Viktor Emil von Gebsattel (1883-1976) – Life and Work

Viktor Emil Freiherr von Gebsattel was 1883 in Munich, the first son of General Constantine of the Bavarian cavalry Gebsattel (1854-1932) and his wife Marie, give. Baroness Karg of Bebenburg (1860–1927) born. He received the Catholic-dominated conservative parents strict upbringing, the military for a career was oriented towards.

A permanent stiffening of the knee, the result of a hunting accident, made an impossible military use, so Gebsattel first career diplomats sought. After graduation he studied law in Berlin therefore, but soon turned to philosophy to, because he Wilhelm Dilthey, a main representative of the then evolving and becoming quite popular philosophy of life, was impressed.

Study trips to Paris soon led Gebsattel, where he was by Henri Bergson, the most important French philosophers of life, was influenced. Gebsattel moved to Munich and received his doctorate under Theodor Lipps, where he became acquainted with the phenomenological method, would be for him and his life-long approach to psychotherapy determining. In Munich Gebsattel with the philosopher Max Scheler, of phenomenology in his thinking and united for Gebsattel always conducting Catholicism, close friend.

During several years as a private scholar learned Gebsattel numerous members of the intellectual and artistic elite of Europe know, so the poet Rilke and Hofmannsthal and the artists Rodin and Slevogt; in Munich, he frequented the circle around Stefan George, where he met, among others, Ricarda Huch, He corresponded with the long. Not sure of his ability as a writer, Gebsattel sought new fields of interest and came over Lou Andreas-Salomé, Rilke had with him made known, in contact with psychoanalysis. It first belonged to the inner circle around Freud, but always kept a certain distance from the soon-forming tendencies within the process; and later founded his own school does not Gebsattel. Of 1913-1920 He also completed a medical degree and was trained by a psychiatrist Kraepelin in Munich, while self-employed in private practice early psychoanalytic treatments conducted. After a personal crisis, Gebsattel the short term to be a disciple of the itinerant preacher Leonard Stark made, He took over in Berlin for some years a position in the psychiatric clinic Westend, before 1925 his own sanatorium opened in Fuerstenberg at the Havel. In developed during this period, they have mainly anthropological essays Gebsattel interest: man appears in it as an ever comprehended in the making, and inhibition of this becoming cause psychiatric disorders such as depression or compulsion. Closely related in his thinking Gebsattel Ludwig Binswanger and Erwin Straus.

After 1939 Gebsattel clinic had been seized as a hospital, He moved to Berlin, where he worked in private practice and as a training analyst at the so-called Göring Institute was. The Nazi regime, he remained hostile, was not in open confrontation. The employment in the State Department gave him, with the many opponents of the regime was a close friend, some protection. After his entire property was destroyed by a bomb, Gebsattel went briefly to the Vienna branch of the Institute, after the war, then to Überlingen, where his daughters had a house. For several years he ran a sanatorium at Badenweiler and was a lecturer at the University of Freiburg, before 1950 professor at the University of Wuerzburg changed and there founded the first university-settled in the Institute of Psychotherapy. As co-editor of several journals and books Gebsattel was the most important representatives of a phenomenological-anthropological oriented psychotherapy, the tools of psychoanalysis, but used and appreciated, the system alone is considered to be mechanistically. Gebsattel conducted as yet over 80 years of his institute; 1976 He died in Bamberg… Download


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From the Institute for Ethics and History of Medicine at the University of Tuebingen
Director: Professor Dr. Dr. You. Wiesing
Burkhard Scheible:
Viktor Emil von Gebsattel (1883-1976) - Life and Work
With. Diss. Tuebingen 2008
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