Skip to main content

Federn, Paul


FEDERN, PAUL (1871–1950), Austrian psychoanalyst. Federn, the son of a distinguished Viennese physician, graduated from the medical school in Vienna. In 1904 he joined Freud's inner circle, being preceded only by three physicians: Adler, Stekel, and Reitler. His initial studies and publications combined the viewpoints of biology and psychology. In 1912 he contributed papers on sexual subjects and night fears and in 1913–14 papers on sadism, masochism, and dream interpretation, stressing the ego psychological point of view. He also wrote on telepathy and extrasensory perception. During World War i he was a doctor in the Austrian army. Federn devoted himself to the training of analysts and was the chairman of the education committee of the Vienna Society. His interest in social psychology led to a major work, a study of the psychology of revolution, Zur Psychologie der Revolution: Die vaterlose Gesellschaft (1919). In the 1920s he wrote papers on many psychoanalytic issues. After Freud's illness in 1924 Federn became his deputy, and continued that function until 1938, when he immigrated to the United States. Federn's most original findings were in the field of ego psychology and the psychoses. He contributed greatly to the understanding of the manifestations of the ego, the sources of its feeling, and the nature of its attachments to objects. His study of the ego, especially in dreams, neuroses, and schizophrenia, permitted him to develop important concepts – at times at variance with those of Freud – which came to be applied in new methods to the therapy of the psychoses. From 1940 the dynamics of the psychosis became clearer to him, and he published papers on the analysis of psychosis (1943) and on the psychotherapy of latent schizophrenia (1949). In his will, Federn entrusted Eduardo Weiss with editing his works on ego psychology, which appeared as Ego Psychology and the Psychoses (1953).


E. Weiss, in: F.G. Alexander et al. (eds.), Psychoanalytic Pioneers (1966), 142–59. add. bibliography: M.T. Melo de Carvalho, Paul Federnune autre voie pour la théorie du moi (1996); E. Federn, "Thirty-five Years with Freud – 100th Anniversary of Paul Federn, October 13, 1971," in: Psyche, 10 (1971), 721–37.

[Louis Miller]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Federn, Paul." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . 16 Jan. 2019 <>.

"Federn, Paul." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . (January 16, 2019).

"Federn, Paul." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Retrieved January 16, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.