Who was Alphonse Maeder and what did he contribute to psychology?

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Michael Ugulini eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Alphonse Maeder was born on September 11, 1882 (La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland) and died on January 27, 1971 (Zurich, Switzerland).  He was a Swiss physician. He specialized in psychoanalysis, psychiatry, as well as psychotherapy. After 1918, Maeder opened a private practice as a psychotherapist in Zurich. He remained in this capacity almost up to his passing in 1971.

Maeder worked with Sigmund Freud. In addition, he worked as an assistant to Eugen Bleuler and Carl Jung, two who introduced Maeder to psychoanalysis. Eugen Bleuler is known for his introduction of the term schizophrenia and for his studies of schizophrenics. This term describes the disorder that was known as dementia praecox.  In 1910, Carl Jung became the first president o the International Association of Psychoanalysis.

Maeder served for a long period as the President of the Psychoanalysis Association from Zurich, Switzerland. He developed short analysis techniques. In addition, he joined the Oxford Movement. In 1912, Alphonse Maeder created an hypothesis pertaining to the prospective capacity of dreams. Freud did not approve of this 'mystic' approach of Maeder. Maeder subsequently disassociated himself from Freud.

Dissidents from Freud's formulations put their differences into writing. These included Jung, Stekel, Adler, and Ludwig Frank's, Psychocathartic Treatment of Nervous Disorders in 1927. This additionally included, in 1945, Alphonse Maeder's "Ways to Psychotherapy".