IPU Spotlight

Dr. Leonie Kempe wird mit Wilhelm-Bitter-Forschungspreis ausgezeichnet
Für ihre Forschungsarbeit zur zentralen Rolle der Abwehrmechanismen für den Zusammenhang von grandiosem und vulnerablem Narzissmus, hat jüngst die IPU-Juniorprofessorin Leonie Kempe den Wilhelm-Bitter-Forschungspreis 2022 verliehen bekommen. Der im Rahmen der DGPT-Forschungstagung verliehene Preis zeichnet Arbeiten von Nachwuchswissenschaftler:innen aus den Bereichen der Psychoanalyse und Tiefenpsychologie aus. Der prämierte Artikel ist im Open Access abrufbar. Die IPU gratuliert Frau Kempe!

Thomas Loer publiziert zur Einführung in die objektive Hermeneutik
In einem kürzlich erschienenen Handbuch zur Methodik der objektiven Hermeneutik hat auch der IPU-Lehrbeauftragte Thomas Loer einige einführende Beiträge publiziert. Unter Berücksichtigung der Besonderheiten des Materials führt er exemplarisch in die objektiv-hermeneutische Analyse von Gemälden, Photographien und Videos ein.

IPU professors publish new journal on trauma research
Starting in February 2023, an interdisciplinary journal on psychotraumatology, titled Trauma Kultur Gesellschaft [Trauma Culture Society] will be published quarterly. The journal will be edited by IPU professors Annette Streeck-Fischer and Andreas Hamburger, among others, as well as IPU guest researcher Reinhold Görling. The focus of the journal is on severe psychological injuries from which people may suffer for the rest of their lives. The subject here is not only the experiences of hurt people, but also possible treatment approaches as well as research on the social significance and the cultural handling of traumatization.


Phil Langer publishes anthology on stigmatized identity in old age
Together with Jochen Drewes and Daniel Schaarenberg, IPU professor Phil Langer edited the anthology Aging with Stigma. Using current research and practice findings, the special psychosocial needs of members of stigmatized groups in old age are highlighted. Alongside professors Dorothea von Haebler and Phil Langer as well as research fellow Aisha-Nusrat Ahmad, other members of the IPU are also represented with contributions. They deal with the specifics of schizophrenic psychoses in old age, aging with HIV and AIDS in Germany, and the socioeconomic situation of older migrants.


The semester begins with new junior and senior professorships
With the start of the new semester, IPU Berlin welcomes two new junior professors. As of October 2022, Dr. Leonie Kampe has been appointed junior professor of psychological diagnostics. At the faculty for theoretical psychoanalysis, subject- and cultural theory, Dr. Christian Sell was appointed junior professor. Both opened the semester with lectures. Additionally, Prof. Dr. Dr. Michael B. Buchholz and Prof. Dr. Susanne Lanwerd are back at the IPU, now as senior professors.

A Freud Quote Every Day
In the book 365x Freud Freud, 280 renowned representatives of international psychoanalysis and well-known personalities from literature, culture and philosophy comment on selected Freud quotes in a creative and personal way, providing insights into Freud’s writings and biography. IPU professors Bernd Ahrbeck, Michael B. Buchholz, Dorothea von Haebler, Andreas Hamburger, Christine Kirchhoff, Christiane Ludwig-Körner, Christiane Steinert, Lutz Wittmann as well as former IPU presidents Jürgen Körner and Ilka Quindeau contributed alongside Eva Illouz, Otto Kernberg and Jürgen Habermas. The book was published by Tobias Nolte and IPU lecturer Kai Rugenstein.

New anthology published by Martin Teising and Joachim Küchenhoff
Assisted suicide is the subject of a series of articles in this new anthology published by former IPU president Martin Teising and Joachim Küchenhoff. Central questions in the rekindled debate about assisted suicide are examined through, amongst others, psychoanalytical, cultural and legal perspectives. Martin  Teising, for example, traces back the genesis of the renewed debate , starting with a decision by the German Constitutional Court from February 2020. IPU professor Benigna Gerisch explores the relationship between assisted suicide and societal imperatives for perfection and optimization.

