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Deri, S. (1990). Szondi's Genetically Based Schicksalsanalysis as a Parameter of Psychoanalysis. Psychoanal. Rev., 77(4):503-510.

(1990). Psychoanalytic Review, 77(4):503-510

Szondi's Genetically Based Schicksalsanalysis as a Parameter of Psychoanalysis

Susan Deri

Lipot Szondi was a Hungarian-born physician who lived and worked in Zurich after World War II. The bulk of his work concerns the genetic, psychological, and psychiatric study of human destiny. A psychiatrist whose research in endocrinology led to a lifelong interest in human genetics, he was both a shrewd observer and a system maker of unique originality. He developed a theory of the effect of one's genetic heritage on life choices as well as on pathology. Clinically, his Schicksalsanalysis was intended to reveal the genetic underpinnings of repetitive transference configurations, through tracing familial patterns beyond the parental imprinting. In a slow-moving, highly personal writing style, consistent with his theory, he produced in five volumes and in unhurried epic form the scientific “story” of the nature of human destiny. Destiny is examined in the light of (1) Genetics, (2) Diagnostics, (3) Pathology, (4) Ego Psychology, and (5) Therapy.

His work centered on the extrication of the concept of “destiny” from its mythological and fatalistic connotations. The destiny-spinning Morae are identified as our personal genetic endowment, the genes handed down to each individual by an indeterminate number of ancestors. This biological substratum of the personality forms the inherited layer of the unconscious. To differentiate it from the Jungian collective unconscious and the Freudian repressed unconscious, Szondi called it the familial unconscious.


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