Dr Jekels’ health resort in Bystra near Bielsko: the first treatment centre which adopted psychoanalysis in Poland
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Katedra Psychoterapii UJ CM
Submission date: 2015-12-09
Final revision date: 2016-03-11
Acceptance date: 2016-03-11
Online publication date: 2017-08-29
Publication date: 2017-08-29
Corresponding author
Edyta Dembińska   

Uniwersytet Jagielloński Collegium Medicum, ul. Lenartowicza 14, 31-138 Kraków, Polska
Psychiatr Pol 2017;51(4):763-776
The paper sets out to present the history of a health resort and hydrotherapy centre in Bystra near Bielsko from 1898 to 1912. At that time Dr Ludwik Jekels, one of the Polish psychoanalysis forerunners, was the owner of the centre. Initially, Dr Jekels was very enthusiastic about climatic treatment and hydrotherapy, until 1905 when he got interested in psychoanalysis. Shortly afterwards he became its staunch supporter and adopted it as a curative procedure in his health resort. That was the first documented case of psychoanalysis use in Poland. This paper presents the development of the therapeutic centre in Bystra and the characteristic of typical patients receiving treatment there. It also briefly reports on medical histories of the conditions of patients who received psychoanalytic treatment. The paper also focuses on another significant area of Dr Jekels’contact with Sigmund Freud ranging from an accidental meeting in Vienna around 1898, through the summer of 1910 when Jekels looked after Freud’s daughters in his spa, to 1912 which saw Jekels’receiving psychoanalytic treatment from Freud. It also presents a detailed analysis of hypotheses why Jekels decided to sell the health resort and move to Vienna. Finally, the significance of Jekels’currently underrated therapeutic work for the development of the Polish psychoanalysis is reiterated.
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