New book from Prof. Christiane Ludwig-Körner
A book by IPU professor Christiane Ludwig-Körner entitled Und sie fanden eine Heimat  [translation: And They Found a Home]was published recently. She depicts the lives and work of employees at the wartime children’s home founded by Anna Freud and Dorothy Burlingham. As young women, they narrowly escaped the Holocaust and provided homes for children who had befallen the same fate under the in so called “war nurseries.” By means of portraying the work in these children’s homes, one can come to understand the historical beginning of child psychoanalysis according to Anna Freud.


Paper on German politics in Ukraine by Uwe Grundhöfer and Dr. Thomas Loer
Since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, some politicians from the “Ampel” Coalition have made similar comments on possible sanctions, which raises the question of their understanding of politics. In the journal on hermeneutic social research “sozialer sinn”, Uwe Grundhöfer and IPU instructor Dr. Thomas Loer analyse these comments. In their paper, they discuss economic and political implications, especially in terms of what it means to stand in solidarity for democracy, freedom, and the right of self-determination in the face of the Russian war of aggression. You can find excerpts and more information hier, and the full text can be accessed through the publisher website.


“Insight” in long-term psychotherapy for depression
The concept of “insight” in psychotherapy refers to a process, in which the patient learns new things about themselves, their own emotions, as well as the relationships they have with others. An IPU-financed study led by Prof. Dorothea Huber has investigated the effectiveness of insight. Results show its effectiveness in psychoanalytic therapies in particular as well as a correlation between the level of insight the reduction in depressive symptoms. The study offers insights into the therapeutic relevance of insight as a mechanism of change. You can read the study for free in the open access “Zeitschrift für Psychosomatische Medizin und Psychotherapie.”

Lecture Recording of Prof. Insa Härtel at the ICI Berlin
IPU professor Insa Härtel gave a lecture as part of the series “Psychoanalytic Cultural Studies” at the Berlin Institute for Cultural Inquiry (ICI) on the topic of how erection, erectile dysfunction, and Viagra are used within film. Her lecture, titled “’Penile Styles’: Figures of Impotence in Film” (translation), used film clips in order to question how enjoyment is portrayed and which cultural dynamics can be discerned from the material. Anyone interested can watch the video recording of the lecture and subsequent discussion on the ICI website (in German).

Phil Langer and Aisha-Nusrat Ahmad publish article about the Afghan Youth Project and the current situation in Afghanistan
The most recent issue of the Journal for the German armed forces, “Zur Sache BW”, about Afghanistan includes an article by IPU professor Phil Langer and IPU research fellow Aisha-Nusrat Ahmad. The article, titled “The Betrayed Generation” (translation), makes use of the Taliban’s takeover in Afghanistan as a reason to delve into empirical material that Langer and Ahmad worked on as part of the Afghan Youth project from 2015 to 2018. The case studies reflect biographies, wishes, and hardships of Afghan youth and speak of the hope of being able to bring about social change. Considering the current state of things, Langer and Ahmad conclude: “What is left is the betrayed generation – betrayed by their country’s political elite, the international community, the “West”, even by Germany.” (translation) You can read the article on page 14 here (in German).

Psychoanalyst Harald Leupold-Löwenthal on Freud’s and Einstein’s popular correspondence Why War?
Sixty years after Why War? (translation) was published (1932/1933), the renowned written correspondence between Sigmund Freud and Albert Einstein on war and its prevention, Harald Leupold-Löwenthal published an essay on the psychoanalytic theory on war. In the essay, he draws connections from Freud’s excitement over war in 1914 (“My entire libido belongs to Austria-Hungary”, translation) to his pacifist remarks on the human destructive drive and group psychology dynamics. Leupold-Löwenthal outlines the Freudian drive theory of war while alluding to the fact that while psychoanalysis can elucidate the phenomenon of war, it comes across as simplistic and reductionist when taken as a conclusive general explanation, as war “cannot be conceived of as a monocausal event” (translation). Thanks to support by IPU patron Ida di Pietro Leupold-Löwenthal, we are able to make the text publicly available here (in German). The essay was published in 1994 in the anthology Aggression und Krieg by Turia & Kant, edited by Inge Scholz-Strasser.

