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Dantlgraber, J. (2017). Wolfgang Loch and His Perception of the Principles of the Psychoanalytic Method. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 98(4):1121-1132.

(2017). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 98(4):1121-1132

Key Papers

Wolfgang Loch and His Perception of the Principles of the Psychoanalytic Method

Josef Dantlgraber

Wolfgang Loch would have been 100 years old on 10 May 2015. He is rightly seen as the most significant German-speaking theorist of psychoanalysis after the Second World War. It was for him that the, as yet, sole Chair for Psychoanalysis in Germany was established. Loch left a considerable oeuvre; 114 published works extant. Given the undoubted importance of his work it is surprising how little resonance his work has really received. Perhaps he did not make it easy for his readers with the pronounced density of his writing style. He thinks from an ex-centric position that creates distance. It is only when one is willing to enter into the complexity of his thinking and follow his theoretical abstractions that wide-ranging and inspiring perspectives emerge. In my appreciation of Loch's work I have found it necessary to concentrate on his core themes. Inevitably in the choice of these essentials my subjective views come into play. To do justice to the full substance of his thinking was not always possible.

The high degree of abstraction in Loch's writing shows just one side of his work: his behaviour as a supervisor showed him in quite the opposite light, for here the pragmatism of his approach was expressed. He also showed spontaneity and directness when acting as a Balint group leader. I cannot go into greater detail here on his work with Balint groups. In these he presented the theoretical foundations for the brilliant idea of the Balint group work and led such groups for many years.

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