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date: 21 April 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the achievements of Wolfgang Blankenburg in phenomenological psychopathology and his theory of psychiatry and psychotherapy in general. Coming from the so-called “Anthropologische Psychiatrie,” Blankenburg, his early years, focused on developing a comprehensive understanding of schizophrenic psychoses as a different form of existing in the world rather than as dysfunctional behavior. Later Blankenburg’s psychopathological oeuvre extended to a wide range of clinical conditions, yet always concerned with seeing the positives of living with symptoms rather than their deficits. He transferred psychopathological insights into therapeutic approaches—from psychotherapeutical to body-centered methods. Blankenburg found stimulating ideas in a broad range of humanities, including anthropology, sociology, and ethnology. His own way of thinking became “dialectical,” defined by his own words as the openness to different concepts of cultural and historical self-understanding of man. In his later years his rather philosophical reflections centered on the fields of temporality and creativity of human beings.

Keywords: psychopathology, anthropological psychiatry, forms of existence, dialectics, temporality, embodiment, creativity

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