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Fortschr Neurol Psychiatr. 1990 Sep;58(9):332-8.

[Adolf Meyer and relations between German and American psychiatry].

[Article in German]

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Klinik und Poliklinik für Neurologie und Psychiatrie der Universität zu Köln.


German psychiatrists do not have an easy access to Adolf Meyer. The reasons include: his influence on American psychiatry was mainly exercised by his personal influence; he did not have the gift of writing his important and influential ideas in a clear language; these ideas, furthermore, were scattered over great number of papers in a variety of periodicals; there is only one unsatisfactory (from the point of view of edition) collection of Meyers papers; no textbook of Meyerian psychiatry exists. There seems to be no German translation of any of Meyers papers. Meyer, who was always in close contact with German psychiatry and psychiatrists, transmitted their ideas to the American scientific public, although in a critical vein. His own psycho-biological or genetico-psychodynamic theory pointed to the importance of the biological and personality structure and its reactions, of how the patient reacts to which live events and which illness in his or her body contrasts to Kraepelins concept of self-sufficiency of the endogenous psychoses. Whereas DSM I und II had been moulded in Meyers spirit, DSM III led far away from it.

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