Psychobiography Reading Group
of the Psychohistory Forum
8th Meeting
May 18th, 2024 (11:00am – 1pm EDT; room opens at 10:30 am)

For this meeting, we will be READING:

“Otto Rank” Chapter by Atwood & Stolorow
(from their book Faces in a Cloud)

This is the Table of Contents for Chapter 5, on Otto Rank:
Rank’s work:
The Birth Trauma
The Hero
The DouЫe
The Will
Narcissistic Love
Sexual Dread and Self-Dissolution the Artist
Rank’s life:
Evidence of Narcissistic Disturbance Childhood Traumata
Reparative Trends
The Subjectivity of Rank’s Theories
Summary and Conclusions

Download this chapter from the following link:….pdf?rlkey=b7dx6zprolvrikfz0bg0d8hn8&dl=1

or read it online here:….pdf?rlkey=b7dx6zprolvrikfz0bg0d8hn8&e=1&dl=0

Also, you can download the whole book (Faces in a Cloud: Intersubjectivity and Personality Theory, by G. Atwood and R. Stolorow) from here:….pdf?rlkey=djqp9geg9ppd2kow1lmwvyou9&dl=1

If you are interested in reading O. Rank’s Psychology and the Soul (a non-mandatory reading), please download it from here:

Otto Rank was an Austrian psychoanalyst, writer, and philosopher. He was one of Sigmund Freud’s closest colleagues for 20 years, a prolific writer on psychoanalytic themes, editor of the two leading analytic journals of the era, managing director of Freud’s publishing house, and a creative theorist and therapist. In 1926, Rank left Vienna for Paris and, for the remainder of his life, led a successful career as a lecturer, writer, and therapist in France and the United States.

Freud considered Rank to be one of the most brilliant psychoanalysts and once even announced that he will be “my heir.” However, Ranks’ emphasis on factors (such as birth trauma, creativity, the myth of the hero) other than the unconscious led to their taking different paths (Lieberman & Kramer, 2012, p. 225).

Rank co-authored some chapters of The Interpretation of Dreams with Freud; he was the first one proposing the term “pre-Oedipal,” but he was not given recognition for this and many other concepts.

The readings offered for this session of the Psychobiography Reading Group are not a psychobiography in a traditional sense, but they are very much psychobiographical food for thought. As Freud (1920) once said, “So long as we trace the development from its final outcome backwards, the chain of events appears continuous, and we feel we have gained an insight which is completely satisfactory or even exhaustive. But if we proceed in the reverse way, if we start from the premises inferred from the analysis and try to follow these up to the final results, then we no longer get the impression of an inevitable sequence of events which could not have otherwise been determined.”


The Psychobiography Research and Publication Group of the Psychohistory Forum created the virtual Psychobiography Reading Group in 2023. We meet in alternate months, with a summer break, and we work hard to keep it as a serious psychoanalytic approach to psychobiography. Subsequently, our focus will be on classic works of psychodynamic psychobiography, with the bottom-up approach rather coming from explicit underlying theories.

Please note that we choose short readings to ensure that they will be read ahead of time. Individuals who have not done the readings for this group will need to stay muted to establish this as a true discussion group. Membership in the Psychohistory Forum is not required, although it is recommended, but your RSVP is required – see the form below.

You will get the response to your RSVP that includes the Zoom information. Zoom link reminder will also be sent out the day before the meeting.

RSVP form


To learn more about our first six meetings of our Psychobiography Reading Group, visit the following webpages:

1st meeting on February 25th, 2023: Reading J. Anderson’s Chapter “Winnicott’s Constant Search for the Life that Feels Real.”

2nd meeting on April 1st, 2023: Reading E. Erikson’s Gandhi’s Truth: On the Origins of Militant Nonviolence.

3rd meeting on June 3rd, 2023: Reading E. Erikson’s Young Man Luther.

4th meeting on August 5th, 2023: Reading L. Friedman’s Identity’s Architect: A Biography of Erik H. Erikson.

5th meeting on October 14th, 2023: Reading S. Freud’s Leonardo daVinci and a Memory of His Childhood.

6th meeting on January 13, 2024: Reading “Sigmund Freud” Chapter by Atwood & Stolorow (from their book Faces in a Cloud), and “Freud as Leonardo: Why the First Psychobiography Went Wrong” by Elms.

7th meeting on March 30, 2024: Reading Winnicott and about Winnicott:

We look forward to deepening our knowledge of this psychohistorical approach together, as we probe the lives of fascinating and important people.

If you are interested in joining this group, even if you cannot attend the meeting on May 18th, 2024, please fill out the registration form above and/or contact Inna Rozentsvit at or Paul H. Elovitz at

Best regards,

Inna and Paul

Inna Rozentsvit, MD, PhD, Associate Editor of Clio’s Psyche and Director/Convenor of the Psychohistory Forum; Founder of NeuroRecovery Solutions, Inc.; Founder & Editor-in-Chief & ORI Academic Press, MindConsiliums, and MindMend Publishing; Programs Director @ the Object Relations Institute, NYC.  E-mail:

Paul H. Elovitz, PhD, Historian, Research Psychoanalyst, Online Psychohistory Professor, Psychohistory Forum Director, and Editor, Clio’s Psyche; Author, The Making of Psychohistory: Origins, Controversies, and Pioneering Contributors (Routledge, 2018); Editor, The Many Roads of the Builders of Psychohistory (ORI Academic Press, 2021); Author/Editor of other books. See for additional information.