- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Erwin Stengel

Born  1902
Died  1973

Related eponyms

Austrian-British psychiatrist and psychologist, born March 25, 1902, Wien; died June 2, 1973, Sheffield, England.

Biography of Erwin Stengel

We thank Issy Pilowsky for submitting this biography of Erwin Stengel, who was his mentor from 1959-1966 in Sheffield, England where Stengel held the Chair of Psychiatry from 1957-1967:

"Erwin Stengel was born in Vienna as an identical twin. He studied medicine in Vienna and went on to training in psychiatry and psychoanalysis. During these years he considered Paul Scilder (1886-1940) to be his mentor. In 1938 he was a Privatdozent under Professor Wagner von Jauregg (1857-1940) when he left for England following the advent of Nazism in Austria. He worked in Bristol, Edinburgh and Greylingwell before moving to the Institute of Psychiatry of the University of London as Reader (Associate Professor) in Psychiatry. Here he carried out pioneering work on the nature of Attempted suicide which was published as a "Maudsley Monograph. It may be said that his work and writings resulted in the predicament of individuals who attempted suicide being taken seriously and for them to be treated with respect and cared for appropriately.

In 1957 he took up the Chair of Psychiatry in Sheffield with responsibility for Clinical services of the United Sheffield Hospitals where he demonstrated the proper clinical care of patients following suicide attempts and also encouraged young colleagues in the study of psychiatric aspects of pain. These included Michael Bond (now Sir Michael Bond, President of the International Association for the Study of Pain), Harold Merskey, Issy Pilowsky (Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus, University of Adelaide, South Australia) and Graham Spear. He died in 1973."

Erwin Stengel was one of the founders of the International Association for Suicide Prevention.


  • Suicide & Attempted Suicide. 1964. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books Ltd., 1966.

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