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Frieda Fromm-Reichmann (1889–1957)

Author of Principles of Intensive Psychotherapy

Includes the names: Frieda Fromm- Reichmann

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Frieda Fromm-Reichmann was born to an Orthodox Jewish family in Karlsruhe, Germany. Her mother Klara Reichmann, a teacher, helped establish a preparatory school for girls who wanted to go to university, and one of her aunts was instrumental in the establishment of kindergartens in Germany. In 1908, Frieda became one the first women in Germany to study medicine when she attended medical school in Königsberg, where she graduated in 1913. She undertook a residency in neurology and studied brain trauma with Kurt Goldstein, a neurologist and psychiatrist. During World War I, she served as an officer in the German Army and ran a clinic for brain-injured German soldiers again working with Dr. Goldstein. She studied the soldiers' anxieties and panic issues as well as their physical injuries and latter applied this knowledge to her work with patients suffering from mental illness. After she discovered Sigmund Freud's writings, she undertook psychoanalytic training at the Berlin Psychoanalytic Institute. She worked in a sanitarium near Dresden, was a visiting physician at a psychiatric clinic in 1923, and established a small private psychoanalytic facility in Heidelberg. She fell in love with Erich Fromm, a psychoanalyst and social psychologist who was one of her patients as well as a co-worker. They stopped their analysis and married in 1926. They helped found the Frankfurt chapter of the German Psychoanalytic Society and the Psychoanalytic Institute of Southern Germany. The couple divorced in 1942 and Frieda moved to France and later to the USA to escape the Nazis. She worked as a resident psychiatrist at Chestnut Lodge, a mental hospital in Maryland, for 22 years. Besides Erich Fromm, her most famous patients were Joanne Greenberg, who later wrote a fictionalized account of her time at Chestnut Lodge entitled I Never Promised You a Rose Garden (1964), and Rollo May. Dr. Fromm-Reichman wrote Principles of Intensive Psychotherapy'(1960) and published scholarly articles on migraine, psychosis, and other topics. She joined Erich Fromm and others to found the William Alanson White Institute, a famed psychoanalytic institute in New York City.
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