On Monday the 15th of August 1887, the world’s first official Institute for Psychotherapy was opened in Amsterdam. It consisted of two rooms, and a cardboard notice in the window that read: ‘Treatment through hypnotism, Dr. A.W. van Renterghem, Dr. Fred. van Eeden, open on workdays from 11am till 3pm’. Since then more than a century has passed, but Frederik van Eeden (1860-1932), mostly famous for his novel Little Johannes, bade farewell to his psychotherapeutic work to focus on a career in literature. Today, even in his home country The Netherlands, Frederik Van Eeden is only known as a novelist, but almost forgotten as psychiatrist and psychotherapist. In ‘The Discovery of the Unconscious’ H.F. Ellenberger (1970) referred to him as a pioneer and his name is often mentioned in reports on the history of hypnosis. Beside his pioneering psychotherapeutic work, he published most original papers on dissociation (“double ego”), hallucinations, obsessive-compulsive disorders, and he coined the term “lucid dreaming”. In this new book his most important papers are collected with introduction and comments by Walter Vandereycken (Flemish psychiatrist) and Ron van Deth (Dutch psychologist). For those unfamiliar with Dutch but interested to receive an exhaustive bibliography of and about Van Eeden, please send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Book: Frederik van Eeden (1860-1932) – Vergeten psychiater en pionier van de psychotherapie. Publisher: Candide, Amsterdam 2010 (www.uitgeverijcandide.nl).