On This Day … 30 April [2022]

People (Births)

  • 1857 – Eugen Bleuler, Swiss psychiatrist and eugenicist (d. 1940).
  • 1878 – Władysław Witwicki, Polish psychologist, philosopher, translator, historian (of philosophy and art) and artist (d. 1948).
  • 1930 – Félix Guattari, French psychotherapist and philosopher (d. 1992).

Eugen Bleuler

Paul Eugen Bleuler (30 April 1857 to 15 July 1939) was a Swiss psychiatrist and humanist most notable for his contributions to the understanding of mental illness.

He coined several psychiatric terms including “schizophrenia”, “schizoid”, “autism”, depth psychology and what Sigmund Freud called “Bleuler’s happily chosen term ambivalence”.

Wladyslaw Witwicki

Władysław Witwicki (30 April 1878 to 21 December 1948) was a Polish psychologist, philosopher, translator, historian (of philosophy and art) and artist. He is seen as one of the fathers of psychology in Poland.

Witwicki was also the creator of the theory of cratism, theory of feelings, and he dealt with the issues of the psychology of religion, and the creation of secular ethics. He was one of the initiators and co-founders of Polish Philosophical Society. He is one of the thinkers associated with the Lwów-Warsaw school.

Felix Guattari

Pierre-Félix Guattari (30 March 1930 to 29 August 1992) was a French psychoanalyst, political philosopher, semiotician, social activist, and screenwriter.

He co-founded schizoanalysis with Gilles Deleuze, and ecosophy with Arne Næss, and is best known for his literary and philosophical collaborations with Deleuze, most notably Anti-Oedipus (1972) and A Thousand Plateaus (1980), the two volumes of their theoretical work Capitalism and Schizophrenia.

On This Day … 24 March [2022]

People (Births)

  • 1897 – Wilhelm Reich, Austrian-American psychotherapist and academic (d. 1957).

Wilhelm Reich

Wilhelm Reich (24 March 1897 to 03 November 1957) was an Austrian doctor of medicine and a psychoanalyst, along with being a member of the second generation of analysts after Sigmund Freud. The author of several influential books, most notably The Impulsive Character (1925), Character Analysis (1933), and The Mass Psychology of Fascism (1933), he became known as one of the most radical figures in the history of psychiatry.

Reich’s work on character contributed to the development of Anna Freud’s The Ego and the Mechanisms of Defence (1936), and his idea of muscular armour – the expression of the personality in the way the body moves shaped innovations such as body psychotherapy, Gestalt therapy, bioenergetic analysis and primal therapy. His writing influenced generations of intellectuals; he coined the phrase “the sexual revolution” and according to one historian acted as its midwife. During the 1968 student uprisings in Paris and Berlin, students scrawled his name on walls and threw copies of The Mass Psychology of Fascism at police.

After graduating in medicine from the University of Vienna in 1922, Reich became deputy director of Freud’s outpatient clinic, the Vienna Ambulatorium. During the 1930s, he was part of a general trend among younger analysts and Frankfurt sociologists that tried to reconcile psychoanalysis with Marxism. He is credited for establishing the first sexual advisory clinics in Vienna, along with Marie Frischauf. He said he wanted to “attack the neurosis by its prevention rather than treatment”.

He moved to New York in 1939, after having accepted a position as Assistant Professor at the New School of Social Research. During his five years in Oslo, he had coined the term “orgone energy” – from “orgasm” and “organism” – for the notion of life energy. In 1940 he started building orgone accumulators, modified Faraday cages that he claimed were beneficial for cancer patients. He claimed that his laboratory cancer mice had had remarkable positive effects from being kept in a Faraday cage, so he built human-size versions, where one could sit inside. This led to newspaper stories about “sex boxes” that cured cancer.

Following two critical articles about him in The New Republic and Harper’s in 1947, the US Food and Drug Administration obtained an injunction against the interstate shipment of orgone accumulators and associated literature, believing they were dealing with a “fraud of the first magnitude”. Charged with contempt in 1956 for having violated the injunction, Reich was sentenced to two years imprisonment, and that summer over six tons of his publications were burned by order of the court. He died in prison of heart failure just over a year later, days before he was due to apply for parole.

On This Day … 26 February

People (Births)

People (Deaths)

  • 1930 – Mary Whiton Calkins, American philosopher and psychologist (b. 1863).
  • 1969 – Karl Jaspers, German-Swiss psychiatrist and philosopher (b. 1883).

