When was SFI founded



The history and development of the Sigmund Freud Institute

The psychoanalysis founded by Sigmund Freud more than 100 years ago is traditionally closely connected with the city of Frankfurt am Main. Here a group of psychiatrists and psychologists, including Erich Fromm, founded
Klara Happel, Karl Landauer, Heinrich Meng, Frieda Fromm-Reichmann,
Ewald Roellenbleck and Franz Stein, in 1926 the psychoanalytic working group "Southwest German Working Group". Two years later the Frankfurt Psychoanalytical Institute (FPI) emerged from this. The science of the unconscious of the human psyche only flourished briefly in Frankfurt, the climax of which was the award of the Goethe Prize to Freud in 1930. After the National Socialists seized power, the FPI was forced to cease its activities in 1933. The mostly Jewish psychoanalysts had to emigrate.

Return of psychoanalysis

It was almost a quarter of a century before psychoanalysis returned to Frankfurt. Important impulses for this came from a large academic celebration on the occasion of Sigmund Freud's 100th birthday in 1956. The philosophers Theodor W. Adorno and Max Horkheimer, together with the psychoanalyst Alexander Mitscherlich, organized a series of lectures on psychoanalysis with internationally renowned speakers in Frankfurt and Heidelberg.

On April 27, 1960, at the suggestion of Theodor W. Adorno,
Max Horkheimer and Georg August Zinn, the then Prime Minister of Hesse, officially opened the institute and training center for psychoanalysis and psychosomatics founded in 1959. It was the first and only of its kind in Germany and, in addition to research activities, was to train doctors and psychologists to become psychoanalysts in the future. “A new psychoanalytic era begins in Germany” - so the words of Sigmund Freud's daughter Anna on the occasion of the opening. The first director of the institute was Alexander Mitscherlich, who combined the investigation of the unconscious with social psychology in a new way.

Development and changes of the SFI

Under Alexander Mitscherlich's direction from 1960 to 1976, the institute, which was renamed the Sigmund Freud Institute (SFI) in 1964, became the most important training center for psychoanalysts in Germany. It soon gained international recognition as well. In the following two decades, the SFI made an important contribution to coming to terms with the National Socialist past and to democratization in post-war Germany.

After Mitscherlich's departure in 1976, Clemens de Boor took over the management from 1976 to 1983, then from 1983 to 1985 (provisional) Hermann Argelander and then Dieter Ohlmeier from 1985 to 1992. During the following decade, in which the institute acquired a new legal form, Horst-Eberhard Richter headed the institute. From 2002 Marianne Leuzinger-Bohleber and (from 2004) Rolf Haubl jointly took over the management until 2016, and Heinz Weiß also started as head of the medical focus in 2012.

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

As early as 1995, the SFI was converted into a foundation under public law in order to devote itself exclusively to research in close cooperation with the Goethe University in Frankfurt and the University of Kassel. Since then, psychoanalytic training has taken place within the framework of the independent Frankfurt psychoanalytic (training) institutes.

Funding for the foundation supporting the SFI is the State of Hesse, the institute's goals are research in the fields of social psychology / sociology, psychology and medicine / psychosomatics as well as the promotion of young scientists.

In the institute, numerous psychoanalytically, clinically and / or socio-psychologically oriented and transdisciplinary research projects have been initiated and carried out in a broader sense 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 , such as the consequences of digitization and acceleration, migration and flight or the transgenerational transmission of trauma, changes in families and parent-child relationships, etc. research).