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Kronold, E. (1973). Otto Isakower (1899–1972). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 54:369-369.

(1973). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 54:369-369

Otto Isakower (1899–1972)

Edward Kronold

Friends of Otto Isakower were greatly perturbed when it became known, in February 1972, that he had cancelled his class at the Institute for the rest of the year. Such a measure could have been taken only in an emergency, in view of the importance he attached to teaching and the conscientious keeping of his schedule. As it turned out, he had to cut down on his professional activities at the insistence of his physician. He suffered from a serious cardiac ailment. He died three months later, on 10 May 1972.

Otto Isakower's life was dedicated to psychoanalysis. His scholarship and his wide-ranging intellect made him a challenging teacher. For years he had conducted a seminar in the technique of dream interpretation which earned him a singular reputation. He had been an influential figure in the field of psychoanalytic education and devised almost single-handed a completely new programme of courses at the Institute, which is still in force and which served as a model for other institutes. He studied new methods of teaching clinical psychoanalysis in supervision, focusing on the preconscious reaction of the listening analyst and the concomitant altered state of attention, which he referred to as 'the analysing instrument'.

Otto Isakower was born and educated in Vienna. He graduated from the medical school in 1923 and specialized in psychiatry at the Department of Psychiatry of the University of Vienna. A paper on optic-spatial agnosia, written with Paul Schilder, dates from this time.

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