The Berlin tradition in Chicago: Franz Alexander and the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis.
Freud considered Franz Alexander, the first graduate of the Berlin Psychoanalytic Institute and an assistant in the Berlin Polyclinic, to be one of our strongest hopes for the future. Alexander went on to become the first director of the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis in 1932 and modeled some of the Chicago Institute's mission on his Berlin experiences. He was also a researcher in psychosomatic medicine, a prolific writer about psychoanalysis and prominent in psychoanalytic organizations. As he proposed modifications in psychoanalytic technique, he became a controversial figure, especially in the elaboration of his ideas about brief therapy and the corrective emotional experience. This paper puts Alexander's achievements in historical context, draws connections between the Berlin and Chicago Institutes and suggests that, despite his quarrels with traditional psychoanalysis, Alexander's legacy may be in his attitude towards psychoanalysis, characterized by a commitment to scientific study, a willingness to experiment, and a conviction about the role of psychoanalysis within the larger culture.
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