psychiatry

Karl Jaspers and his Philosophy of Existentialism

Karl Jaspers and his Philosophy of Existentialism

On February 23, 1883, German-Swiss psychiatrist and philosopher Karl Jaspers was born. Jaspers had a strong influence on modern theology, psychiatry, and philosophy. He was often viewed as a major exponent of existentialism in Germany. “Man, if he is to remain man, must advance by way of consciousness. There is no road leading backward. … We can no longer veil reality from ourselves by renouncing self-consciousness without simultaneously excluding ourselves from the historical…
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Elisabeth Kübler-Ross and her Research in Death

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross and her Research in Death

On July 8, 1926, Swiss-American psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross was born. Kübler-Ross was a pioneer in near-death studies and the author of the groundbreaking book On Death and Dying (1969), where she first discussed her theory of the five stages of grief. “I believe that we are solely responsible for our choices, and we have to accept the consequences of every deed, word, and thought throughout our lifetime.” Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross [1] Elisabeth…
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Hans Berger and the Electroencephalogram

Hans Berger and the Electroencephalogram

On May 21, 1873, German psychiatrist Hans Berger was born. Berger is best known as the inventor of electroencephalography (EEG), coining the name, and the discoverer of the alpha wave rhythm known as “Berger’s wave”. Hans Berger was born in Neuses (today Coburg), Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Germany, the son of Paul Friedrich Berger,  chief physician of the regional asylum in Coburg [3], and his wife Anna Rückert. His maternal grandfather was the…
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Melanie Klein and the Psychoanalysis of Children

Melanie Klein and the Psychoanalysis of Children

On March 30, 1882, Austrian–British psychoanalyst Melanie Reizes Klein was born. Klein is known for her work with young children, in which observations of free play provided insights into the child‘s unconscious fantasy life, enabling her to psychoanalyze children as young as two or three years of age. She was a leading innovator in object relations theory. “Feelings of love and gratitude arise directly and spontaneously in the baby in response to…
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Nathan S. Kline – A Pioneer of Psychopharmacological Drugs

Nathan S. Kline – A Pioneer of Psychopharmacological Drugs

On March 22, 1916, American psychologist Nathan Schellenberg Kline was born. Kline is best known for his work with psychopharmacologic drugs. He pioneered in the biochemical treatment of mentally ill patients by introducing the use of such drugs as the antidepressants lithium and iproniazid and the tranquilizer resperin. Nathan Schellenberg Kline attended the New York University School of Medicine. He founded a research unit at Rockland State Hospital New York, which later became the Rockland Psychiatric Center,…
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R. D. Laing and the Anti-Psychiatry Movement

R. D. Laing and the Anti-Psychiatry Movement

On August 23, 1989, Scottish psychiatrist Ronald David Laing passed away. Laing is noted for his alternative approach to the treatment of schizophrenia. His first book, The Divided Self, was an attempt to explain schizophrenia by using existentialist philosophy to vividly portray the inner world of a schizophrenic, which Laing presented as an attempt to live in an unlivable situation. Laing’s views on the causes and treatment of serious mental dysfunction, greatly…
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Eugen Bleuler’s Research on Schizophrenia

Eugen Bleuler’s Research on Schizophrenia

On July 15, 1939, Swiss psychiatrist and eugenicist Paul Eugen Bleuler passed away. Bleuler is best known for his contributions to the understanding of mental illness and for coining the terms “schizophrenia“, “schizoid”, “autism“, and what Sigmund Freud called “Bleuler‘s happily chosen term ambivalence“. He was one of the first psychiatrists to apply psychoanalytical methods in his research, and was an early proponent of the theories of Sigmund Freud.[4,5] Eugen Bleuler grew…
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The Cathartic Method of Josef Breuer

The Cathartic Method of Josef Breuer

On June 20, 1925, Austrian physician Josef Breuer passed away. Breuer made some of the key discoveries in neurophysiology. His work in the 1880s with a patient known as Anna O. developed the talking cure (cathartic method) and laid the foundation to psychoanalysis as developed by his protégé Sigmund Freud. Born in Vienna, his father, Leopold Breuer, taught religion in Vienna’s Jewish community. Breuer’s mother died when he was quite young, and…
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Learning and Motivation according to Clark Leonard Hull

Learning and Motivation according to Clark Leonard Hull

On May 24, 1884, American psychiatrist Clark Leonard Hull was born. Hull sought to explain learning and motivation by scientific laws of behavior and is also known for his work in drive theory. He was able to establish his analysis of animal learning and conditioning as the dominant learning theory of its time. He is perhaps best known for the “goal gradient” effect or hypothesis, wherein organisms spend disproportionate amounts of effort in…
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Philippe Pinel – the Father of modern Psychiatry

Philippe Pinel – the Father of modern Psychiatry

On April 20, 1745, French physician Philippe Pinel was born. He was instrumental in the development of a more humane psychological approach to the custody and care of psychiatric patients, referred to today as moral therapy. He also made notable contributions to the classification of mental disorders and has been described by some as “the father of modern psychiatry“. Philippe Pinel was received his degree from the faculty of medicine in Toulouse and then…
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