On This Day … 03 November [2022]

People (Deaths)

  • 1957 – Wilhelm Reich, Ukrainian-Austrian psychotherapist and author (b. 1897).

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), The Function of the Orgasm (1927), 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 public 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.

From 1956 to 1960 many of his writings and his equipment were seized and destroyed by FDA officials. In the 21st century some considered this wholesale destruction to be one of the most blatant examples of censorship in US history.

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 … 14 October [2022]

People (Births)

  • 1936 – Jürg Schubiger, Swiss psychotherapist and author (d. 2014).

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 … 30 September [2022]

People (Births)

  • 1897 – Charlotte Wolff, German-English physician and psychotherapist (d. 1986).
  • 1911 – Gustave Gilbert, American psychologist (d. 1977).

Charlotte Wolff

Charlotte Wolff (30 September 1897 to 12 September 1986) was a German-British physician who worked as a psychotherapist and wrote on sexology and hand analysis. Her writings on lesbianism and bisexuality were influential early works in the field.

Gustave Gilbert

Gustave Mark Gilbert (30 September 1911 to 06 February 1977) was an American psychologist best known for his writings containing observations of high-ranking Nazi leaders during the Nuremberg trials. His 1950 book The Psychology of Dictatorship was an attempt to profile the Nazi German dictator Adolf Hitler using as reference the testimonials of Hitler’s closest generals and commanders. Gilbert’s published work is still a subject of study in many universities and colleges, especially in the field of psychology.

On This Day … 15 September [2022]

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 … 12 September [2022]

People (Births)

  • 1914 – Rais Amrohvi, Pakistani psychoanalyst, poet, and scholar (d. 1988).
  • 1922 – Mark Rosenzweig, American psychologist and academic (d. 2009).

People (Deaths)

  • 1986 – Charlotte Wolff, German-English psychotherapist and physician (b. 1897).

Rais Amrohvi

Rais Amrohvi (Urdu: رئیس امروہوی), whose real name was Syed Muhammad Mehdi (1914-1988) was a Pakistani scholar, Urdu poet, paranormal investigator, and psychoanalyst and elder brother of Jaun Elia. He was known for his style of qatanigari (quatrain writing). He wrote quatrains for Pakistani newspaper Jang for several decade. He promoted the Urdu language and supported the Urdu-speaking people of Pakistan. His family is regarded as family of poets.

The Sindh Assembly passed The Sind Teaching, Promotion and Use of Sindhi Language Bill, 1972 that created conflict and language violence in the regime of Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, he wrote his famous poem Urdu ka janaza hai zara dhoom say niklay (It is the funeral of Urdu, carry it out with fanfare). He also intended to translate the Bhagavad Gita into standard Urdu.

Mark Rosenzweig

Mark Richard Rosenzweig (12 September 1922 to 20 July 2009) was an American research psychologist whose research on neuroplasticity in animals indicated that the adult brain remains capable of anatomical remodelling and reorganisation based on life experiences, overturning the conventional wisdom that the brain reached full maturity in childhood.

Charlotte Wolff

Charlotte Wolff (30 September 1897 to 12 September 1986) was a German-British physician who worked as a psychotherapist and wrote on sexology and hand analysis. Her writings on lesbianism and bisexuality were influential early works in the field.

On This Day … 21 August [2022]

People (Births)

  • 1921 – Reuven Feuerstein, Romanian-Israeli psychologist and academic (d. 2014).

People (Deaths)

Reuven Feuerstein

Reuven Feuerstein (21 August 1921 to 29 April 2014) was an Israeli clinical, developmental, and cognitive psychologist, known for his theory of intelligence which states “it is not ‘fixed’, but rather modifiable”.

Feuerstein is recognised for his work in developing the theories and applied systems of structural cognitive modifiability, mediated learning experience, cognitive map, deficient cognitive functions, learning propensity assessment device, instrumental enrichment programs, and shaping modifying environments. These interlocked practices provide educators with the skills and tools to systematically develop students’ cognitive functions and operations to build meta-cognition.

Feuerstein was the founder and director of the International Centre for the Enhancement of Learning Potential (ICELP) in Jerusalem, Israel. For more than 50 years, Feuerstein’s theories and applied systems have been implemented in both clinical and classroom settings internationally, with more than 80 countries applying his work. Feuerstein’s theory on the malleability of intelligence has led to more than 2,000 scientific research studies and countless case studies with various learning populations

Helen Bamber

Helen Rae Bamber OBE, née Helen Balmuth (01 May 1925 to 21 August 2014), was a British psychotherapist and human rights activist.

