Famous 20th Century Psychiatrists

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Vote for Your Favourite 20th Century Psychiatrists

 1 
Carl Jung
(Psychiatrist)

Carl Jung
8
Birthdate: July 26, 1875
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Kesswil, Switzerland
Died: June 6, 1961

Widely regarded as the father of analytical psychology, Carl Jung is one of the most important contributors to symbolization and dream analysis. The concepts of socionics and a popular psychometric instrument called Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) were developed from Jung's theory. Apart from working as a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, Carl Jung was also an artist, craftsman, builder, and prolific writer.

 2 
Viktor Frankl
(Psychiatrist)

Viktor Frankl
10
Birthdate: March 26, 1905
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Leopoldstadt, Vienna, Austria
Died: September 2, 1997

Austrian psychiatrist Viktor Frankl founded logotherapy. He also authored several books, most notably his bestselling autobiographical depiction of his ordeal at various Nazi concentration camps, Man's Search for Meaning. He had lost his parents, brother, and wife in the Holocaust. He later won honors such as the Oskar Pfister Award.

 3 
Alfred Adler
(Psychotherapist)

Alfred Adler
4
Birthdate: February 7, 1870
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Rudolfsheim-Fünfhaus, Vienna, Austria
Died: May 28, 1937

Alfred Adler was an Austrian psychotherapist and medical doctor. He is credited with founding the school of individual psychology. He was also one of the founders of the psychoanalytic movement along with Sigmund Freud and Freud's colleagues. In 2002, a survey conducted by Review of General Psychology named Adler among the 20th century's most eminent psychologists.

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 4 
Frantz Fanon
(Psychiatrist)

Frantz Fanon
8
Birthdate: July 20, 1925
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Fort-de-France, Martinique, France
Died: December 6, 1961

Frantz Fanon was a French-West Indian born in Martinique, a former French colony. A skilled psychiatrist and physician, he realized the impact of colonialism on the human mind while treating French soldiers and Algerians. The author of books such as The Wretched of the Earth, Fanon supported the Algerian independence movement.

 5 

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
4
Birthdate: July 8, 1926
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Zurich, Switzerland
Died: August 24, 2004

Best known for her pathbreaking bestseller On Death and Dying, Swiss-American psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross also made pioneering research in areas such as near-death studies. Her five stages of grief, or the Kübler-Ross model, has been adopted by corporates to help employees deal with loss and change.

 6 
Jacques Lacan
(Psychoanalyst, Psychiatrist)

Jacques Lacan
8
Birthdate: April 13, 1901
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: September 9, 1981
French psychoanalyst and psychiatrist Jacques Lacan is remembered for his philosophical approach that explored Freudian concepts, to which he applied elements of structuralism and anthropology to create his own concepts. His controversial suggestions led to his expulsion from the International Psychoanalytic Association. One of his key concepts was “Return to Freud.”

 7 
R. D. Laing
(Psychiatrist)

R. D. Laing
3
Birthdate: October 7, 1927
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Govanhill
Died: August 23, 1989

Psychiatrist R. D. Laing was known for his different perspective on mental illnesses, particularly psychosis. Known as anti-psychiatry, his theory of resolving mental ailments opposed the age-old shock therapy. His written works include The Divided Self. He was also a talented poet and had fathered 10 children by four women.

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 8 
Sabina Spielrein
(Psychiatrist)

Sabina Spielrein
4
Birthdate: October 25, 1885
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Rostov-on-Don, Russian Empire
Died: August 11, 1942

Sabina Spielrein was a Russian physician who also worked as a psychoanalyst, psychiatrist, and teacher during an illustrious professional career that spanned 30 years. A pioneer of psychoanalysis, Spielrein was the first person to bring in and popularize the concept of the death instinct. Sabina Spielrein was also one of the earliest psychoanalysts to study schizophrenia in detail. 

 9 
Karen Horney
(Psychoanalyst)

Karen Horney
3
Birthdate: September 16, 1885
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Blankenese, Hamburg, Germany
Died: December 4, 1952

Remembered for her pioneering work on feminist psychology, Karen Horney studied medicine at a time when women weren’t allowed in universities. Going against Sigmund Freud’s concept of penis envy, she suggested the idea of womb envy. She believed psychological differences weren’t rooted in gender but rather depended on the socio-cultural influences.

