The Scandinavian Schools of Psychiatry

  • Erik Strömgren


The first two questions to be answered are these: What is a psychiatric school? And what is Scandinavia? The last question is just one of definition. In the Scandinavian peninsula there are two countries, Norway and Sweden. It is, however, quite common to identify the label Scandinavian with Nordic, and to include not only Denmark, but also Iceland and Finland. This is what I am doing. To say what a psychiatric school is is more difficult. The term school induces us to think of a group of individuals guided by something like a headmaster, a chief with great authority inducing his ideas and principles into all members of the group. Taken in this sense there have certainly been psychiatric schools, perhaps especially so in the German speaking world. Similar phenomena have, however, more difficulties in developing in small countries. For those belonging to small nations which have their special language it is obvious that they cannot rely on just the literature and the teaching available in their own language. They soon learn to be extrovert and to look for what is going on in other countries. They are forced to learn foreign languages, and they are used to reading textbooks and journals in other languages than their own.


Nordic Country Social Psychiatry Schizophreniform Disorder Scandinavian Peninsula Endogenous Psychos 
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  1. Jaspers, K., 1913, “Allgemeine Psychopathologie”, Springer, Heidelberg.Google Scholar
  2. Langfeldt, G., 1939, “The Schizophreniform States”, Oxford University Press, London. Munksgaard, Copenhagen.Google Scholar
  3. Sjöbring, H., 1973, “Personality Structure and Development. A Model and Its Application”, Acta psychiat. scand. Suppl. 244, Munksgaard, Copenhagen.Google Scholar
  4. Wimmer, A., 1916, “Psykogene Sindssygdomsformer”, G.E.C. Gad, Copenhagen.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erik Strömgren
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Psychiatric DemographyPsychiatric HospitalRisskovDenmark

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