IPU graduate publishes psychoanalytic study on the effects of the pandemic on one’s thinking skills
The recent psychoanalytic study from IPU graduate Florian Bossert is titled “Viraler Angriff auf fragile Subjekte” (translation: “Viral Attack on Fragile Subjects”), and has been published by Psychosozial. In this study, he investigates the effects of the pandemic reality on people’s ability to think. He develops the thesis that the initially external threat of the virus is increasingly becoming an uncanny psychic object. This process brings about archaic anxieties, reactivates defense mechanisms, and encourages conspiracy thinking.
Florian Bossert’s investigation developed out of his thesis work at the IPU, which was supervised by IPU’s Prof. Christine Kirchhoff and Samuel Bayer.

New publication from Prof. Bernd Ahrbeck
IPU professor Bernd Arbeck’s new book delves into a controversial subject area. He came up with the eponymous Fair of Sensitivities and portrays his perspective over 158 pages of essays. You can find the book here, which was released by Klampen publishing house.


Global Phenomenon of Social Isolation and Loneliness Investigated in Upcoming Book
In recent years, isolation and loneliness have joined risk-factors such as smoking, obesity, and inactivity as leading worldwide causes of mortality, and the Covid-19 pandemic is only exacerbating the situation further. In their upcoming book published by Phoenix, From the Abyss of Loneliness to the Bliss of Solitude, IPU Berlin’s Aleksandar Dimitrijević and Michael B. Buchholz investigate the origins of loneliness and solitude and how they affect things such as creative expression and physical health. The book contains chapters focusing on psychoanalysis, psychology, philosophy, culture, art, and literature­ – some written by members of the IPU Berlin community. 

Silence within Psychoanalysis and Everyday Life: Recent Book by IPU’s Aleksandar Dimitrijević and Michael Buchholz
Within psychoanalysis, silence can be a form of resistance, countertransference, or a sign of trust. Silence also has a place in contexts outside of the therapy room such as music, theology, language, and culture. IPU Berlin’s Aleksandar Dimitrijević and Michael B. Buchholz recently published the book Silence and Silencing in Psychoanalysis: Cultural, Clinical, and Research Perspectives through Routledge, which serves as the first investigation into silence within psychoanalysis in decades. Based on an established body of work, this book uses case presentations as well as original clinical techniques and research to provide insights into the roles of silence in clinical practice as well as everyday life. For a 20% discount, purchase the book through Routledge with code FLR40.

Newly published introductory volume by Dr. Thomas Loer on objective hermeneutic analysis of interviews
In his recently published volume “Interviews analysieren. Eine Einführung am Beispiel von Forschungsgesprächen mit Hundehaltern” (translation: “Analysing interviews. An introduction through the example of research interviews with dog owners”) IPU instructor Dr. Thomas Loer introduces the objective hermeneutical analysis of interviews. The volume presents the basic constitutional theory and methodology and formulates a research plan. It addresses the question of case selection, the data’s form and its collection, the specific questions necessary for analyzing interviews, and the particular way to present results. You can read excerpts from the book here. This volume is part of the series by Dr. Thomas Loer entitled “Objective Hermeneutics in Theory and Practice” published by Springer VS.

Publication on Mental Health Problems during the Covid-19 Pandemic in Victims of Potentially Traumatic Experiences
A longitudinal study, including Dr. Lutz Wittmann of the IPU, shows the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on victims of violence, accidents, and serious threats. According to the study, the impact of the pandemic situation has hindered recovery from potentially traumatic experiences. In light of the results, the authors stress the absolute necessity of securing access to mental healthcare services during the pandemic. More information here.

Two Doctoral Scholarships available at the IPU
Every year, the Foundation for the Promotion of University Psychoanalysis grants scholarships to two IPU graduates for the purpose of pursuing doctoral degrees. The scholarships have been issued once again, and interested students can apply until 18 March 2022. You can find the announcement here. Additionally, you can find a guide to applying here.

