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Frieda Fromm-Reichmann

FROMM-REICHMANN, FRIEDA (1889–1957), U.S. pioneer of psychoanalytic psychiatry and psychotherapeutic teaching and research. Born in Karlsruhe, Germany, Frieda Fromm-Reichmann studied medicine, practiced in several German cities, and founded the South West German Psychoanalytic Institute. She worked at the "Weisser Hirsch" Sanatorium in Dresden, which was a crossroads of psychoanalysis, social reform, Jewish orthodoxy, and existentialist philosophy. With the advent of Nazism she left Germany in 1933 and went to the U.S., where she joined the Washington Psychoanalytic Society in 1935, worked at the William Alanson White Institute in New York, and at Chestnut Lodge in Rockville, Maryland. She believed in the voluntary acceptance of life's commitments and in acquiring the strength to accept criticism. She was also fearlessly critical, for instance, of Freud's concept of narcissistic neurosis, a psychotic withdrawal which he held to be inaccessible to treatment. She stimulated the application of linguistic and communications research to psychoanalysis, when participating in 1955 and 1957 at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, California. She influenced a wide circle of pupils. The popular fictional work I Never Promised You a Rose Garden (1964), written by Joanne Greenberg, a former patient, presented her therapeutic technique.

Her major books include Principles of Intensive Psychotherapy (1950) and Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy (1959, with full bibliography).

She was married to Erich *Fromm for four years from 1926.


A. Grinstein, Index of Psychoanalytic Writings, 2 (1957), 701–3; 6 (1964), 3256–58; Journal of the American Medical Association, 164 (Aug. 3, 1957), 1601. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: Gail A. Hornstein, To Redeem One Person Is to Redeem the World: The Life of Frieda Fromm-Reichmann (2000.)

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.