 10 
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
(Psychologist, University teacher, Psychiatrist)

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
6
Birthdate: September 29, 1934
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Rijeka

 11 
M. Scott Peck
(Psychiatrist)

M. Scott Peck
4
Birthdate: May 22, 1936
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: September 25, 2005

 12 
Andrea Dotti
(psychiatrist)

Andrea Dotti
4
Birthdate: March 18, 1938
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Naples
Died: September 30, 2007

Andrea Dotti was an Italian psychiatrist. He specialized in treating women with depression and was the assistant director of Rome University's psychiatric department. He was also a skier, tennis player, dancer, and art collector. He was married to famous actress Audrey Hepburn from 1969 to 1982, and the couple had one son. Dotti had several affairs during their marriage. 

 13 
Simon Baron-Cohen
(Psychologist, University teacher, Psychiatrist, Researcher)

Simon Baron-Cohen
4
Birthdate: August 15, 1958
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: London

British clinical-psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen is noted for making significant contributions in fields like autism-neuroimaging, autism-genetics, and synaesthesia, and his services to autistic people, for which he was knighted in the 2021 New Year Honours. He formulated mind-blindness theory and fetal-sex-steroid theory of autism and presently serves as a professor at the University of Cambridge and director of the university's Autism Research Centre.

 14 
John Money
(Former psychologist, sexologist and author known for his research into sexual identity and biology of gender and his conduct towards vulnerable patients)

John Money
4
Birthdate: July 8, 1921
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Morrinsville, New Zealand
Died: July 7, 2006

John Money was a New Zealand sexologist, psychologist, and author. He is best remembered for his research into biology of gender and sexual identity. He is credited with coining the terms sexual orientation, gender role, and gender identity. John Money was also criticized for endorsing conversion therapy among other unethical practices. His books have been translated into numerous languages.

 15 
Thomas Szasz
(Psychiatrist)

Thomas Szasz
3
Birthdate: April 15, 1920
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: September 8, 2012

Hungarian-American psychiatrist Thomas Szasz, who spent most of life teaching at the State University of New York Health Science Center, was known for his controversial claim that mental illnesses aren’t illnesses at all. Part of the anti-psychiatry movement, he penned books such as The Myth of Mental Illness.

 16 
Aaron T. Beck
(Psychiatrist, University teacher, Psychologist)

Aaron T. Beck
3
Birthdate: July 18, 1921
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Providence

 17 

Nawal El Saadawi
3
Birthdate: October 27, 1931
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Kafr Tahlah, Egypt

 18 
Eric Kandel
(Neurologist, Psychiatrist, Neuroscientist, Psychologist, Biochemist)

Eric Kandel
3
Birthdate: November 7, 1929
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Vienna

Nobel Prize-winning neurobiologist Eric Kandel is known for his research on the role of synapses in memory and learning. An Austrian Jew, he left his country with his family and moved to the U.S. in the wake of anti-Semitism. A doctor, specializing in psychiatry, he later taught at Columbia University.

 19 
Milton H. Erickson
(Psychotherapist, Hypnotist, Hypnotherapist, Psychologist, Psychiatrist, Writer)

Milton H. Erickson
3
Birthdate: December 5, 1901
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Aurum
Died: March 25, 1980

 20 
Frances Cress Welsing
(Psychiatrist)

Frances Cress Welsing
3
Birthdate: March 18, 1935
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Chicago
Died: January 2, 2016

 21 
Bruno Bettelheim
(Writer, Psychologist, University teacher, Psychiatrist)

Bruno Bettelheim
3
Birthdate: August 28, 1903
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Vienna
Died: March 13, 1990
Austrian-American psychologist Bruno Bettelheim is remembered for his work on child psychiatry and autism. While he initially looked after his family’s lumber business, he was later imprisoned in Nazi concentration camps, before escaping to the U.S. Following his suicide, it was revealed that he had faked his academic credentials.

 22 
Irvin D. Yalom
(Psychiatrist)

Irvin D. Yalom
3
Birthdate: June 13, 1931
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Washington, D.C.

