Kouretas, Demetrios (1901-1984)

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Demetrios Kouretas, Greek psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, was born on July 8, 1901, in Chryssovitsi (a small village in Arcadia) and died in Athens on May 14, 1984. Kouretas was reared in Tripoli in Peloponnisos. He began his university studies in Athens and continued them at theÉcole de médecine de Lyon, then in Paris at the Salpêtrière and the Val-de-Grâce hospitals. On returning to Greece he worked as a neuropsychiatrist in various military hospitals, and in 1933 he was elected associate professor in the medical faculty of the University of Athens. In 1942 he was appointed to the chair of psychiatry and neurology at Salonika University, from which he resigned six years later. In 1964 he occupied the chair of psychiatry at the University of Athens.

His analytic career began by being analyzed by Andreas Embirikos and continued with a brief analysis by Marie Bonaparte (1949-1950?). He was a member of the first Greek psychoanalytic group, organized around Bonaparte in 1947, and in 1950 he was elected a full member of the Société psychanalytique de Paris (Paris Psychoanalytic Society). After the dissolution of the first Greek psychoanalytic group in 1951, Marie Bonaparte conducted a regular correspondence with him for several years. Through his university positions, Demetrios Kouretas influenced young physicians, yet he always continued to work privately as an analyst.

Kouretas's articles and books on clinical psychoanalysis and mythology enjoyed a large audience in Greece. They dealt with the theory and practice of psychoanalysis, and also with applied psychoanalysis, such as his study of the "Io complex" in Aeschylus's The Suppliants and Prometheus Bound (1949) and "The Actual Neuroses of the Danaides" (1957).

Anna Potamianou

See also: Greece.


Kouretas, Demetrios. (1949). Le complexe d'Io dans "Les suppliantes" et le "Prométhée enchaîné" d'Eschyle. Revue française de psychanalyse, 13 (3), 445-460.

. (1957). Psychanalyse et mythologie: la névrose actuelle des Danaïdes. Revue française de psychanalyse, 21 (4), 597-602.

Tzavaras, Athanase. (1984). La psychanalyse et la Grèce. Athens: Société d'études de la culture néohellénique et de l'éducation.