Ludwig Binswanger (/ˈbɪnzwæŋər/; German: [ˈbɪsvaŋɐ]; 13 April 1881 – 5 February 1966) was a Swiss psychiatrist and pioneer in the field of existential psychology. His German-Jewish grandfather (also named Ludwig Binswanger) was founder of the "Bellevue Sanatorium" in Kreuzlingen, and his uncle Otto Binswanger was a professor of psychiatry at the University of Jena.
|Born||13 April 1881|
|Died||5 February 1966 (aged 84)|
Laurence A. Rickels
In 1907 Binswanger received his medical degree from the University of Zurich. As a young man he worked and studied with some of the greatest psychiatrists of the era, such as Carl Jung, Eugen Bleuler and Sigmund Freud. He visited Freud (who had cited his uncle Otto's work on Neurasthenia) in 1907 alongside Jung, approvingly noting his host's "distaste for all formality and etiquette, his personal charm, his simplicity, casual openness and goodness". The two men became lifelong friends, Freud finding Binswanger's 1912 illness "particularly painful", and Binswanger offering Freud a refuge in Switzerland in 1938.
Binswanger became a member of the early 'Freud Group' Jung led in Switzerland; but nevertheless wrestled throughout his life over the place of psychoanalysis in his thinking - his 1921 article on 'Psychoanalysis and clinical Psychiatry' being only one landmark of that lifelong struggle.
Binswanger was further influenced by existential philosophy, particularly after World War I, through the works of Martin Heidegger, Edmund Husserl, and Martin Buber, eventually evolving his own distinctive brand of existential-phenomenological psychology.
From 1911 to 1956, Binswanger was medical director of the sanatorium in Kreuzlingen.
Binswanger is considered the first physician to combine psychotherapy with existential and phenomenological ideas, a concept he expounds in his 1942 book; Grundformen und Erkenntnis menschlichen Daseins (Basic Forms and the Realization of Human "Being-in-the-World"). In this work he explains existential analysis as an empirical science that involves an anthropological approach to the individual essential character of being human.
Binswanger saw Husserl's concept of lifeworld as a key to understanding the subjective experiences of his patients, considering that "in the mental diseases we face modifications of the fundamental structure and of the structural links of being-in-the-world". For Binswanger, mental illness involved the remaking of a world - including alterations in the lived experience of time, space, body sense and social relationships. Where for example the psychoanalyst might only see "an overly strong 'pre-oedipal' tie to the mother", Binswanger would point out that "such overly strong filial tie is only possible on the premise of a world-design exclusively based on connectedness, cohesiveness, continuity".
Binswanger's Dream and Existence — which was translated from German into French by Michel Foucault who added a substantial essay-introduction — highlighted in similar fashion the necessity of "steeping oneself in the manifest content of the dream - which, since Freud's epoch-making postulate concerning the reconstruction of latent thoughts, has in modern times receded all to[o] far into the background". Eugène Minkowski had earlier introduced Binswanger's ideas into France, influencing thereby among others the early work of Jacques Lacan.
In his study of existentialism, his most famous subject was Ellen West, a deeply troubled patient whose case-study was translated into English for the 1958 volume Existence. Binswanger ascribed "schizophrenia" to her, and her case is included in his book "Schizophrenie". But few contemporary psychiatrists would accept this diagnosis. "Anorexia nervosa" is also misplaced. She felt an extreme urge for weight loss.
Through his adoption from Buber of the importance of the concept of dialogue, Binswanger can also be seen as an ancestor to intersubjective approaches to therapy. Binswanger emphasised the importance of mutual recognition, as opposed to the counterdependency of destructive narcissism, as described by Herbert Rosenfeld for example.