She worked with Holocaust survivors in Germany after the concentration camps were liberated in 1945. In 1947, she returned to Britain and continued her work, helping to establish Amnesty International and later co-founding the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture. In 2005, she created the Helen Bamber Foundation to help survivors of human rights violations.

Throughout her life, Bamber worked with those who were the most marginalised: Holocaust survivors, asylum-seekers, refugees, victims of the conflict in Northern Ireland, trafficked men, women and children, survivors of genocide, torture, rape, female genital mutilation, British former Far East prisoners of war, former hostages and other people who suffered torture abroad. She worked in many countries including Gaza, Kosovo, Uganda, Turkey and Northern Ireland.

On This Day … 02 August [2022]

People (Deaths)

Paul Goodman

Paul Goodman (1911–1972) was an American writer and public intellectual best known for his 1960s works of social criticism. Goodman was prolific across numerous literary genres and non-fiction topics, including the arts, civil rights, decentralisation, democracy, education, media, politics, psychology, technology, urban planning, and war. As a humanist and man of letters, his works often addressed a common theme of the individual citizen’s duties in the larger society, and the responsibility to exercise autonomy, act creatively, and realise one’s own human nature.

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 receiving his doctorate from the University of Chicago. He returned to writing in New York City and took sporadic magazine writing and teaching jobs, several of which he lost for his overt bisexuality and World War II draft resistance. Goodman discovered anarchism and wrote for libertarian journals. His radicalism was rooted in psychological theory. He co-wrote the theory behind Gestalt therapy based on Wilhelm Reich’s radical Freudianism and held psychoanalytic sessions 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. Despite being the foremost American intellectual of non-Marxist radicalism in his time, his celebrity did not endure far beyond his life. Goodman is remembered for his utopian proposals and principled belief in human potential.

On This Day … 26 July [2022]

Events

  • 1990 – The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 is signed into law by President George H.W. Bush.

People (Births)

Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 or ADA (42 U.S.C. § 12101) is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on disability.

It affords similar protections against discrimination to Americans with disabilities as the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which made discrimination based on race, religion, sex, national origin, and other characteristics illegal, and later sexual orientation and gender identity. In addition, unlike the Civil Rights Act, the ADA also requires covered employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities, and imposes accessibility requirements on public accommodations.

In 1986, the National Council on Disability had recommended the enactment of an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and drafted the first version of the bill which was introduced in the House and Senate in 1988. The final version of the bill was signed into law on 26 July 1990, by President George H.W. Bush. It was later amended in 2008 and signed by President George W. Bush with changes effective as of 01 January 2009.

Disabilities Included

ADA disabilities include both mental and physical medical conditions. A condition does not need to be severe or permanent to be a disability. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regulations provide a list of conditions that should easily be concluded to be disabilities:

Other mental or physical health conditions also may be disabilities, depending on what the individual’s symptoms would be in the absence of “mitigating measures” (medication, therapy, assistive devices, or other means of restoring function), during an “active episode” of the condition (if the condition is episodic).

Certain specific conditions that are widely considered anti-social, or tend to result in illegal activity, such as kleptomania, paedophilia, exhibitionism, voyeurism, etc. are excluded under the definition of “disability” in order to prevent abuse of the statute’s purpose. Additionally, gender identity or orientation is no longer considered a disorder and is also excluded under the definition of “disability”.

Carl Jung

Carl 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 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’. Her achievements as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bath in Bath were marred by controversy culminating in her dismissal in a dispute regarding her remuneration.

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.

On This Day … 26 June [2022]

People (Births)

Virginia Satir

Virginia Satir (26 June 1916 to 10 September 1988) was an American author and psychotherapist, recognised for her approach to family therapy. Her pioneering work in the field of family reconstruction therapy honoured her with the title “Mother of Family Therapy”. Her most well-known books are Conjoint Family Therapy, 1964, Peoplemaking, 1972, and The New Peoplemaking, 1988.

She is also known for creating the Virginia Satir Change Process Model, a psychological model developed through clinical studies. Change management and organisational gurus of the 1990s and 2000s embrace this model to define how change impacts organisations.

On This Day … 20 June [2022]

People (Births)

  • 1884 – Johannes Heinrich Schultz, German psychiatrist and psychotherapist (d. 1970).

Johannes Heinrich Schultz

Johannes Heinrich Schultz (20 June 1884 to 19 September 1970) was a German psychiatrist and an independent psychotherapist.

Schultz became world-famous for the development of a system of self-hypnosis called autogenic training.