Emile Coue

Émile Coué de la Châtaigneraie (26 February 1857 to 02 July 1926) was a French psychologist and pharmacist who introduced a popular method of psychotherapy and self-improvement based on optimistic autosuggestion.

Considered by Charles Baudouin to represent a second Nancy School, Coué treated many patients in groups and free of charge.

Sandie Shaw

Sandie Shaw, MBE (born Sandra Ann Goodrich; 26 February 1947) is an English singer. One of the most successful British female singers of the 1960s, she had three UK number one singles with “(There’s) Always Something There to Remind Me” (1964), “Long Live Love” (1965) and “Puppet on a String” (1967). With the latter, she became the first British entry to win the Eurovision Song Contest. She returned to the UK Top 40, for the first time in 15 years, with her 1984 cover of the Smiths song “Hand in Glove”. Shaw retired from the music industry in 2013.

Mary Whiton Calkins

Mary Whiton Calkins (30 March 1863 to 26 February 1930) was an American philosopher and psychologist, whose work informed theory and research of memory, dreams and the self. In 1903, Calkins was the twelfth in a listing of fifty psychologists with the most merit, chosen by her peers. Calkins was refused a Ph.D. by Harvard University because of her gender.

Calkins is a key figure in the history of women psychologists. At Wellesley College, Calkins established the first psychological laboratory for women. She was the first woman to complete the requirements for a doctoral degree in psychology with the unanimous support of the Harvard University psychology faculty, although the University refused to bestow it on the grounds that Harvard did not accept women. She later became president of the American Psychological Association and the American Philosophical Association, and was the first woman to be president of both.

She taught psychology and philosophy at Wellesley College for four decades, and conducted research there and at Harvard University for the majority of that time.

Karl Jaspers

Karl Theodor Jaspers (23 February 1883 to 26 February 1969) was a German-Swiss psychiatrist and philosopher who had a strong influence on modern theology, psychiatry, and philosophy.

After being trained in and practicing psychiatry, Jaspers turned to philosophical inquiry and attempted to discover an innovative philosophical system. He was often viewed as a major exponent of existentialism in Germany, though he did not accept the label.

On This Day .. 12 January

People (Births)

  • 1896 – David Wechsler, Romanian-American psychologist and author (d. 1981).
  • 1914 – Mieko Kamiya, Japanese psychiatrist and psychologist (d. 1979).
  • 1941 – Fiona Caldicott, English psychiatrist and psychotherapist.

David Wechsler

David Wechsler (12 January 1896 to 02 May 1981) was a Romanian-American psychologist. He developed well-known intelligence scales, such as the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) and the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC).

Wechsler is best known for his intelligence tests. He was one of the most influential advocates of the role of non-intellective factors in testing. He emphasized that factors other than intellectual ability are involved in intelligent behaviour. Wechsler objected to the single score offered by the 1937 Binet scale. Although his test did not directly measure non-intellective factors, it took these factors into careful account in its underlying theory. The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) was developed first in 1939 and then called the Wechsler-Bellevue Intelligence Test. From these he derived the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC) in 1949 and the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence (WPPSI) in 1967. Wechsler originally created these tests to find out more about his patients at the Bellevue clinic and he found the then-current Binet IQ test unsatisfactory. The tests are still based on his philosophy that intelligence is “the global capacity to act purposefully, to think rationally, and to deal effectively with [one’s] environment”.

The Wechsler scales introduced many novel concepts and breakthroughs to the intelligence testing movement. First, he did away with the quotient scores of older intelligence tests (the Q in “I.Q.”). Instead, he assigned an arbitrary value of 100 to the mean intelligence and added or subtracted another 15 points for each standard deviation above or below the mean the subject was. While not rejecting the concept of general intelligence (as conceptualized by his teacher Charles Spearman), he divided the concept of intelligence into two main areas: verbal and performance (non-verbal) scales, each evaluated with different subtests.

A Review of General Psychology survey, published in 2002, ranked Wechsler as the 51st most cited psychologist of the 20th century.

Mieko Kamiya

Mieko Kamiya (神谷 美恵子, Kamiya Mieko, 12 January 1914 to 22 October 1979) was a Japanese psychiatrist who treated leprosy patients at Nagashima Aiseien Sanatorium.

