Bruno Bettelheim

Bruno Bettelheim (bĕt´əlhīm´), 1903–90, American developmental psychologist, b. Austria. He received his doctoral degree (1938) from the Univ. of Vienna. He was imprisoned in the Dachau and Buchenwald concentration camps during the Nazi occupation of Austria. After emigrating to the United States in 1939, he published (1943) a highly influential essay on the psychology of concentration camp prisoners. He taught psychology at the Univ. of Chicago (1944–73) and directed the Chicago-based Orthogenic School for children with emotional problems, placing special emphasis on the treatment of autism. Bettelheim believed that autistic children had been raised in unstimulating environments during the first few years of their lives, when language and motor skills were developing. Although his theories on autism have been largely discredited, he authored a number of influential works on child development, including The Informed Heart (1960), The Empty Fortress (1967), and The Uses of Enchantment (1976).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Bettelheim, a Life and a Legacy
Nina Sutton; David Sharp.
Westview Press, 1997
Love Is Not Enough: The Treatment of Emotionally Disturbed Children
Bruno Bettelheim.
Free Press, 1950
Genocide and the Politics of Memory: Studying Death to Preserve Life
Herbert Hirsch.
University of North Carolina Press, 1995
Librarian’s tip: "Memory and Survival: A Reconsideration of the Bettelheim-Des Pres Debate" begins on p. 56
Suicide: Right or Wrong?
John Donnelly.
Prometheus Books, 1998 (2nd edition)
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Bruno Bettelheim begins on p. 76
Witnessing Psychoanalysis: From Vienna Back to Vienna Via Buchenwald and the Usa
Ernst Federn.
Karnac Books, 1990
Librarian’s tip: Chap. Two "On the Discussions between Bruno Bettelheim, Dr. Brief and Ernst Federn"
Red Vienna and the Golden Age of Psychology, 1918-1938
Sheldon Gardner; Gwendolyn Stevens.
Praeger, 1992
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Bruno Bettelheim begins on p. 232
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