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Psyche. Zeitschrift Für Psychoanalyse und IHR Anwendungen


Psyche. Zeitschrift für Psychoanalyse und ihr Anwendungen (Psyche: A Journal for Psychoanalysis and Its Applications) is the most important and most widely distributed German-language psychoanalytic journal. Seven thousand copies of it are printed every month.

Founded in 1947 by Hans Kunz, Alexander Mitscherlich, and Felix Schottlaender, it first appeared with the subtitle Jahrbuch für Tiefenpsychologie und Menschenkunde in Forschung und Praxis (Yearbook for Research and Practice in Depth Psychology and the Human Sciences). It adopted its current name in 1966, thus leaving no doubt about its Freudian orientation.

In the beginning Psyche represented a mixture of the teachings of Carl G. Jung, Sigmund Freud, Alfred Adler, and the neoanalysis of Harald Schultz-Hencke. This eclecticism, which escaped the attention of the first editors, was a hangover from the period when National Socialism grouped together the most diverse therapeutic schools in the Deutsches Institut für psychologische Forschung und Psychotherapie (German Institute for Psychological Research and Psychotherapy). In the 1950s Mitscherlich managed to acquire contributions from emigrant Freudian authors like Michael Balint, Erik H. Erikson, Heinz Hartmann, and Edith Jacobson, thus establishing a Freudian tradition that still characterizes the journal in 2005.

From its first decades up until the early 1970s, the journal aimed primarily to repromote knowledge of Freudian psychoanalysis, which had been destroyed or brushed aside in Germany by National Socialism, and to raise the scientific level of German psychoanalysis to that of international standards. Moreover, its editor Alexander Mitscherlich (who worked alone after 1968) sought from the beginning to relate psychoanalytic questions to social and cultural questions and to give the periodical the interdisciplinary orientation that has become its hallmark. Problems raised by Freud's theory of culture were always given priority treatment, although not to the detriment of the theoretical and clinical aspects of psychoanalysis.

In the 1970s and 1980s the journal opened its pages to discussion of the tense relations between psychoanalysis and feminism, and to the prickly question of to what degree and with what consequences the German psychoanalysts who did not emigrate between 1933 and 1945 had compromised themselves in National Socialist health policy. This question, which relates to the historical and moral complicity of German psychoanalysts, was the subject of an intense several-year controversy between the editors of the review and representatives of the German psychoanalytic societies. This controversy showed Psyche for what it really was: a journal that never considered itself merely a mouthpiece for the German psychoanalytic community.

After the death of Alexander Mitscherlich in 1982, the new editorsMargarete Mitscherlich, Helmut Dahmer, and Lutz Rosenköttercontinued the well-tried editorial policy of the journal. Since 1990 Margarete Mitscherlich has been the sole editor.

Hans-Martin Lohmann

See also: Germany; Marxism and psychoanalysis; Mitscherlich, Alexander.

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