Ludwig Binswanger contributed much to the idea of existence in the school of existential psychology. He believed that human existence was complex in that one has control over how one exists. As he described, humans have the choice of existing as,"being a hunter, of being romantic, of being in business, and thus (we are) free to design (ourselves) toward the most different potentialities of being." He therefore believed that such an existence "transcends the being," making the being accessible to itself in numerous different outcomes in life based on the existential path one chooses. In addition to this belief, Binswanger also thought that you can only observe one's existence and/or unique personality by looking at it holistically, emphasized in this quote from Binswanger:
"It is a question of attempting to understand and to explain the human being in the totality of his/her existence. But that is possible only from the perspective of our total existence: in other words, only when we reflect on and articulate our total existence, the "essence" and "form" of being human."
Binswanger argued that there are certain modes of existence. These modes of existence, he believed, allowed humans and non-human animals to be separated based on this concept. These modes include:
The Umwelt can apply to both non-human animals and humans. It is the relationship between the organism and its environment. However, according to Binswanger, non-human animal cannot possess the world as humans do. Non-human animals, "can neither design world nor open up world nor decide independently in and for a situation. As for humans, they do possess the world in the way that they can transcend their being above the level of non-human animals by, "climbing above it (the world) in care and of swinging beyond it in love."
The Mitwelt refers to the mode of existence involved in inter-species relations. Specifically, this mode applies mainly to humans in the sense of human interaction. It also refers to the "shared world" that we have with other people, i.e., viewing our lives according to our relationships with other humans.
The Eigenwelt refers to a person's own subjective experience, or the "self world." In other words, the Eigenwelt is the relationship that one has with themselves. This mode of existence is the most difficult to grasp because of its vague definition.
Binswanger believed that to fully understand a person, you must take into account the specificities of all three modes of existence.
Weltanschauung (world-design) also applies to one's existence. An individual experiences the world through their own Weltanschauung, or world-design. A person's world-design is essentially how they view and open up to the world around them. This concept also is related to the modes of existence, as Binswanger points out:
"The world-design"..."is by no means confined to the environment to the world of things, or to the universe in general, but refers equally to the world of one's fellow men (Mitwelt) and to the self world (Eigenwelt)"
Two other concepts relate to Binswanger's view on existence, relating to the relationship between humans and the world or objects around them. Being-in-the-world is, "the normal and lawful interaction with the real-world environment that is considered primary to our way of existing in the world". It explains how we interact with our environment and the impact of that relationship. When "being-in-the-world," there are 3 general steps of assessment:
Being-beyond-the-world is the second of these concepts. This idea refers to how people can change their circumstances in the world by using free will. Similar to the concept of being-in-the-world, a person is transcended and is able to transform their world following their own motivations. Binswanger relates this idea to love, believing that, "it (love) takes us beyond the world of one's own self to the world of we-hood".
Abreaction (German: Abreagieren) is a psychoanalytical term for reliving an experience to purge it of its emotional excesses—a type of catharsis. Sometimes it is a method of becoming conscious of repressed traumatic events.Binswanger
Binswanger is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:
Harry Binswanger (born 1944), American philosopher
Ludwig Binswanger (1881–1966), Swiss psychologist, nephew of Otto Binswanger, important in existential psychology
Otto Ludwig Binswanger (1852–1929), Swiss neurologist and psychiatrist, uncle of Ludwig Binswanger
Otto Saly Binswanger (1854–1917), German-American chemist and toxicologist, cousin of Otto Ludwig BinswangerBrief psychotherapy
Brief psychotherapy (also brief therapy, planned short-term therapy) is an umbrella term for a variety of approaches to short-term, solution-oriented psychotherapy.Burghölzli
The Psychiatrische Universitätsklinik Zürich (Psychiatric University Hospital Zürich) is a leading psychiatric hospital in Switzerland. As a research hospital, it is associated with the University of Zürich. It is also called Burghölzli, after the wooded hill in the district of Riesbach in southeastern Zürich where it is located.