Interview mit IPU-Professorin Insa Härtel zum Verhältnis von Psychoanalyse und Kulturwissenschaften
IPU-Professorin Insa Härtel wurde von "Neues Deutschland" zur Interdisziplinarität von Psychoanalyse und Kulturwissenschaften interviewt. Sie erklärt, warum die Psychoanalyse sich nicht nur für die Person auf der Couch interessiert und weshalb die Wechselbeziehung der beiden Disziplinen nicht frei von Reibungen und Reizungen ist. Gleichwohl können die beiden Perspektiven – wenn man sie zusammenbringt – das konflikthafte Verhältnis von Subjekt und Kultur analysierbar machen.

Current Research Project: Experiencing Identity in Times of Corona
As part of the research project “Experiencing Identity in Times of Corona”, project leaders Prof. Thomas Kühn and Prof. Phil Langer, and their associate Dr. Sebastian Bobeth, are collecting experiences and insights from the Coronavirus pandemic as well as its perceived effects on personal feelings and social relationships. The research is conducted in Germany, Austria, and Brazil. Research partners are doctoral candidates Daniela Alcoforando and Miriam Faridas from the Universidade Federal de Pernambuco.

Listen now: Lecture by Dr. Susanne Kaiser on political masculinity and antifeminist movements
Journalist Dr. Susanne Kaiser gave a lecture at the IPU during the 2021 summer semester on political masculinity. Her much-discussed 2020 Book released through Suhrkamp with the same title investigates how “Incels”, fundamentalists, and authoritarians mobilize misogyny and antifeminism, and thus foster an “authoritarian backlash”. In her lecture, which you can watch on our Youtube channel, Susanne Kaiser reflects on her book and addresses complex antifeminist movements from a sociological perspective.

Listen to the discussion about the seminar cycle on men, with Inge Seifge-Krenke, Matthias Franz and Lilli Gast
The IPU Berlin is offering a certified advanced education course on the topic “Fathers”, which will explore the father’s role in the context of societal change. In anticipation of the seminar cycle, IPU Professor and former university president Lilli Gast spoke with program leader Prof. Inge Seifge-Krenke and program instructor Prof. Matthias Franz. The conversation was recorded and you can watch it on Youtube.

Prof. Benigna Gerisch in the German World Service on fantasies of omnipotence in the digital age
In a podcast with the German World Service, IPU Professor Benigna Gerisch speaks about fantasies of omnipotence and the point at which social comparisons become harmful. The podcast was recorded during the DPV Autumn Conference from 10-13 November and can be heard here.

Neugründung der Psychoseambulanz Berlin in Kooperation mit der PUK SHK
Mit der Neugründung der Psychoseambulanz Berlin wird ein Schritt in Richtung einer verbesserten Versorgung von Menschen mit Psychoseerkrankung getan. Die Ambulanz ist in ihrer Form einzigartig in Berlin und trägt dazu bei, dass Patient:innen mit schizophrenen und schizoaffektiven Psychosen lückenlos behandelt werden können. Das war bisher ein Problem, das die IPU-Hochschulambulanz durch die Kooperation mit der Psychiatrischen Universitätsklinik der Charité im St. Hedwig-Krankenhaus (PUK SHK) angehen wird.

Lecture Series “Psychoanalytic Cultural Studies” at the ICI Berlin, including Prof. Insa Härtel
The Lecture Series “Psychoanalytic Cultural Studies” will begin on 26 October, for which, among others, the IPU is a cooperating partner. The opening lecture featured Andreas Cremonini, who spoke on the topic “Precarious Embodiments: The figure of the hero between exemplarity and singularity”. Among the lecturers is IPU Professor Insa Härtel, who will speak on 22.03.3033 about figures of impotence in film.

“WAHN.SINN” – Conference held by the Freiburg Council for Literature & Psychoanalysis
Freiburg im Breisgau’s biennial conference held by the Council for Literature & Psychoanalysis will take place on 21 & 22 January 2022. IPU’s Prof. Joachim Küchenhoff serves as the council supervisory board’s chair. During this year’s conference, psychoanalysts and literary scholars will discuss the psychotic experience, its associated borderline experiences, its thinking, and its speech. In equal measure, the conference’s events will address psychoanalytic perspectives of the psychotic phenomenon as well as literary approaches to and understanding of the same. You can find more information on the conference (in German) here.

