Expansionism and Interdisciplinarity: Applied Psychopathology in the Inter-War Period

  • David FreisEmail author
Part of the Mental Health in Historical Perspective book series (MHHP)


This chapter follows Erwin Stransky’s ‘applied psychiatry’ further into the inter-war period, when the idea increasingly began to attract attention beyond Vienna. As applied psychiatry gradually turned into an interdisciplinary endeavour, it lost most of its overtly right-wing political overtones. Instead, the ‘application’ of psychiatric knowledge was were the psy-ences encountered new topics and new aspects of society, as psychiatrists debated how art, literature, society, politics, and historiography could be explained and changed by their discipline. In Switzerland, a publication series on applied psychiatry was were some of the most influential psychiatric texts of the twentieth century, among them Rorschach’s study on ‘psycho-diagnostic’ inkblots, appeared. Back in Vienna, ‘applied psychopathology’, as the project had since been renamed, entered a contentious relationship with psychoanalysis, which included fierce polemics as well as the participation of current and former psychoanalysts in the emerging Association for Applied Psychopathology and Psychology. In 1930, participants from many European countries gathered in Vienna for the first international conference of the association.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Ethics, History and Theory of MedicineUniversity of MünsterMünsterGermany

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