, Netherlands: Van Doesburgh. (Translation of Sigmund Freud, Five lectures on psycho-analysis.)

. (1912b). Selbstbestrafung wegen abortus. Zentralblatt für Psychoanalyse, 3, 647.

. (1917). Beschouwingen over oorlog en dood. Leiden, Netherlands: Van Doesburgh. (Translation of Sigmund Freud, Thoughts for the times on war and death.)

. (1925). Zur Bedeutung der Spinne in Symbolik und Folklore. Internationale Zeitschrift für Psychoanalyse, 11, 512-513.