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Rado, Sandor


RADO, SANDOR (1890–1972), psychoanalyst. Born in Hungary, Rado became secretary of the Hungarian Psychoanalytic Society in 1913 during the presidency of Sandor *Ferenczi. In 1922 he was analyzed by Karl *Abraham in Berlin and from 1926 to 1930 was secretary of the German Psychoanalytic Society, playing an active part in organizing the training curriculum there. Sigmund *Freud appointed him managing editor of the Internationale Zeitschrift fuer Psychoanalyse in 1924 and three years later managing editor of Imago. In 1931, at the invitation of A.A. *Brill, Rado moved to the U.S., where he organized the New York Psychoanalytical Institute on the Berlin model. In 1944 Rado was appointed professor of psychiatry and head of Columbia University's pioneering psychoanalytic institute. He was subsequently professor of psychiatry at New York State University (1956–58) and from 1958 he organized a progressive teaching program in the New York School of Psychiatry.

Rado's contributions to psychiatry were threefold: in the sphere of classical psychodynamics; the quest for a basic conceptual system of mind; and the development of adaptational psychodynamics. In his early writings, which included two works on the problem of melancholia, Rado revealed his search for psychological realities rather than abstractions. His research into drug addiction developed the concept of "alimentary orgasm" (later, "narcotic elation") replacing genital satisfaction. During the years 1933–45, in his search for generally valid conceptual schemata, Rado wrote papers on the fear of castration in women (Die Kastrationsangst des Weibes, 1934) and the concept of bisexuality. His work culminated in his writings on adaptational psychodynamics. Rado questioned the therapist's exclusive preoccupation with the patient's past. He felt that the exploration of the past should be the beginning of an "emotional reeducation" of the patient in relation to his past and his adaptation to present reality.

His Collected Papers (Psychoanalysis of Behavior) appeared in 1956 and 1962 and Adaptational Psychodynamics: Motivation and Control in 1969. Rado also co-edited Changing Concepts of Psychoanalytic Medicine (1956).


F. Alexander, in: F. Alexander et al. (eds.), Psychoanalytic Pioneers (1966), 240–8 (incl. bibl.); New Perspectives in Psychoanalysis: Sandor Rado Lectures 19571963 (1965), vi–viii. add. bibliography: P. Roazen and B. Swerdloff, Heresy: Sandor Rado and the Psychoanalytic Movement (1995).

[Louis Miller /

Ruth Beloff (2nd ed.)]

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