Issue 4 – August 2013

In memoriam Buda Béla



Theoretical study

Béla Buda: Man and society in the neofreudian theories


Béla Buda: The application of Maruyama’s morphogenetic model to group psychotherapy. translated by Lili Valkó


Béla Buda:Foreword (to the book Psychotherapy)

Questions of practice

Béla Buda: Action – catharsis – empathy – encounter. Moreno’s contribution to the development of modern psychotherapy




Béla Buda:Walk of life


The way I saw Béla Buda – Ferenc Süle ¨ Mária Koltai ¨ Katalin Felvinczi ¨ Gyula Bíró ¨ László Haraszti ¨ Piroska Komlósi, Gábor Flaskay

The way we work…

Béla Buda: The existential dynamics of depression



Conferences – Béla Buda, György Hidas

Book reviews – Béla Buda

Professional programs

Editorial announcements


Theoretical study

Man and society in the neofreudian theories

Béla Buda

This study is a description of the era in which it is written and also a professional overture for Béla Buda, being his first essay on psychotherapy. It is the time of transition to the ’soft dictatorship’ when the principle of the so called TTT (forbidden, tolerated, patronized) dominates, where Buda – both with his writings and his professional standards – was put in the category of ’tolerated’ many times. He graduated in 1963 and this paper was his second publication (the first was Buda, B. (1963): The Subject and Significance of Social Psychology. Magyar Pszichológiai Szemle, 20: 606-613).

It was a social event when a paper about psychoanalysis could have been published. Some years earlier in official language psychoanalysis had been regarded as the servant of the bourgeoisie, the home psychology of imperialism.

While Buda cite Marx and Engels and criticise the American neofreudians – he also delicately reviews the theories of psychoanalysis, Horney, Sullivan, Fromm, Kardiner, Lasswell and Alexander. The paper describes the main theories of Freud changing through his oeuvre: the theory of drives which he refined later by extending the concept of narcissism, the psychosexual development, and the characteristics of analysis for therapeutic work. Buda also considers the social and political factors which influenced these American theorists, putting them into a meaningful context and criticising them as well.

Psychoanalysis – many times with criticism – again and again appears in Buda’s work.

His first, independently edited book Psychoanalysis and its modern theories (Budapest, Gondolat, 1971) was also breaking fresh ground. The essay is published here with the original orthography without any change.

Keywords: psychoanalysis theory of drives neofreudism – social and political changes



The application of Maruyama’s morphogenetic model to group psychotherapy

Béla Buda

translated by Lili Valkó

The study was published in a very special journal, in Studia Psychotherapeutica. That journal was the tangible product of “The Psychotherapy Workgroup of Socialist Countries”, created in the seventies. The objective of the Workgroup was to mutually support the in themselves weak and ideologically often attacked psychotherapists and sporadic psychotherapeutic semi-organizations of the countries where they occurred, a kind of psychotherapy COMECON. The journal was edited and published in Budapest, the relatively freest communistic country of the time. The distribution was carried out privately although Studia Psychotherapeutica could not be seen as a samizdat. The journal had only 4 issues and lived only one year. Buda’s writing was published in English, and a Hungarian translation has been done for this Buda memorial issue, under time pressure, by Lili Valkó.

In the paper, Béla Buda gives an overview of system theory as a possible common frame of reference for social sciences and especially for group psychotherapy. He shows how the concepts of communication, regulation, feedback and open system could be the common ground for the integration of different schools and theories, but also points out the difficulties for such integration. He outlines the importance of development in groups through stages, and describes how regulation is part of the process. A special role is given to Maruyama’s concept of morphogenetic systems and structure, and to the image a group has of itself. After the detailed theoretical analysis Buda gives specific useful conclusions for practicing group therapists to use in monitoring and interpreting changes perceived in groups.

Key-words: systems theory – morphogenetic model – group psychotherapy – integration of theories – group development




Foreword (to the book Pszichoterápia)

Béla Buda

This written piece by Béla Buda was published as the foreword to a collection of extracts from the international psychotherapeutic literature entitled Pszichoterápia, published Gondolat Kiadó in 1981.

The volume was control edited by Béla Buda. The translators were colleagues who became well known experts since then.

Importance of the work has been proven by the fact – as we can tell now – that it was an opening piece of a series of psychotherapeutic volumes nick named in professional circles the „chequered books”.  In 1980 the Psychotherapy Section of the Hungarian Psychiatric Association was formed and a working group in it represented the various methods of psychotherapy. The volume was published in the same year, the working group was formed in 1981. Its aim was to provide a survey in Hungarian of the various psychotherapeutic methods as they appeared in the psychotherapeutic literature. At that time the presentation in Hungarian did not only serve to overcome the difficulties of language but also to make the international professional literature available in Hungary. On the one hand such international literature was not in circulation, but also their price in hard currency was too much to ask for. Official recognition of psychotherapy was only partial at the time. The introduction provides an interesting cross section of the time period. Béla Buda is obviously making great efforts to deepen the acceptance of psychotherapy. Its strategy is to show psychotherapy as a curing profession, and a member of the family of medical sciences. Looking at it from now, it is interesting that he makes a parallel between the earlier imperfections of psychotherapy and the pre-scientific period of the medical profession, emphasising the need for time to crystallise the effective components, from medical herbs to modern medication. According to him a similar process began in the field of psychotherapy.

The written piece clearly reflects Béla Buda’s outlook. He considered communication, and its components the bases for effective psychotherapeutic intervention. Such components can be identified in all modalities. With the help of his wide reading, and capacity to overview, Béla Buda on an integrated higher level tried to get hold of the therapeutic components specific to the various modalities.

Above the introduction the book provides much interesting material because the pieces selected by the editor pass the test of time.

Keywords: psychotherapy – psychotherapeutic modalities – effective psychotherapeutic components – communication – psychotherapeutic intervention

Questions of practice

Action – catharsis – empathy – encounter.

Moreno’s contribution to the development of modern psychotherapy

Béla Buda

One period of Béla Buda’s extraordinary oeuvre can be described by the concept of empathy. His works about the meaning and significance of empathy had a major impact on spreading the concept to Hungarian psychotherapeutic work. This essay, which was published in 1986, describes the scientific, therapeutic atmosphere from which Moreno’s theory was derived. The new paradigm of Moreno considers the importance of self – disclosure as a key element but – unlike psychoanalysis – it happens not on the level of structured words but in the action. It is a replay and concentration of something but also a possibility that spontaneity and creativity could appear. One of the most important feature of Moreno’s paradigm is that psychodrama situation is a social situation, a space of interactions. He suggested the catharsis of action instead of the catharsis of word. This has a new component which is the power of canalising anger due to the clarification of interactions during role reversal. By using role reversal the others’ situation became more lively and understandable, this phenomenon was called empathy in the context of psychotherapy – using in a more restricted way then it prevailed later. He emphasised that the development of empathy is necessary to the success of therapy because it increases insight, helps the changing of personality. The other key feature of psychodrama is encounter which is created dramatically by entering into the other’s self, playing his/her role. The term encounter outgrew psychodrama and became a psychotherapeutic concept.

Keywords: action – catharsis – empathy – encounter – psychodrama

Vissza az előzőre