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Frie, R. (2001). From Psychoanalysis to Daseinsanalysis: A Discussion of Martin Heidegger's Impact on Psychotherapy by Gion Condrau. Vienna: Edition Mosaic, 1998. 250 pp.. Contemp. Psychoanal., 37(1):153-167.

(2001). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 37(1):153-167

From Psychoanalysis to Daseinsanalysis: A Discussion of Martin Heidegger's Impact on Psychotherapy by Gion Condrau. Vienna: Edition Mosaic, 1998. 250 pp.

Review by:
Roger Frie, Ph.D.

THE READER might fairly ask what relation, if any, Martin Heidegger's philosophy has to psychoanalysis. A quarter century after Heidegger's death, Gion Condrau's book gives us the opportunity to consider this question. Unfortunately, Condrau only begins to address the connections between Heidegger and psychoanalysis, a topic that has remained largely underdeveloped. My discussion seeks to address this gap by assessing the ways in which Heidegger has influenced psychiatry and psychoanalysis and by illustrating the noteworthy parallels between Daseinsanalysis and the interpersonal and relational schools of psychoanalysis.

Together with Wittgenstein, Heidegger probably ranks as the foremost philosopher of the twentieth century. Heidegger and Wittgenstein are sometimes linked because their writings on the nature of mind and language have influenced most disciplines in the humanities, as well as areas of the social sciences (Rorty, 1991). As this book makes clear, Heidegger's impact on psychiatry and psychoanalysis must also be taken into account.

The author, Gion Condrau, is a psychiatrist and the director and elder statesman of the Daseinsanalytic Institute for Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics in Zurich, Switzerland. The Institute was founded by the Swiss psychiatrist Medard Boss (1903-1990), who worked closely with Heidegger from 1947 until the philosopher's death in 1976. Boss developed a philosophical approach to psychiatry known as “Daseinsanalysis.” The foundation and name for this approach was provided by Ludwig Binswanger (1881-1966), who was a colleague of Freud's and the first to apply Heidegger's thinking to the fields of psychiatry and psychoanalysis.

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