The former convent buildings of Predigerkirche Zürich were also used after the abolition of the monastery by the hospital. After the construction of the new hospital in 1842, they became the so-called "Versorgungsanstalt" where chronically ill, old, incurable mental patients were housed.
The history of the hospital began in the early 1860s, when internist Wilhelm Griesinger at the University of Zurich made plans for the creation of a modern psychiatric clinic for humane treatment of the mentally ill. Although Griesinger died before the building was established in 1870, he is considered the founder of the Burghölzli. From 1870 until 1879, the hospital had three directors, Bernhard von Gudden, Gustav Huguenin and Eduard Hitzig. All three men practiced medicine from a biological basis, with brain pathology and physiology being the general focus of their research.
Auguste-Henri Forel was the fourth director of Burghölzli, and spent nearly twenty years at the helm. Under his leadership, the hospital began to gain recognition throughout the medical world. Forel was able to combine the "dynamic approach" of French psychiatry with the biological orientation of the German school of psychiatric thought. In 1898 Eugen Bleuler became director of the Burghölzli, where he would remain until 1927. The "Bleuler era" is considered the most illustrious period at the hospital, largely due to the advent of psychoanalysis, usage of Freudian psychiatric theories, and the creative work of Bleuler's assistant, Carl Gustav Jung. Bleuler was followed as director by Hans-Wolfgang Maier and afterwards by his son Manfred Bleuler.
In addition to Jung, many renowned psychiatrists spent part of their career at the Burghölzli, including Karl Abraham, Ludwig Binswanger, Eugène Minkowski, Hermann Rorschach, Franz Riklin, Constantin von Monakow, Eugen Bleuler, Ernst Rüdin, Adolf Meyer, Abraham Brill and Emil Oberholzer. Albert Einstein's son, Eduard Einstein was a patient at Burghölzli. Today the Burghölzli is an important center for psychiatric research and the treatment of mental illness.Chaining
Chaining is an instructional procedure used in behavioral psychology, experimental analysis of behavior and applied behavior analysis. It involves reinforcing individual responses occurring in a sequence to form a complex behavior. It is frequently used for training behavioral sequences (or "chains") that are beyond the current repertoire of the learner. The term is often credited to the work of B.F. Skinner, an American psychologist working at Harvard University in the 1930s.Clinical pluralism
Clinical pluralism is a term used by some psychotherapists to denote an approach to clinical treatment that would seek to remain respectful towards divergences in meaning-making. It can signify both an undertaking to negotiate theoretical difference between clinicians, and an undertaking to negotiate differences of belief occurring within the therapeutic relationship itself. While the notion of clinical pluralism is associated with the practice of psychotherapy, similar issues have been raised within the field of medical ethics.Counterdependency
Counterdependency is the state of refusal of attachment, the denial of personal need and dependency, and may extend to the omnipotence and refusal of dialogue found in destructive narcissism, for example.Daseinsanalysis
Daseinsanalysis (German: Daseinsanalyse) is an existentialist approach to psychoanalysis. It was first developed by Ludwig Binswanger in the 1920s under the concept of "phenomenological anthropology". After the publication of "Basic Forms and Perception of Human Dasein" (German: Grundformen und Erkenntnis menschlichen Daseins), Binswanger would refer to his approach as Daseinsanalysis. Binswanger's approach was heavily influenced by the German philosopher Martin Heidegger and psychoanalysis founder Sigmund Freud. The theology of daseinsanalysis is centered on the thought that the human Dasein (Human existence) is open to any and all experience. That the phenomenological world is experienced freely in an undistorted way. This way initially being absent from meaning, is the basis for analysis. This theory goes opposite to dualism in the way that it proposes no gap between the human mind and measurable matter. Subjects are taught to think in the terms of being alone with oneself and grasping concepts of personhood, mortality and the dilemma or paradox of living in relationship with other humans while being ultimately alone with oneself. Binswanger believed that all mental issues stemmed from the dilemma of living with other humans and being ultimately alone.