 23 

Julienne Marie
3
Birthdate: March 21, 1933
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Toledo, Ohio, United States

 24 
Ron Dellums
(Politician)

Ron Dellums
3
Birthdate: November 24, 1935
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Oakland, California, U.S.
Died: July 30, 2018

 25 
Arthur M. Sackler
(Psychiatrist)

Arthur M. Sackler
3
Birthdate: August 22, 1913
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: May 26, 1987

 26 
Félix Guattari
(Philosopher)

Félix Guattari
3
Birthdate: April 30, 1930
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Villeneuve-les-Sablons, France
Died: August 29, 1992

 27 
Karl Jaspers
(Psychiatrist)

Karl Jaspers
3
Birthdate: February 23, 1883
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Oldenburg, Germany
Died: February 26, 1969

Twentieth-century Existentialist Karl Jaspers had initially followed in his father’s footsteps to study law, but had then switched to medicine. One of the pioneers of clinical psychiatry, he applied phenomenology to study mental illnesses and also developed psychopathological research. He was highly influenced by Immanuel Kant’s ideas.

 28 
Theodore Dalrymple
(Journalist, Psychiatrist, Conspiracy theorist, Writer, Non-fiction writer)

Theodore Dalrymple
3
Birthdate: October 11, 1949
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: London

Anthony Malcolm Daniels, better known by his pseudonym, Theodore Dalrymple, has worked as a physician in many African countries, such as Tanzania and Zimbabwe. The retired consultant psychiatrist and prison doctor is now known for his social and culture critiques in City Journal and other publications.

 29 
Ian Stevenson
(Psychiatrist, Parapsychologist, University teacher)

Ian Stevenson
3
Birthdate: October 31, 1918
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Montreal
Died: February 8, 2007

Canadian-American psychiatrist and University of Virginia School of Medicine professor Ian Stevenson believed he had developed his love for the paranormal from his mother, who maintained a well-stocked library on theosophy. His studies included unearthing children’s past life memories. He also penned books such as Reincarnation and Biology.

 30 
Wilfred Bion
(Former Psychoanalyst, who became president of the British Psychoanalytical Society from 1962 to 1965)

Wilfred Bion
3
Birthdate: September 8, 1897
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: India
Died: August 28, 1979

Born in British India, Wilfred Bion grew up to be a prominent psychoanalyst. He had fought during World War I. He is best remembered for his work on group dynamics and the object relations theory. He was also part of the Tavistock group of psychologists who founded the Tavistock Institute.

 31 
Stanislav Grof
(Psychiatrist known for Transpersonal psychology)

Stanislav Grof
3
Birthdate: July 1, 1931
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Prague, Czech Republic

 32 
Radovan Karadžić
(Politician)

Radovan Karadžić
6
Birthdate: June 19, 1945
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Petnjica, Montenegro

 33 
Irmfried Eberl
(Physician, Psychiatrist)

Irmfried Eberl
3
Birthdate: September 8, 1910
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bregenz
Died: February 16, 1948

Best known for leading the mass killing of Jews at the Treblinka extermination camp, psychiatrist Irmfried Eberl was eventually dismissed from his post because of his inefficiency in disposing of the bodies and thus causing a cremation backlog. Following the war, he hanged himself before being tried for his crimes.

 34 
Nora Volkow
(Psychiatrist)

Nora Volkow
2
Birthdate: March 27, 1956
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Mexico City, Mexico

Mexican-born Nora Volkow studied medicine in her country, before moving to New York University, where she became a Laughlin Fellow. Now the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, she was the first to prove that drug abuse is a brain disease. She was featured at TEDMED 2014.

 35 
Otto F. Kernberg
(Psychiatrist, Psychanalyst, University teacher, Non-fiction writer, Psychologist)

Otto F. Kernberg
2
Birthdate: September 10, 1928
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Vienna

After fleeing to Chile with his family during the Nazi regime, Otto F. Kernberg studied medicine and then psychiatry. He eventually moved to the U.S. on a Rockefeller fellowship and grew up to be one of the finest psychoanalysts of the country. He now teaches at the Weill Cornell Medicine.

 36 
Suzanne Mallouk
(Psychiatrist, Psychoanalyst and Painter)

Suzanne Mallouk
0
Birthdate: September 10, 1960
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Orangeville, Ontario, Canada

Suzanne Mallouk ran away from her Canada home and moved to New York, where she took up odd jobs to finance her art career. She supported a penniless Jean-Michel Basquiat grow into a wealthy artist and became a muse for his paintings. She later became a practicing psychiatrist.

