Adolf Meyer

Adolf Meyer

Meyer, Adolf, 1866-1950, American neurologist and psychiatrist, b. Switzerland, M.D. Zürich, 1892. He emigrated to the United States in 1892 and was professor of psychiatry at Cornell (1904-9) and at Johns Hopkins (1910-41), where he was also director of the Henry Phipps Psychiatric Clinic. He was active in the mental hygiene movement from its inception (1908), initiating the term "mental hygiene" to describe the maintenance of mental stability. His integrative system of treating mental illness, called psychobiology, demanded that each problem be considered in the light of the patient's total personality.

See his collected papers, ed. by E. E. Winters (4 vol., 1950-52).

(born Sept. 13, 1866, Niederweningen, Switz.—died March 17, 1950, Baltimore, Md., U.S.) Swiss-born U.S. psychiatrist. He immigrated to the U.S. in 1892 and taught principally at Johns Hopkins University (1910–41). He developed a concept of human behaviour—ergasiology, or psychobiology—that sought to integrate psychological and biological study. Meyer emphasized accurate case histories, suggested a role of childhood sexual feelings in mental problems in the years preceding wide recognition of Sigmund Freud's theories, and decided that mental illness results essentially from personality dysfunction rather than brain pathology. He became aware of the importance of social environment in mental disorders, and his wife interviewed patients' families in what is considered the first psychiatric social work.

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