She was known for translating books on philosophy. She worked as a medical doctor in the Department of Psychiatry at Tokyo University following World War II. She was said to have greatly helped the Ministry of Education and the General Headquarters, where the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers stayed, in her role as an English-speaking secretary, and served as an adviser to Empress Michiko. She wrote many books as a highly educated, multi-lingual person; one of her books, titled On the Meaning of Life (Ikigai Ni Tsuite in Japanese), based on her experiences with leprosy patients, attracted many readers.

Fiona Caldicott

Dame Fiona Caldicott, DBE, FMedSci (12 January 1941 to 15 February 2021) was a British psychiatrist and psychotherapist who also served as Principal of Somerville College, Oxford. She was the National Data Guardian for Health and Social Care in England until her death.

On This Day … 03 December

People (Births)

  • 1895 – Anna Freud, Austrian-English psychologist and psychoanalyst (d. 1982).
  • 1943 – J. Philippe Rushton, English-Canadian psychologist and academic (d. 2012).

People (Deaths)

  • 2008 – Robert Zajonc, Polish-American psychologist and author (b. 1923).
  • 2014 – Nathaniel Branden, Canadian-American psychotherapist and author (b. 1930).

Anna Freud

Anna Freud (03 December 1895 o 09 October 1982) was a British psychoanalyst of Austrian-Jewish descent. She was born in Vienna, the sixth and youngest child of Sigmund Freud and Martha Bernays. She followed the path of her father and contributed to the field of psychoanalysis. Alongside Hermine Hug-Hellmuth and Melanie Klein, she may be considered the founder of psychoanalytic child psychology.

Compared to her father, her work emphasized the importance of the ego and its normal “developmental lines” as well as incorporating a distinctive emphasis on collaborative work across a range of analytical and observational contexts.

After the Freud family were forced to leave Vienna in 1938 with the advent of the Nazi regime in Austria, she resumed her psychoanalytic practice and her pioneering work in child psychology in London, establishing the Hampstead Child Therapy Course and Clinic in 1952 (now the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families) as a centre for therapy, training and research work.

J. Philippe Rushton

John Philippe Rushton (03 December 1943 to 02 October 2012) was a Canadian psychologist and author. He taught at the University of Western Ontario and became known to the general public during the 1980s and 1990s for research on race and intelligence, race and crime, and other purported racial correlations.

Rushton’s work was heavily criticised by the scientific community for the questionable quality of its research, with many academics arguing that it was conducted under a racist agenda. From 2002 until his death, he served as the head of the Pioneer Fund, an organization that was founded in 1937 to promote eugenics and that in its early years supported Nazi ideology, for example, by funding the distribution in US churches and schools of a Nazi propaganda film about eugenics. The Pioneer Fund has been described as a white supremacist organisation and designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Centre.

Rushton was a Fellow of the Canadian Psychological Association and a onetime Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. In 2020 the Department of Psychology of the University of Western Ontario released a statement stating that “much of his research was racist” and his work was “deeply flawed from a scientific standpoint”. As of 2021, Rushton has had six research publications retracted.

Robert Zajonc

Robert Bolesław Zajonc (23 November 1923 to 03 December 2008) was a Polish-born American social psychologist who is known for his decades of work on a wide range of social and cognitive processes.

One of his most important contributions to social psychology is the mere-exposure effect. Zajonc also conducted research in the areas of social facilitation, and theories of emotion, such as the affective neuroscience hypothesis. He also made contributions to comparative psychology. He argued that studying the social behaviour of humans alongside the behaviour of other species, is essential to our understanding of the general laws of social behaviour. An example of his viewpoint is his work with cockroaches that demonstrated social facilitation, evidence that this phenomenon is displayed regardless of species. A Review of General Psychology survey, published in 2002, ranked Zajonc as the 35th most cited psychologist of the 20th century.

He died of pancreatic cancer on 03 December 2008 in Palo Alto, California.

Nathaniel Branden

Nathaniel Branden (born Nathan Blumenthal; 09 April 1930 to 03 December 2014) was a Canadian-American psychotherapist and writer known for his work in the psychology of self-esteem. A former associate and romantic partner of Ayn Rand, Branden also played a prominent role in the 1960s in promoting Rand’s philosophy, Objectivism. Rand and Branden split acrimoniously in 1968, after which Branden focused on developing his own psychological theories and modes of therapy.

