The Sigmund Freud Institute, a research institute for psychoanalysis and its applications in Frankfurt am Main, was opened in 1960. The Hessian Sigmund Freud Institute Foundation is an independent foundation under public law..

The central tasks of the Institute are research as well as the promotion of early career researchers with a view to the scientific study of psyche and society in the psycho-analytically oriented sociological-social-psychological, psychological and medical departments of the institution. The organizational basis is a close cooperation with the Universities of Frankfurt and Kassel, and for several years also with the Robert Bosch Hospital in Stuttgart. Important cooperations also exist with numerous university and non-university institutions in Germany and abroad.

Research in the sociological-social-psychological, psychological and medical-psychoanalytical fields examines the dynamics of the psychic also with regard to the interactions of society and the individual. In this connection, the Institute makes a unique contribution to the study of culture and the psyche, of psychological developments, of suffering or social and individual pathologies, as well as to possibilities of psychotherapeutic treatment, including the consequences of the Corona pandemic in all fields.

In 2020, the 60th year of its existence, the German Council of Science and Humanities praised the work of the Sigmund Freud Institute, while emphasizing the innovative initiatives that the newly appointed institute management has launched with great commitment since 2016.

Current social psychological focal points include research on digitalization, time structures, optimization and sustainability. Interdisciplinary projects and a joint doctoral program are underway on the psychosocial consequences of migration and flight. Research on social crises and problems such as contemporary forms of authoritarianism or anti-Semitism also links the dynamics of the social and the psychological in new ways. In the clinical field, new projects are being generated based on the experiences of the outpatient clinic; for example, research is currently opening up the possibilities of psychoanalytic brief therapies for obsessive-compulsive disorders, thus eliminating serious research gaps. Pilot projects are investigating the causes of complex trauma in children or analyzing the significance of digital media in interdisciplinary clinical-social psychological collaborations.

One of the Institute’s special tasks is also to make the findings fruitful for health and sociopolitical problems. In this context, prevention and evaluation projects in the field of psychosocial care for refugees as well as psychotherapeutic care for the population are important transfer services of the institute. In the research outpatient clinic, around 400 patients are cared for and referred each year. In addition, the institute offers consulting, supervision and crisis support for organizations.