After World War II a form of Daseinsanalysis that differed from Binswanger's evolved in Zurich by Medard Boss. This new form of Daseinsanalysis focused on the practical application of Heidegger's phenomenology to the theory of neuroses and psychotherapy. Boss worked closely with Heidegger and in 1957, published a work that directly critiqued Freud, Jung, and Binswanger. While Binswanger refused to institutionalize his "psychiatric Daseinsanalysis" and focused more on research, Boss focused on the psychotherapeutic values and opened the Swiss Society for Daseinsanalysis in 1970 and the Zurich Institute for Daseinsanalytic Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics in 1971. Here, Boss would use Daseinsanalysis as a form of therapy. This therapy focuses on what is obvious and what is immediately experienced. Trying to escape dualistic thinking and to establish a clear connection between body and soul. In this way, Daseinsanalysis is similar in environment to psychoanalysis, but differs in the interpretation of the experience.Ellen West
Ellen West (1888-1921) was a troubled patient of Dr. Ludwig Binswanger who suffered from anorexia nervosa and possibly other mental illness. She became a famous example of existential analysis who committed suicide at age 33 by poisoning.Eugène Minkowski
Eugène (Eugeniusz) Minkowski (French pronunciation: [øʒɛn mɛ̃kɔwski]; 17 April 1885 – 17 November 1972) was a French psychiatrist of Jewish Polish origin, known for his incorporation of phenomenology into psychopathology and for exploring the notion of "lived time". A student of Eugen Bleuler, he was also associated with the work of Ludwig Binswanger and Henri Ey. He was influenced by the phenomenological philosophy and the vitalistic philosophy of Henri Bergson, and by the phenomenologists Edmund Husserl and Max Scheler; therefore his work departed from classical medical and psychological models. He was a prolific author in several languages and regarded as a great humanitarian. Minkowski accepted the phenomenological essence of schizophrenia as the “trouble générateur” ("generating disorder") as he thought that it consists in a loss of “vital contact with reality” and shows itself as autism.Existential therapy
Existential psychotherapy is a form of psychotherapy based on the model of human nature and experience developed by the existential tradition of European philosophy. It focuses on concepts that are universally applicable to human existence including death, freedom, responsibility, and the meaning of life. Instead of regarding human experiences such as anxiety, alienation and depression as implying the presence of mental illness, existential psychotherapy sees these experiences as natural stages in a normal process of human development and maturation. In facilitating this process of development and maturation existential psychotherapy involves a philosophical exploration of an individual's experiences while stressing the individual's freedom and responsibility to facilitate a higher degree of meaning and well-being in his or her life.Jacques Schotte
Jacques Schotte (June 26, 1928 – September 18, 2007) was a Belgian psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, co-founder, in 1969, with Antoine Vergote and Alphonse De Waelhens of the Belgian School of Psychoanalysis.Kreuzlingen
Kreuzlingen is a municipality in the district of Kreuzlingen in the canton of Thurgau in north-eastern Switzerland. It is the seat of the district and is the second largest city of the canton, after Frauenfeld, with a population of about 20,800. Together with the adjoining city of Konstanz just across the border in Germany, Kreuzlingen is part of the largest conurbation on Lake Constance with a population of almost 120,000.
In 1874, the municipality of Egelshofen was renamed Kreuzlingen. It reached its present size with the incorporation of Kurzrickenbach in 1927 and Emmishofen in 1928.Lorna Smith Benjamin
Lorna Smith Benjamin (born 1934) is an American psychologist best known for her innovative treatment of patients with personality disorders who have not responded to traditional therapies or medications.Ludwig (given name)
Ludwig is an Old High German given name. Etymologically, the name can be traced back to the Germanic name Hludwig, composed of Hlud or Hluth meaning "famous", and Wig meaning "war". Nicknames are Ludva, Ludia, Luděk, Viky.
