On This Day … 27 February

People (Births)

People (Deaths)

  • 2012 – Tina Strobos, Dutch physician and psychiatrist (b. 1920).

Roberto Assagioli

Roberto Assagioli (27 February 1888 to 23 August 1974) was an Italian psychiatrist and pioneer in the fields of humanistic and transpersonal psychology. Assagioli founded the psychological movement known as psychosynthesis, which is still being developed today by therapists and psychologists, who practice the psychological methods and techniques he developed. His work, expounded in two books and many monographs published as pamphlets, emphasized the possibility of progressive integration, or synthesis, of the personality.

Assagioli received his first degree in neurology and psychiatry at Istituto di Studii Superiori Pratici e di Perfezionamento, in Florence in 1910. It was during this time he began writing articles that criticised psychoanalysis in which Assagioli argued a more holistic approach.

Once he finished his studies in Italy, Assagioli went to Switzerland, where he was trained in psychiatry at the psychiatric hospital Burghölzli in Zürich. This led to him opening the first psychoanalytic practice in Italy, known as Istituto di Psicosintesi. However, his work in psychoanalysis left him unsatisfied with the field of psychiatry; as a whole, as he felt that psychoanalysis was incomplete.

Tina Strobos

Tina Strobos, née Tineke Buchter (19 May 1920 to 27 February 2012), was a Dutch physician and psychiatrist from Amsterdam, known for her resistance work during World War II. While a young medical student, she worked with her mother and grandmother to rescue more than 100 Jewish refugees as part of the Dutch resistance during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. Strobos provided her house as a hiding place for Jews on the run, using a secret attic compartment and warning bell system to keep them safe from sudden police raids. In addition, Strobos smuggled guns and radios for the resistance and forged passports to help refugees escape the country. Despite being arrested and interrogated nine times by the Gestapo, she never betrayed the whereabouts of a Jew.

After the war, Strobos completed her medical degree and became a psychiatrist. She studied under Anna Freud in England. Strobos later emigrated to the United States to study psychiatry under a Fulbright scholarship, and she subsequently settled in New York. She married twice and had three children. Strobos built a career as a family psychiatrist, receiving the Elizabeth Blackwell Medal in 1998 for her medical work, and finally retired from active practice in 2009.

In 1989, Strobos was honoured as Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem for her rescue work. In 2009, she was recognised for her efforts by the Holocaust and Human Rights Education Centre of New York City.

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