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The Vienna Schools of Psychotherapy

Three wise men

All born into Jewish families in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Sigmund Freud, Alfred Adler and Viktor Frankl were the founders of the three different Vienna schools of psychotherapy, the scientific discipline established in the Austrian capital in the 20th century. Freud (1856–1939) was the father of psychoanalysis, Adler (1870–1937) founded individual psychology, while Frankl (1905–1997) was the founder of logo therapy, the three pioneering schools of psychotherapy to which this fascinating series is dedicated. The men behind them feature on the obverse of each coin, while the reverse illustrates the core concept of their respective theories. Psychotherapeutic methods and theories have proliferated since the early days, but that might never have happened without the foundations laid by Freud, Adler and Frankl.

Analyse this

Although his theories are the subject of much discussion, Sigmund Freud’s work still resonates in Western popular culture. A neurologist, Freud set up his clinical practice in Vienna in 1886, where he made his name as the founder of psychoanalysis, with which he treated patients by means of dialogue. In 1938, Freud and his family fled Vienna for London to escape the Nazis. He died in the British capital in 1939, but many of his terms, such as ‘Oedipus complex’, ‘super ego’, ‘Freudian slip’ and ‘libido’, live on. The ‘will to pleasure’, a central element in Freud’s work, is illustrated on the reverse of the coin. Freud himself features on the coin’s obverse.

Free Thinker

Originally an ophthalmologist, Adler became a general practitioner before an invitation to join the psychoanalytic movement led him to become a colleague of Sigmund Freud. After his break from that movement, Adler founded the Society for Individual Psychology in 1912, which contended that the social realm is as important to psychology as the internal realm. He did not see people as being determined by their instincts, but rather as free beings who have to solve the cultural responsibilities that life imposes on them. Alfred Adler’s teachings had a major impact on the development of psychology and psychotherapy in the 20th century.

The author of 32 books and the recipient of 29 honorary doctorates, Viennese neurologist and psychiatrist Viktor Frankl was most famous for his bestselling book Man's Search for Meaning. He was also the founder of Logotherapy, a form of existential analysis and the ‘Third Viennese School of Psychotherapy’.

Born in Vienna in 1905, like Sigmund Freud and Alfred Adler before him, Viktor Frankl was of Jewish heritage. But unlike the founders of the two other Vienna Schools of Psychotherapy, Frankl lived through the darkest moments of the holocaust, during which he was interned in four different Nazi concentration camps, including Auschwitz. His parents, brother and first wife lost their lives in the camps, but Frankl survived and, not long after his release, published his account of his experiences in the concentration camps in the form of Man's Search for Meaning. The book recounts how Frankl discovered the importance of finding meaning in all forms of existence and, thus, a reason to continue living. That is a combination of two of the basic principles of logotherapy, the fact that we have the freedom to find meaning in what we do and what we experience, however terrible, is the third. Meaning is symbolised on the coin by a young woman who, lost in her thoughts with her eyes closed, holds a flower in her hand while leaning on a medallion, upon which a bird flies at the centre of a maze.

Three wise men

All born into Jewish families in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Sigmund Freud, Alfred Adler and Viktor Frankl were the founders of the three different Vienna schools of psychotherapy, the scientific discipline established in the Austrian capital in the 20th century. Freud (1856–1939) was the father of psychoanalysis, Adler (1870–1937) founded individual psychology, while Frankl (1905–1997) was the founder of logo therapy, the three pioneering schools of psychotherapy to which this fascinating series is dedicated. The men behind them feature on the obverse of each coin, while the reverse illustrates the core concept of their respective theories. Psychotherapeutic methods and theories have proliferated since the early days, but that might never have happened without the foundations laid by Freud, Adler and Frankl.

Analyse this

Although his theories are the subject of much discussion, Sigmund Freud’s work still resonates in Western popular culture. A neurologist, Freud set up his clinical practice in Vienna in 1886, where he made his name as the founder of psychoanalysis, with which he treated patients by means of dialogue. In 1938, Freud and his family fled Vienna for London to escape the Nazis. He died in the British capital in 1939, but many of his terms, such as ‘Oedipus complex’, ‘super ego’, ‘Freudian slip’ and ‘libido’, live on. The ‘will to pleasure’, a central element in Freud’s work, is illustrated on the reverse of the coin. Freud himself features on the coin’s obverse.

Free Thinker

Originally an ophthalmologist, Adler became a general practitioner before an invitation to join the psychoanalytic movement led him to become a colleague of Sigmund Freud. After his break from that movement, Adler founded the Society for Individual Psychology in 1912, which contended that the social realm is as important to psychology as the internal realm. He did not see people as being determined by their instincts, but rather as free beings who have to solve the cultural responsibilities that life imposes on them. Alfred Adler’s teachings had a major impact on the development of psychology and psychotherapy in the 20th century.

The author of 32 books and the recipient of 29 honorary doctorates, Viennese neurologist and psychiatrist Viktor Frankl was most famous for his bestselling book Man's Search for Meaning. He was also the founder of Logotherapy, a form of existential analysis and the ‘Third Viennese School of Psychotherapy’.

Born in Vienna in 1905, like Sigmund Freud and Alfred Adler before him, Viktor Frankl was of Jewish heritage. But unlike the founders of the two other Vienna Schools of Psychotherapy, Frankl lived through the darkest moments of the holocaust, during which he was interned in four different Nazi concentration camps, including Auschwitz. His parents, brother and first wife lost their lives in the camps, but Frankl survived and, not long after his release, published his account of his experiences in the concentration camps in the form of Man's Search for Meaning. The book recounts how Frankl discovered the importance of finding meaning in all forms of existence and, thus, a reason to continue living. That is a combination of two of the basic principles of logotherapy, the fact that we have the freedom to find meaning in what we do and what we experience, however terrible, is the third. Meaning is symbolised on the coin by a young woman who, lost in her thoughts with her eyes closed, holds a flower in her hand while leaning on a medallion, upon which a bird flies at the centre of a maze.

Other products in series

gold coin Alfred Adler Avers

Alfred Adler Gold Coin

Siegmund Freud Avers

Sigmund Freud Gold coin

collector case psychotherapy

Collector case

50 Euro Gold coin Viktor Frankl reverse

Specifications

Quality

Proof

Face value

50 Euro

Diameter

22 mm

Material

Gold Au 986

Weight

7.89 g

The Vienna Schools of Psychotherapy

Coin Series Subscription

Get all three coins in our fascinating The Vienna Schools of Psychotherapy 50 Euro gold series.

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