On This Day … 14 October

People (Births)

Jurg Schubiger

Jürg Schubiger (14 October 1936 to 15 September 2014) was a Swiss psychotherapist and writer of children’s books. He won the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis (German Youth Literature Award) in 1996 for Als die Welt noch jung war.

For his “lasting contribution” as a children’s writer Schubiger received the biennial Hans Christian Andersen Medal in 2008. The award conferred by the International Board on Books for Young People is the highest recognition available to a writer or illustrator of children’s books.

On This Day … 19 September

People (Births)

Adam Phillips

Adam Phillips (born 19 September 1954) is a British psychotherapist and essayist.

Since 2003 he has been the general editor of the new Penguin Modern Classics translations of Sigmund Freud. He is also a regular contributor to the London Review of Books.

Joan Acocella, writing in The New Yorker, described Phillips as “Britain’s foremost psychoanalytic writer”, an opinion echoed by historian Élisabeth Roudinesco in Le Monde.

On This Day … 15 September

People (Deaths)

Jurg Schubiger

Jürg Schubiger (14 October 1936 to 15 September 2014) was a Swiss psychotherapist and writer of children’s books. He won the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis (German Youth Literature Award) in 1996 for Als die Welt noch jung war.

For his “lasting contribution” as a children’s writer Schubiger received the biennial Hans Christian Andersen Medal in 2008. The award conferred by the International Board on Books for Young People is the highest recognition available to a writer or illustrator of children’s books.

On This Day … 02 August

People (Deaths)

Paul Goodman

Paul Goodman (1911-1972) was an American author and public intellectual best known for his 1960s works of social criticism. Born to a Jewish family in New York City, Goodman was raised by his aunts and sister and attended City College of New York.

As an aspiring writer, he wrote and published poems and fiction before attending graduate school in Chicago. He returned to writing in New York City and took sporadic magazine writing and teaching jobs, many of which he lost for his outward bisexuality and World War II draft resistance. Goodman discovered anarchism and wrote for libertarian journals. He became one of the founders of gestalt therapy and took patients through the 1950s while continuing to write prolifically.

His 1960 book of social criticism, Growing Up Absurd, established his importance as a mainstream cultural theorist. Goodman became known as “the philosopher of the New Left” and his anarchistic disposition was influential in 1960s counterculture and the free school movement. His celebrity did not endure far beyond his life, but Goodman is remembered for his principles, outré proposals, and vision of human potential.

On This Day … 26 July

People (Births)

Carl Jung

Carl Gustav Jung, born Karl Gustav Jung (26 July 1875 to 06 June 1961), was a Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who founded analytical psychology. Jung’s work has been influential in the fields of psychiatry, anthropology, archaeology, literature, philosophy, psychology and religious studies. Jung worked as a research scientist at the famous Burghölzli hospital, under Eugen Bleuler. During this time, he came to the attention of Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis. The two men conducted a lengthy correspondence and collaborated, for a while, on a joint vision of human psychology.

Freud saw the younger Jung as the heir he had been seeking to take forward his “new science” of psychoanalysis and to this end secured his appointment as President of his newly founded International Psychoanalytical Association. Jung’s research and personal vision, however, made it impossible for him to follow his older colleague’s doctrine and a schism became inevitable. This division was personally painful for Jung and resulted in the establishment of Jung’s analytical psychology as a comprehensive system separate from psychoanalysis.

Among the central concepts of analytical psychology is individuation – the lifelong psychological process of differentiation of the self out of each individual’s conscious and unconscious elements. Jung considered it to be the main task of human development. He created some of the best known psychological concepts, including synchronicity, archetypal phenomena, the collective unconscious, the psychological complex and extraversion and introversion.

Jung was also an artist, craftsman, builder and a prolific writer. Many of his works were not published until after his death and some are still awaiting publication.

Glynis Breakwell

Dame Glynis Marie Breakwell DBE DL FRSA FAcSS (born West Bromwich, 26 July 1952) is the former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bath in Bath. She is a social psychologist and an active public policy adviser and researcher specialising in leadership, identity process and risk management. In January 2014 she was listed in the Science Council’s list of ‘100 leading UK practising scientists’.

Breakwell has been a Fellow of the British Psychological Society since 1987 and an Honorary Fellow since 2006. She is a chartered health psychologist and in 2002 was elected an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences.

Breakwell was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2012 New Year Honours for services to higher education. She is also a Deputy Lieutenant of the County of Somerset.