Luc Ciompi - Psychiatrist and Author

Problems of old age, time and consciousness

Ciompi also dealt with several general problems having direct or indirect relations with his research or with the concept of affect-logic, such as problems of old age and dying, of the experience of time, and of the phenomenon of consciousness.

Concerning old age and dying, he claimed that both are not only negative, but also evolutionarily and psychologically positive phenomena. He also criticized current medical help practices for suicide in old age in Switzerland and elsewhere.

Concerning the problem of time, he wrote a book on the relations between the subjective and objective experience of time (available only in German), and several articles and book contributions on the importance of time in psychopathology and social psychiatry (in German)

Concerning the phenomenon of consciousness, he emphasizes that consciousness cannot be adequately understood without including its - generally neglected - emotional aspects.

Senile Dementia (book cover) Müller, Ch., Ciompi, L. (Eds.)
Senile Dementia
Hans Huber Publishers, Bern and Stuttgart, 1968

Cover text:
25 European specialists make the point of the present clinical knowledge on one of the central psychopathological problems of the aging process: the psycho-organical decline and its relations with many other pathological conditions of senescence.

The book is divided in five main parts, which cover almost all the important clinical aspects of the problem: first the clinical and nosological concepts of senile dementia are discussed by H. Lauter and J. E. Meyer (Germany). The second part is focused on epidemiologic and genetic questions (T. Larsson, Sweden). In the third part, J de Ajuriaguerra and R. Tissot (Switzerland) present new findings on the psycho-neurologic disintegration process in senile dementia. Next, the evolution of the illness, and its relations with functional conditions of old age are discussed by F. Post (England). The last part of the book deals with therapy: J. L. Villa and L. Ciompi (Switzerland) survey a multitude of modern somatic, medicamentous, socio and psychotherapeutic approaches to senile dementia. Each chapter is followed by discussions which show the many open questions and bring several important additional contributions to the main topic.


  • Ciompi, L. A comprehensive review of geronto-psychiatric literature in the postwar period. U.S Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Public Health Service Publication Number 1811, 1967 (translated from Fortschritte der Neurologie, Psychiatrie und ihrer Grenzgebiete 34:49-159, 1966)
  • Ciompi, L.: Aging and schizophrenic psychosis. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica Suppl. 319, 71: 93-105, 1986
  • Ciompi, L.: Aussenwelt - Innenwelt. Die Entstehung von Zeit, Raum und psychischen Strukturen. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen, 1988
  • Ciompi, L., Dauwalder, H.P. (eds.), Zeit und Psychiatrie. Sozialpsychiatrische Aspekte. Huber, Bern - Stuttgart - Toronto, 1990
  • Ciompi, L.: Reflections on the role of emotions in consciousness and subjectivity, from the perspective of affect logic. Consciousness and Emotion 4:181-196, 2003
  • Ciompi, L.: Ärztliche Suizidbeihilfe und Ehrfurcht vor dem Leben. Schweiz. Ärztezeitung, 81-82, 2004  (PDF, 319 kB)
  • Ciompi, L.: Altersgedanken über Tod und Sterben. Schweiz. Ärztezeitung, 2219-2221, 2006  (PDF, 219 kB)

© Luc Ciompi - - Last modified: 05.02.2016