Dorothea Buck

Dorothea Buck

A person cannot be more devalued than to be considered unworthy or incapable of conversation

Dorothea Buck

Dorothea Buck was an accomplished artist, teacher and mental health advocate. After being diagnosed with schizophrenia at age 19, she underwent invasive forms of psychiatric treatment, and was forcibly sterilized under the Nazi regime, barely escaping euthanasia. She worked to understand her own illness and fueled by her own experience with psychiatry became a mental health advocate. Her efforts shifted the traditional German approach to psychiatry towards a more progressive and empathetic route. One of her notable contributions is her pioneering of the “trialogue” approach, which gives equal weight to the professional, the patient, and the patient’s family.

She was internationally recognized for her work receiving the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit, one of Germany’s highest honors, in 2008. In 2011, she created the Dorothea Buck Foundation for mutual support of psychiatric patients.

1917-2019, Germany

Selected resources