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Danto, E.A. (1999). The Berlin Poliklinik: Psychoanalytic Innovation in Weimar Germany. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 47(4):1269-1292.

(1999). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 47(4):1269-1292

The Berlin Poliklinik: Psychoanalytic Innovation in Weimar Germany

Elizabeth Ann Danto

After Freud proposed in 1918 the creation of “institutions or out-patient clinics [where] treatment will be free,” Max Eitingon, Ernst Simmel, and other progressive psychoanalysts founded the Berlin Poliklinik, a free outpatient clinic. Guided by Weimar Republic principles of “radical functionalism,” the Poliklinik and its companion inpatient service, the Schloss Tegel Sanatorium, pioneered treatment and training methodologies still used—and still debated—today. Their funding strategies, statistics, and approaches to clinical problems like length of treatment tell the history of an innovative psychoanalytic institute where men and women were generally treated in equal numbers and patients (ranging in occupational status from unemployed to professional) of all ages were treated free. Franz Alexander, Karl Abraham, Theresa Benedek, Paul Federn, Otto Fenichel, Edith Jacobson, Karen Horney, Erich Fromm, Helene Deutsch, Hanns Sachs, Sándor Radó, Hermine von Hug-Hellmuth, Wilhelm Reich, Annie Reich, and Melanie Klein all worked at the Poliklinik, and from there initiated decades of original clinical theory, practice, and education.

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