Ludwig may refer to many notable people:
Ludwig Mestler, an Austrian artist noted for his watercolor painting
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, a German painter and printmaker
Ludwig Levy, a German architect
Ludwig Merwart, an Austrian painter and graphic artist
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, a German American architectIn botany:
Ludwig Reichenbach, a German botanist
Carl Ludwig Blume, a German-Dutch botanist
Carl Ludwig Willdenow, a German botanistIn economics:
Ludwig von Mises, an Austrian economist
Ludwig Roselius, a German coffee baronIn fiction:
Ludwig Von Drake, character from Walt Disney's cartoons and comic books
Ludwig Von Koopa, one of the Koopalings from the Mario franchiseIn German nobility:
Ludwig I, count of Württemberg (1143–1158)
Ludwig II, count of Württemberg (1158–1181)
Ludwig I, count of Württemberg-Urach (1419–1450)
Ludwig II, count of Württemberg-Urach (1450–1457)
Ludwig IV, landgrave of Thuringia (1200–1227)
Ludwig I of Bavaria, king of Bavaria (1825–1848)
Ludwig II of Bavaria, king of Bavaria (1864–1886)
Ludwig III of Bavaria, last king of Bavaria (1913–1918)
Ludwig V (disambiguation), many a prince
Nicolaus Ludwig Zinzendorf, count of Zinzendorf and Pottendorf (1700–1760)
Friedrich Ludwig, Prince of Hohenzollern-Hechingen (1688–1750)
Ludwig IV, Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine (1877–1892) (also known in English as Louis IV)In literature:
Emil Ludwig, a German writer
Ludwig Bemelmans, an American author and children's book writer and illustrator
Ludwig Thoma, a German author
Ludwig Tieck, a German poet
Ludwig Uhland, a German poetIn music:
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827), German composer and pianist
Ludwig-Musser, manufacturer of drums and percussion instruments
Ludwig Minkus, an Austrian composer and violin virtuoso
Ludwig Spohr (1784–1859), German composer, violinist and conductorIn philosophy:
Ludwig Wittgenstein, Austrian philosopher who contributed several ground-breaking works to contemporary philosophy
Ludwig Andreas Feuerbach, a German philosopherIn physics and chemistry:
Ludwig Boltzmann, an Austrian physicist
Ludwig Prandtl, a German physicist
Ludwig Mond, a German chemistIn politics:
Ludwig Erhard, a West German chancellor
Ludwig Scotty, president of Nauru
Count Ludwig von Cobenzl, an Austrian diplomat and politicianIn other fields:
Ludwig W. Adamec (1924–2019), American academic and historian
Ludwig Aschoff, German physician and pathologist
Ludwig Beck, German general in Nazi Germany, who was involved in the 20 July Plot against Hitler
Ludwig, or Germany in an anime series Axis Powers Hetalia
Ludwig Binswanger, Swiss psychiatrist
Ludwig Fischer (1905–1947), German Nazi lawyer and government official executed for war crimes
Ludwig Gehre, German resistance fighter during World War II
Carl Ludwig Koch, German entomologist
Ludwig Leichhardt, Prussian explorer
Ludwig Müller, leader of the Protestant Reich Church
Ludwig Ingwer Nommensen, German Lutheran missionary to Sumatra who also translated the New Testament into the native Batak language.
Ludwig Ortiz, Venezuelan judoka
Ludwig Plagge (1910–1948), German SS officer at Auschwitz, Buchenwald and Majdanek concentration camps executed for war crimes
Ludwig Rödl, German chess master
Ludwig Runzheimer, German Nazi Gestapo officer executed for war crimes
Ludwig Schläfli, Swiss geometer who made important contributions to higher-dimensional spaces
Ludwig von Benedek, Austrian general
Ludwig von Erlichshausen, grand master of the Teutonic Knights
Ludwig von Bertalanffy, Austrian-born biologist known as one of the founders of general systems theory.Medard Boss
Medard Boss (October 4, 1903 – December 21, 1990) was a Swiss psychoanalytic psychiatrist who developed a form of psychotherapy known as Daseinsanalysis, which united the psychotherapeutic practice of psychoanalysis with the existential-phenomenological philosophy of friend and mentor Martin Heidegger. During his medical studies in Vienna, he initiated his psychoanalytic training by undergoing some psychoanalytic sessions with Sigmund Freud, an analysis he later continued at length in Zurich with Swiss psychoanalyst Hans Behn Eschenburg.
