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Schilder, Paul Ferdinand


SCHILDER, PAUL FERDINAND (1886–1940), Austrian psychiatrist and psychoanalyst. Schilder was born in Vienna and studied medicine. His involvement with philosophic problems brought him to psychiatry; the year of his graduation he published three papers on neuropathological subjects. In 1914 his study of symbolism in schizophrenia intensified his earlier interest in Freud's work. Schilder combined concepts of the somatopsychic with Freud's idea of body ego and thus arrived at his own formulation of the body image. Along with his increasing interest in psychological and psychoanalytic problems, Schilder retained his deep interest in neuropathology, especially in early perception. The interrelation of the organic and psychological was to characterize Schilder's work for the rest of his life.

He published Selbstbewusstsein und Persoenlichkeitsbewusstsein (1914), in which he applied the principles of Edmund *Husserl's phenomenology to the psychiatric problem of depersonalization. After serving in World War i Schilder returned to Vienna to join the staff of Julius von Wagner-Jauregg's psychiatric clinic. He was invited to become a member of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society, and in 1920 he delivered his first paper, "Identification," before the society. While at the clinic he wrote on the psychogenic aspects of organic conditions of the brain and published Seele und Leben (1923); Medizinische Psychologie (1923; Medical Psychology, 1953); and Entwurf zu einer Psychiatrie auf psychoanalytischer Grundlage (1925; Introduction to a Psychoanalytic Psychiatry, 1952).

In 1928 Schilder accepted the invitation of Adolf Meyer to go to the Johns Hopkins University Medical School. He was appointed clinical director of psychiatry at Bellevue Hospital and research professor of psychiatry at New York University College of Medicine in 1930. Schilder's later publications include Brain and Personality (1951) and The Image and Appearance of the Human Body (1935). He continued his teaching and research with various coworkers, especially with Lauretta Bender, whom he married in 1937. He pioneered psychoanalytic group therapy and finally became interested in child psychology, in which field he was critical of many aspects of Freud's conclusions.


I. Ziferstein, in: F. Alexander et al. (eds.), Psychoanalytic Pioneers (1966), 457–68; O.F. Norton, Psychoanalytic Theory of Neurosis (1945), 650–2.

[Louis Miller]

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