Sigmund Freud Institute

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The Sigmund Freud Institute (SFI) is a research institute for psychoanalysis and its applications in Frankfurt am Main . It was founded in 1960 as an institute and training center for psychoanalysis and psychosomatics and has been named after the founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud , since 1964 . It has served as a research facility since 1995 and operates an outpatient clinic to care for patients with relationship conflicts or psychological and psychosomatic ailments.


The goals of the Sigmund Freud Institute are both research in the areas of social psychology / sociology, psychology and medicine / psychosomatics as well as the promotion of young scientists. The research focuses on the psychological effects of social change, the basics of psychoanalysis, prevention and psychotherapy research as well as psychoanalytic and social psychological analyzes of current developments. In the Sigmund Freud Institute, numerous psychoanalytical, clinical or socio-psychological and transdisciplinary research projects are carried out.


Memorial plaque for Karl Landauer on the facade of the Sigmund Freud Institute

From 1929 to 1933 there was already a psychoanalytic research group in the city from which the Frankfurt Psychoanalytic Institute emerged . Its founders and employees included psychoanalysts such as Karl Landauer , Heinrich Meng , Frieda Fromm-Reichmann , Erich Fromm and Siegmund Fuchs (who later called himself SH Foulkes ). After the National Socialists seized power , the Psychoanalytical Institute was closed in 1933, and all five analysts working at it emigrated. Karl Landauer, who fled to the Netherlands, was arrested there after the German occupation. He died in January 1945 in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp as a result of his imprisonment.

On April 27, 1960, the institute and training center for psychoanalysis and psychosomatics was officially founded, supported by the social scientists Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno and the Hessian Prime Minister Georg-August Zinn . On the occasion of the opening, Anna Freud wrote of a “new psychoanalytic era in Germany”. The first director was Alexander Mitscherlich , who combined the investigation of the unconscious with the social-psychological analysis of society in a new way. In 1964 the institute was renamed the Sigmund Freud Institute . In addition to research and psychotherapeutic care, it was the task of this institution to train doctors and psychologists to become psychoanalysts according to the guidelines of the German Psychoanalytic Association and the International Psychoanalytic Association . On October 14, 1964, the institute moved to Myliusstrasse 20 in the Westend .

After Mitscherlich's departure (1976), Clemens de Boor , Dieter Ohlmeier and Horst-Eberhard Richter , Marianne Leuzinger-Bohleber and Rolf Haubl headed the institute. Research and teaching in the SFI a. Tobias Brocher , Hermann Argelander , Alfred Lorenzer , Klaus Horn and Helmut Dahmer . The current managing directors are Vera King and Patrick Meurs, the head of the outpatient department is Hans Weiß.

Research institute since 1995

From 1959 to 1994 the institute was in the legal form of a state authority subordinate to the Hessian Ministry for Science and Art. Since 1995 the Sigmund Freud Institute has been transformed into a foundation under public law in order to devote itself exclusively to research in close cooperation with the Frankfurt Goethe University and the University of Kassel. Funding for the foundation supporting the SFI is the State of Hesse, the institute's goals are research in the areas of social psychology / sociology, psychology and medicine / psychosomatics as well as the promotion of young scientists. Since then, psychoanalytic training has taken place within the framework of the independent Frankfurt psychoanalytic (training) institutes. After moving to Myliusstrasse 20 in Frankfurt's Westend, a psychoanalytic center was also founded which, in addition to the SFI, unites legally independent psychoanalytic institutions under one roof: the Frankfurt Psychoanalytic Institute , the Institute for Analytical Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy in Hesse, the Frankfurt Working Group for psychoanalytic pedagogy and the Jewish Psychotherapeutic Advice Center Frankfurt am Main for children, adolescents and adults.

Since 2016 the Sigmund Freud Institute has been headed by Vera King (Director of the Sigmund Freud Institute as part of a collaborative professorship for sociology and psychoanalytic social psychology at Goethe University Frankfurt), Patrick Meurs (Director of the Sigmund Freud Institute as part of a collaborative professorship for psychoanalysis at the University of Kassel) and Hans Weiß (chief physician at the Robert Bosch Hospital Stuttgart) as head of the medical focus and the outpatient department of the Sigmund Freud Institute.

At the Sigmund Freud Institute, numerous psychoanalytical, clinical or socio-psychological and transdisciplinary research projects have been initiated and carried out: on the psychological consequences of social change, but also on the basics of psychoanalysis or prevention and psychotherapy research - on psychoanalytic and socio-psychological analyzes of the present.


The institute's research activities can be divided into five research subjects. In all ongoing projects, the SFI tries to pick up on the specific tradition of this institution and to integrate it into the work of a contemporary psychoanalytic research institute.

  • Social psychological analysis of the psychological effects of cultural change (e.g. digitization)
  • Psychological and psychosocial effects of flight and migration
  • Basic research and improvement of clinical and theoretical and general conceptual research in psychoanalysis
  • Research on psychotherapy, prevention, counseling, offer and evaluation
  • Generational research, particularly research on transgenerational traditional processes of trauma, the effects of National Socialism, violence and extremism


  • Gunzelin Schmid Noerr, Psychoanalysis in the service of a new beginning in society. How Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno promoted the re-institutionalization of psychoanalysis in post-war Germany, Lucifer & Amor, volume 58 (29th year 2016): American impulses for West German post-war psychoanalysis [3]
  • Tomas Plänkers, Michael Laier, Hans-Heinrich Otto, Hans-Joachim Rothe, Helmut Siefert (eds.): Psychoanalysis in Frankfurt am Main. Destroyed beginnings, rapprochement, developments. Edition diskord, Tübingen 1996, ISBN 3-89295-602-2 .
  • Michael Laier: The Frankfurt Psychoanalytic Institute. 1929-1933. Beginning of psychoanalysis in Frankfurt am Main. 2nd Edition. LIT-Verlag, Münster 1994, ISBN 3-89473-915-0 . ( Materials from the Sigmund Freud Institute 9), (Simultaneously: Frankfurt (Main), Univ., Diss., 1989).
  • Herbert Bareuther (Ed.): Research and healing. On the way to a psychoanalytic college. Contributions on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Sigmund Freud Institute. Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 1989, ISBN 3-518-28298-0 . ( Suhrkamp-Taschenbuch Wissenschaft 698).

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ The SFI on the official website of the city of Frankfurt [1]
  2. The Measured Life - Productive and Counterproductive Consequences of Quantification in the Digitally Optimizing Society [2]
  3. The opening of the Frankfurt Psychoanalytic Institute in 1929 (PDF) [3]
  4. Memorial plaque for Landauer in Frankfurt Archived copy ( Memento of the original from September 27, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  5. ^ Heinrich Meng on the memory [4]
  6. History of the FPI [5]
  7. Psychoanalysis International, V1: A Guide to Psychoanalysis [6]
  8. ^ Argelander at the SFI, Frankfurt [7]
  9. Intellectuals in the Federal Republic of Germany: Shifts in the Political Field of the 1960s and 1970s [8]
  10. Vera King's research on Google Scholar [9]
  11. on unsparing self-revelation, dreams and destructive moments in the work of the Austrian artist Richard Gerstl [10]
  12. Interview on the subject of integration: "The language bath is not good for all children" [11]
  13. ^ Heinz Weiss Sigmund Freud Institute Department of Psychosomatic Medicine, Robert Bosch Hospital, Stuttgart [12]
  14. Forgetting - Why we don't remember everything [13]
  15. ↑ Being young in times of war and displacement [14]