 37 
Mohan Agashe
(Psychiatrist)

Mohan Agashe
3
Birthdate: July 23, 1947
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Bhor, India

Mohan Agashe is an Indian actor and psychiatrist. Best known for his work in the fields of psychopharmacology and clinical psychology, Agashe played a major role in founding the Maharashtra Institute of Mental Health. As an actor, Mohan Agashe has won many prestigious awards, such as the Sahitya Akademi Award, Thespo Lifetime Achievement Award, and Filmfare Best Villain Award.

 38 
Marie Bashir
(Engineer, Psychiatrist, Physician, University teacher)

Marie Bashir
2
Birthdate: December 1, 1930
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Narrandera

Marie Bashir created history when she became the first female governor of New South Wales. A doctor, too, she was initially associated with children’s hospitals and later focused on psychiatry. She also worked for the mentally ill and homeless people from the Aboriginal community of Australia.

 39 
Jean Tatlock
(Psychiatrist)

Jean Tatlock
0
Birthdate: February 21, 1914
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States
Died: January 4, 1944

 40 
Alex Comfort
(Physician, Writer, University teacher, Psychiatrist)

Alex Comfort
2
Birthdate: February 10, 1920
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: London
Died: March 26, 2000

Best known for his world-renowned bestselling sex manual The Joy of Sex and its equally successful follow-up books, British physician Alex Comfort had earned the nickname “Dr. Sex.” He had also written extensively on aging. He had apparently lost his left hand, except his thumb, in a gunpowder experiment.

 41 
Margaret Mahler
(Physician)

Margaret Mahler
2
Birthdate: May 10, 1897
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Sopron, Hungary
Died: October 2, 1985

 42 
Axel Munthe
(Medical Doctor)

Axel Munthe
2
Birthdate: October 31, 1857
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Oskarshamn, Sweden
Died: February 11, 1949

 43 
Karl Deisseroth
(Professor of Bioengineering and of Psychiatry)

Karl Deisseroth
2
Birthdate: November 18, 1971
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States

 44 
David Servan-Schreiber
(Neuroscientist and psychiatrist)

David Servan-Schreiber
2
Birthdate: April 21, 1961
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Neuilly-sur-Seine, France
Died: July 24, 2011

 45 
W. H. R. Rivers
(Anthropologist)

W. H. R. Rivers
2
Birthdate: March 12, 1864
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Chatham, Kent, England
Died: June 4, 1922

English anthropologist and psychologist W. H. R. Rivers is best remembered for his work on the Todas of the Nilgiri Hills. A qualified physician, he also taught at Cambridge and worked extensively on medical psychology. One of his best-known works is Kinship and Social Organisation.

 46 
Max Nordau
(Co-founder of World Zionist Organization)

Max Nordau
2
Birthdate: July 29, 1849
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Pest, Budapest, Hungary
Died: January 23, 1923

Hungarian physician and author Max Nordau was the son of a rabbi. After practicing medicine in Budapest for a while, he went to Paris and began writing for Neue Freie Presse. A major figure behind the Zionist Organization, he penned The Conventional Lies of Our Civilization, which was banned in several countries.

 47 
Joseph Wolpe
(Psychiatrist, Psychotherapist, Psychologist, University teacher)

Joseph Wolpe
2
Birthdate: April 20, 1915
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Johannesburg
Died: December 4, 1997

South African psychiatrist Joseph Wolpe, a leading figure in behaviour therapy, is noted for his reciprocal inhibition methods, especially for developing systematic desensitization. He also developed Subjective Units of Disturbance Scale and created Fear Survey Plan and Subjective Anxiety Scale. He was ranked as the 53rd most-cited psychologist of the twentieth-century in a 2002 survey of Review of General Psychology.

 48 
Robert Spitzer
(Psychiatrist known for Modernizing classification of mental disorders, recognizing homosexuality as a non-mental disorder)

Robert Spitzer
2
Birthdate: May 22, 1932
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: White Plains, New York, United States
Died: December 25, 2015

 49 
Ernst Kretschmer
(Psychiatrist)

Ernst Kretschmer
2
Birthdate: October 8, 1888
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Wüstenrot, Germany
Died: February 8, 1964

German psychiatrist Ernst Kretschmer believed that mental illnesses and personality traits could be linked to the types of bodies people possess. He treated hysteria patients as a military doctor in World War I. Though he opposed the Nazi regime, he stayed in Germany throughout World War II.

 50 
Dino Risi
(Film Director)

Dino Risi
2
Birthdate: December 23, 1916
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Milan, Italy
Died: June 7, 2008