Paternalism and Autonomy – Discussion with IPU Professor Andreas Hamburger, Nathalie Weidenfeld and Julian Nida-Rümelin
On 22.10.2021, IPU’s Prof. Andreas Hamburger, cultural scientist Nathalie Weidenfeld and philosopher Julian Nida-Rümelin spoke in the Munich Literaturhaus on the relationship between paternalism and autonomy. The conversation addressed the paternalism problem that has existed since antiquity from the perspectives of philosophy, film studies, and psychoanalysis and brought it into the context of societal development in today’s world. You can watch the video recording of the event (in German) on Youtube.

IPU professor Gavin Sullivan publishes article on the role of affect in political reactionism in England
Gavin Sulivan's article Political Reactionism as Affective Practice: UKIP Supporters and Non-Voters in Pre-Brexit England has been published by the open-access publisher Cogitatio Press. The publicly available article can be read and downloaded here.

Two Articles on Evidence for Psychodynamic Treatment in Children and Adolescents
The current edition of the journal Practicing Child Psychology and Psychiatry, includes two essays from IPU professors. Annette Streek-Fischer is one of the authors of the work Evidence for Psychoanalytically Based Methods for Children and Adolescents (translation). This study used an evaluation to show that there is sufficient evidence in the most relevant areas of upbringing for the use of psychoanalytically based methods with children and adolescents. Likewise, Annette Streeck-Fischer’s and IPU Professor Lars Kuchinke’s work is presented in the article In-Patient Psychodynamic Therapy with Children and Adolescents with Complex ADHD: Results from a Naturalistic Clinical Study (translation). This work makes it clear how complex the clinical picture of ADHD can be and shows how effective a psychodynamic approach is in treating it.  

Anthology “Lost in Perfection” published, edited by Prof. Benigna Gerisch
The collection "Lost in Perfection. On Optimizing Society and the Psyche" (translation), edited by IPU’s Prof. Benigna Gerisch, Vera King, and Hartmut Rosa, has been published by the Suhrkamp publishing house. Through their contributions, the various authors address the current significant guiding principles of self-optimization and self-improvement and analyze the ramifications of these on work, family, relationships, body, and self. The collection especially asks the question: Which cultural ideas of pathology and normalcy are linked to this societal development? Essays from (among others) Heinz Bude, Ulrich Bröckling, Ève Chiapello, Alain Ehrenberg and Judy Wajcman.

Article by Insa Härtel on the staged disposal of history by means of a stuffed animal
The current edition of the multidisciplinary journal “denkste: puppe (de:do)” with the theme of “dolls as relatives of the soul – biographical traces of dolls in art, literature, written works, and illustration,” includes a discussion by IPU Professor Insa Härtel. In her article “Take out the trash of the past? A stuffed animal named Checkpoint Charlie in Hoarder TV” (translation), Insa Härtel shows through example of a television show that political-historical dynamics of German history are even brought to attention there, where apparently material, tangible “soul relatives” form the central focus. You can read the article online here.

IPU Berlin supports the appeal made by Scholars at Risk Europe to the European Union and European governments in the face of recent events in Afghanistan. They have called for all necessary steps to be taken in order to ensure the safety of Afghan scientists, scholars, and civil servants whose lives are currently in serious danger.

You can find the full appeal, which over 50 organisations have joined, through this link. >>>

Psychosozial-Verlag has published two volumes by IPU founder Christa Rohde-Dachser
In “Spuren des Verlorenen” (translation: Traces of the Lost), Christa Rohde-Dachser adopts psychoanalytic and sociological perspectives in exploring the ways in which people forever attempt to compensate for the loss of the early mother-child dyad and the resulting feeling of deprivation. Clinical presentations like borderline personality disorder or hysteria can be explained through this lens. The same is true for handling gender differences, which can involve gender-specific characteristics.

In her second work, “Was sich verändert und was bleibt” (translation: What changes and what remains), Christa Rohde-Dachser turns to the fundamental questions of human existence, which relate to the experiences of transience, the desire for immortality, and life in the current moment. She approaches these matters through psychoanalytic and societal reflections as well as film analysis. Her independent research indicates that gender differences play a role even in associated unconscious fantasies.

