"Lehrer und Schüler stehen dem Sinn nach auf gleichem Niveau. Beide sind der Idee nach frei. Es gibt keine absolut feste Lehre, sondern es herrscht das grenzenlose Fragen ..."
(Teachers and pupils are in spirit on the same level. In accordance with the idea they are both free. There is no absolutely fixed doctrine, only infinite questioning ...)
Jaspers: Die Idee der Universität, 1923, p. 20.

It was no less a person than Alexander Mitscherlich who wrote to Peter Kutter during his time in Berlin in 1973 saying he could certainly teach psychoanalysis at the University of Frankfurt. From Mitscherlich's Chair in "Psychology, particularly Psychoanalysis and Social Psychology" there evolved an "Institute of Psychoanalysis" with three university posts, the first of which was devoted exclusively to psychoanalysis and which Peter Kutter took up in 1974 following the regular appointments procedure.

Teaching: Initially Kutter attempted in his identity as a psychoanalyst to realise as many psychotherapeutic approaches as possible at the university; in self-experience groups, supervision groups, work groups. Franz Wellendorf made it clear to him, however, that a university is a place of teaching and learning. Only then did Kutter take the role of teacher seriously. He began to do research and to give grades in examinations.

Initially, during the final stages of the students' movement, the Institute of Psychoanalysis was offering a full-blown "alternative" psychology which was enthusiastically accepted by the students in place of "classical" academic psychology. Later on the majority of the psychology professors in the department reduced the Institute to a separate examination subject - "psychoanalysis" -and finally to an optional subject.

Universität Frankfurt

Research: A first phase around 1980 dealt with the empirical investigation into the impact of self-experience and supervision groups on the participants (in comparative group design, with the Giessen-Test as the investigation instrument). Kutter's attempt, however, to apply the same instrument to patients before and after an analysis or psychotherapy evoked outraged reactions (a new edition of the out-of-print publication "Psychoanalytische Interpretation und empirische Methoden" (1985) (Psychoanalytic interpretation and empirical methods) is now available; see Publications). The community of psychoanalysts realised much too late the importance of empirical research in psychoanalysis, too.

In a second, later but not too late, phase of research Kutter applied a 12-hour psychoanalytic brief therapy to female patients after an operation for breast cancer, first in collaboration with five gynaecological clinics as well as a group psychotherapy encompassing six sessions with patients after a heart-infarction during the subsequent healing process, then in collaboration with the health spa clinic at Bad Nauheim (cf. Giesler, Thums, Lorenz and Kutter: "Psychoanalytische Kurztherapie brustkrebsoperierter Frauen" (brief psychoanalytic therapy of women operated for breast cancer); see Publications.

Examinations: Examination subjects were "psychoanalytic social psychology" for the sociologists, "psychoanalysis" for the students majoring in psychology, and "psychoanalysis" as a subsidiary subject for the Masters' students.

Administration: Academic self-governing on the board of directors, the academic council, the senate and the assembly proved to be more a burden than an honour. In 1986/87 Kutter was for a year dean of the department of psychology; in addition he was elected many times to the post of "executive director" of the "Institute of Psychoanalysis".

Doctoral theses: in the Ph.D. subject "psychoanalysis" were written and despite many objections from the majority of the psychologists in the department successfully completed:

Rost, W.-D. (1981):
Objektpsychologische Modellvorstellungen zur Theorie, Erforschung und Behandlung psychosomatischer Störungen.
Bardé, B. (1985):
Zur Psychodynamik der Hyperprolaktinämie.
Behrens, I. (1986):
Veränderungen des psychischen Empfindens durch Erkrankung an Mamma- oder Cervix-Carcinom.
Detig, C. (1986):
Zur Psychodynamik der Hautkrankheiten.
Bautista-Banos, A. (1987):
Die Trennung von der Heimat. Eine psychoanalytische Studie.
Glock, H. A. (1992):
Zur Psychodynamik und Wertstruktur der Alkoholiker. (Weinheim: Deutscher Studien-Verlag)
Pierro, R. (1995):
Pubertätsmagersucht und verwandte Ess-Störungen.
Deister, F. R. (1997):
Psychoanalytische Interviews mit Bypass-Patienten. (Frankfurt a. M.: Brandes & Aspel)
Porsch, U. (1997):
Der Körper als Selbst und Objekt. (Göttingen: Vandenhoek & Ruprecht)


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