Also upon his return to Zurich, he trained at Burghölzli Hospital under the supervision of the psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler. He then went on to formal psychoanalytic training at the Berlin Psychoanalytic Institute where his supervisory analyst was Karen Horney. While at BPI he studied with Hanns Sachs, Otto Fenichel, Wilhelm Reich, and Kurt Goldstein.
He later went to London, where he worked closely with Ernest Jones for six months at the National Hospital for Nervous Diseases. Back in Zurich he was invited by Carl Gustav Jung to join a workshop with other medical doctors to study analytical psychology, an experience that lasted nearly ten years and helped Boss to see that psychoanalysis need not be limited to Freudian interpretations. It was during the 30's that Boss also became acquainted with Ludwig Binswanger, who introduced Boss to the works of philosopher Martin Heidegger.
During World War II, while serving in the Swiss Army, Boss began studying Heidegger's Being and Time and, upon the conclusion of the war, Boss contacted Heidegger, initiating a 25-year mentoring friendship. Through his study with Heidegger, Boss came to believe that modern medicine and psychology, premised on Cartesian philosophy and Newtonian physics, made incorrect assumptions about human beings and what it means to be human. He addressed an existential foundation for medicine and psychology two classic texts: Psychoanalysis and Daseinsanalysis (English version, 1963) and Existential Foundations of Medicine and Psychology (English translation, 1979).
Whereas Boss's older colleague Ludwig Binswanger, is recognized as the founder of the first systematic existential approach to psychiatry and psychopathology, Boss is regarded as having founded the first systematic approach to existential psychotherapy. Other significant contributions Boss made to the literature in existential psychotherapy include The Meaning and Content of Sexual Perversions (English Translation, 1949), The Analysis of Dreams (English Translation, 1958), and A Psychiatrist Discovers India (English translation, 1965).
Boss saw dreams as coming from a person’s life as a whole, not from a separate “dream state”. He also did not see the “unconscious” as a place where the denied impulses were kept, which was the way Freud presented it.Otto Binswanger
Otto Ludwig Binswanger (; German: [ˈbɪsvaŋɐ]; October 14, 1852 in Scherzingen, Münsterlingen – July 15, 1929 in Kreuzlingen) was a Swiss psychiatrist and neurologist who came from a famous family of physicians; his father was founder of the Kreuzlingen Sanatorium, and he was uncle to Ludwig Binswanger (1881–1966) who was a major figure in the existential psychology movement. He was brother-in-law to physiotherapist Heinrich Averbeck (1844–1889). Other notable family members include his son in law, Hans-Constantin Paulssen, the first president of the German Confederation of German Employers' Associations.Practitioner–scholar model
The practitioner–scholar model is an advanced educational and operational model that is focused on practical application of scholarly knowledge. It was initially developed to train clinical psychologists but has since been adapted by other specialty programs such as business, public health, and law.Vienna Psychoanalytic Society
The Vienna Psychoanalytic Society (German: Wiener Psychoanalytische Vereinigung, WPV), formerly known as the Wednesday Psychological Society, is the oldest psychoanalysis society in the world. In 1908, reflecting its growing institutional status as the international psychoanalytic authority of the time, the Wednesday group was reconstituted under its new name with Freud as President, a position he relinquished in 1910 in favor of Alfred Adler.Prominent members:
Isidor Isaak Sadger
Carl Alfred Meier