Large inclusion study led by Bernd Arbeck published
longitudinal study commissioned by the Berlin Senate “Anfangserfahrungen mit der Entwicklung der Inklusiven Schulen in Berlin” (translation: Initial Experiences in the Development of Inklusive Schools in Berlin). AiBe is one of the most extensive national inclusion studies to be published by the Waxmann publishing house. IPU professor Bernd Ahrbeck is one of the study’s authors who investigated and evaluated schools’ endeavors to jointly educate children both with and without disabilities.

Conversation analysis by Michael Buchholz et al. published in journal Frontiers
IPU senior professor Michael Buchholz, Timo Buchholz and Barbara Wülfing published a research article titled Doing Contrariness, which is a conversation analysis of the talk-in-interaction in a single therapy session with a traumatized child. The article is a part of the Talking and cure research topic, Michael Buchholz and Anssi Peräkylä have published as an anthology in the open access scientific journal Frontiers.

“Community and Nation” – Special Issue of Journal Sozialer Sinn (Social Sense)
The current release of the journal Sozialer Sinn is a special issue on the topic “Community and Nation”, and was released by IPU professor Thomas Kühn, Katrin Voigt, and Frank Schumann. The papers in this issue originate from the interdisciplinary conference “Notions of Community and Nation in the Context of Current Right-Wing Mobilization”, which took place on 28 & 29 February 2020 at IPU.

IPU Graduate awarded professorship in Zurich
Pierre-Carl Link, IPU graduate, has made an exceptional achievement: He will be taking up a professorship in Zurich. He was appointed to the professorship in schooling and education (Erziehung und Bildung) for children with impairments in socio-emotional development at the Zurich Training College for Teachers of Special Needs.

IPU-Podcast 50 Minuten erscheint wieder
Der IPU-Podcast 50 Minuten ist mit einer neuen Folge wieder da. Im Gespräch mit IPU-Professor Gunther Meinlschmidt geht es um die Frage, was genau psychische Gesundheit ist. Gibt es überhaupt einen Zustand, in dem man psychisch gesund ist? Und ab wann spricht man von Krankheit? Während der Corona-Pandemie ist dieses Thema neu und in einer drängenden Art und Weise aktuell geworden. Außedem geht es um die Frage, wie das Verhältnis zwischen psychischer Belastung und psychischer Störung gedacht werden kann.

Das Konzept des Podcasts ist neu, das Team gewachsen, Genaueres gibt es im Trailer nachzuhören. Wir laden alle Hörer:innen ein zum Relaunch des psychoanalytischen Podcasts.

New Anthology published by Michael Buchholz and Aleksandar Dimitrijević
The anthology, “Silence and Silencing in Psychoanalysis”, edited by IPU senior professor Michael Buchholz and IPU research associate Aleksandar Dimitrijević, was recently published by Routledge. The book approaches silence and silencing in psychoanalysis from multiple perspectives: the clinical and research perspectives, as well as philosophy, theology, linguistics and musicology.

IPU students release article in the journal psychosozial (psychosocial)
The current issue of the journal psychosozial, which addresses the topic of violence, was released by IPU senior professor Michael Buchholz. Among the articles is a microanalysis of violent situations such as the G20 summit in Hamburg. Over ten articles were written by IPU students in the English master’s program.

Listen to Joachim Küchenhoff’s Lecture in “Crisis Teaches Thinking” online
The lecture Joachim Küchenhoff held on 28 May, titled “The State of Emergency and the Individual – Insights in and with the pandemic,” took place within the lecture series “Crisis Teaches Thinking” and can now be found on Youtube. His thesis suggests that a state of emergency does not only result from a catastrophe, but also uncovers conflicts in the preceding societal situation. Among others topics, his lecture addresses how humans handle emergency situations. This is portrayed through experiences told to him during psychotherapy sessions. Joachim Küchenhoff is a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst in Basel and also the chair of IPU Berlin’s Board of Directors.

Insa Härtel investigates film appropriation in the name of the pandemic
In the current issue of the online magazine nach dem film (after the film), IPU professor Insa Härtel addresses pandemic-related film appropriation. In the article, she looks into a clip, that is going around social media, in which scenes from the time-travel classic Back to the Future are brought together with coronavirus protective measures.