1866 – 1950
Who was Adolf Meyer?
Adolf Meyer, was a psychiatrist who rose to prominence as the president of the American Psychiatric Association and was one of the most influential figures in psychiatry in the first half of the twentieth century. His focus on collecting detailed case histories on patients is the most prominent of his contributions; along with his insistence that patients could best be understood through consideration of their "psychobiological" life situations. He is most remembered for reframing mental disease as biopsychosocial "reaction types" rather than as biologically-specifiable natural disease entitites. In 1906 he reframed dementia praecox as a "reaction type," a discordant bundle of maladaptive habits that arose as a response to biopsychosocial stressors.