Kai von Klitzing

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Kai von Klitzing
Kai von Klitzing 2016.jpg
von Klitzing in 2016
Known fordevelopmental psychopathology and psychotherapy in childhood
Scientific career
Fieldschild and adolescent psychiatrist, psychoanalyst
InstitutionsUniversity of Leipzig

Kai von Klitzing (born 23 November 1954 in Aachen) is a German child and adolescent psychiatrist, psychoanalyst and professor at the University Hospital Leipzig. He is known for his works in the field of mental health in early childhood, developmental psychopathology and psychotherapy in childhood.

Scientific Contribution[edit]

In the beginning of his career Kai von Klitzing had his scientific focus on infant development.[1] Together with Dieter Bürgin he conducted several longitudinal studies from pregnancy to school age exploring the associations between parental representations, triadic (father – mother – infant) interaction, and child developmental outcome.[2] During his time in Colorado he studied – together with Robert N. Emde and Kim Kelsay – kindergarten children's narratives and their associations with behavioral problems.[3] After returning to Basel he focused on psychiatric disorders in preschool and early school age in several studies with Sonja Perren.[4] He continued this research at the University of Leipzig where he established diagnostic methods for preschool children and studied stress regulation[5] in children with anxiety disorders and depression disorders.[6] Together with Tanja Göttken he developed and evaluated a short-term Psychoanalytic Child Therapy (PaCT) manual for children suffering from anxiety and depression disorders.[7][8] Besides his clinical and research activities Kai von Klitzing is a reviewer of several scientific journals and science funding organisations (German Research Foundation, Swiss National Foundation). He is editor of the German language Journal KINDERANALYSE (Child Analysis) and associate editor of the Infant Mental Health Journal.[9] As of 2016 he is serving as the president of the World Association for Infant Mental Health (WAIMH).[10]

Honors and awards[edit]

2007 August Homburger Award of the University of Würzburg for his research in developmental psychopathology in early childhood.[11]


  1. ^ K. von Klitzing, H. Simoni, D. Bürgin: Infant development and early triadic family relationships. In: J Psychoanal. 80, 1999, S. 71–89.
  2. ^ K. von Klitzing, H. Simoni, F. Amsler, D. Burgin: The role of the father in early family interactions. In: Inf Mental Hlth J. 20, 1999, S. 222–237.
  3. ^ K. von Klitzing, K. Kelsay, R. N. Emde, J. Robinson, S. Schmitz: Gender-specific characteristics of 5-year-olds’ play narratives and associations with behavior ratings. In: Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. 39, 2000, S. 1017–1023.
  4. ^ S. Perren, A. von Wyl, S. Stadelmann, D. Burgin, K. von Klitzing: Associations between behavioral/emotional difficulties in kindergarten children and the quality of their peer relationships. In: Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. 45, 2006, S. 867–876.
  5. ^ K. von Klitzing, S. Perren, A. M. Klein u. a.: The interaction of social risk factors and HPA axis dysregulation in predicting emotional symptoms of five- and six-year-old children. In: J Psychiatr Res. 46, 2012, S. 290–297.
  6. ^ K. von Klitzing, L. O. White, Y. Otto, S. Fuchs, H. L. Egger, A. M. Klein: Depressive comorbidity in preschool anxiety disorder. In: J Child Psychol Psychiatr. 55, 2014, S. 1107–1116.
  7. ^ T. Göttken, K. von Klitzing: Psychoanalytische Kurzzeittherapie mit Kindern (PaKT). 1. Auflage. Klett-Cotta, 2015, ISBN 978-3-608-94882-0.
  8. ^ T. Gottken, L. O. White, A. M. Klein, K. Klitzing: Short-term psychoanalytic child therapy for anxious children: a pilot study. In: Psychotherapy (Chic). 51, 2014, S. 148–158.
  9. ^ KINDERANALYSE Zeitschrift. Herausgeber
  10. ^ "World Association for Infant Mental Health. Board of directors". Archived from the original on 7 October 2016. Retrieved 30 May 2016.
  11. ^ Award winners August-Homburger Preis (PDF).