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Stephen M. Sonnenberg, M.D.


Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Princeton University


Intern, Internal Medicine
University of Wisconsin Madison

Residency, Psychiatry
Albert Einstein College of Medicine


Stephen Sonnenberg, M.D., is a professor in the departments of Medical Education, Population Health and Psychiatry.

He was educated at Princeton University, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where he earned his medical degree and received his training in psychiatry; The University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he was an intern in the Department of Internal Medicine; the National Institute of Mental Health, where he was trained as a researcher; and the Baltimore-DC Institute for Psychoanalysis.

Sonnenberg has served as clinical associate professor of psychiatry at Howard University College of Medicine, adjunct clinical professor of psychiatry at Cornell University Medical College, clinical professor of psychiatry at George Washington University School of Medicine and clinical professor of psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine. He is currently adjunct professor of psychiatry at The Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland, where he served as clinical professor of psychiatry before moving to Texas.

In the past, Sonnenberg has served as co-principal investigator of the Psychology of Deterrence Project at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; director of research of the Project on the Vietnam Generation at the National Museum of American History of the Smithsonian Institution; and research scholar at the Center for Psychology and Social Change, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School at Cambridge Hospital.

At The University of Texas at Austin, in addition to his appointments at Dell Medical School, he is professor of instruction at the Steve Hicks School of Social Work and fellow of the Trice Professorship in the Plan II Honors Program. He is principal investigator of the National Endowment for the Humanities–funded “Patients, Practitioners and Cultures of Care Project,” a research and development effort to create a new undergraduate Bridging Disciplines Program, Patients, Practitioners and Cultures of Care. He chairs the faculty panel governing this program, which emphasizes the relationship of health care and the humanities. He is a faculty fellow of the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, has taught in the School of Architecture and was fellow-in-residence at the Humanities Institute. His most important committee assignments at UT Austin include the Rhodes, Marshall and Truman Scholarships Selection Committee, the chairmanship of the Hamilton Book Awards Selection Committee in 2017 and the facilities planning group working on the design of the Texas Brain Health Center-Austin State Hospital.

Sonnenberg serves on numerous editorial boards and peer-review panels of leading journals in the fields of psychiatry and psychoanalysis. He has contributed scholarly articles to the leading journals in those fields; is the co-author of the textbook “Psychodynamic Psychotherapy” (American Psychiatric Press, 1991, 1998, 2004), which has been translated into Russian, Mandarin, Taiwanese, Simplified Chinese, Persian and Japanese; and is the co-author of chapters in important textbooks of psychiatry. He is the co-editor of “The Trauma of War: Stress and Recovery in Vietnam Veterans” (American Psychiatric Press, 1985). Early in 2013, the award-winning book “CENTER 17: Space & Psyche,” which he co-edited, was published by the Center for American Architecture and Design, School of Architecture, The University of Texas at Austin.

In 1987 and 1988, he was honored as the Distinguished Visiting Professor of Psychiatry at Wilford Hall United States Air Force Medical Center in San Antonio; in 1997 as Master Educator Clinical Consultant at the 150th Annual Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association; in 2006 as the Charles Brenner Visiting Professor of Psychoanalysis at The Medical College of Wisconsin; and in 2014, he received the Distinguished Service Award of The American Psychoanalytic Association for his service to psychoanalysis and lasting contributions to the field.

His research interests focus on the points of intersection of psychoanalysis, psychiatry, medical education, population health and other areas of scholarly inquiry. His subjects of study include war and violence; architecture in relation to health care; psychic trauma and PTSD; addiction and its treatment; education and effective teaching methods; medical humanities, ethics and the doctor-patient relationship; and health and human rights.

Sonnenberg has practiced medicine for more than 50 years, and he still maintains a small practice of psychiatry, psychoanalysis and educational consultation with mid-career psychiatrists.

Professional Affiliations
  • American Psychiatric Association
    Distinguished Life Fellow
  • American College of Psychiatrists
  • American College of Psychoanalysts
  • American Psychoanalytic Association
    Head Education Department, 2009-12
  • Washington School of Psychiatry
    President, 1982-84
Awards & Honors
  • Distinguished Service Award
    American Psychoanalytic Association, 2014
  • Charles Brenner Visiting Professor of Psychoanalysis
    The Medical College of Wisconsin, 2006
  • Psychoanalytic Training Today Award
    International Psychoanalytic Association, 2004
  • Master Educator Clinical Consultant
    150th Annual Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association, 1997
  • Distinguished Visiting Professor
    Wilford Hall United States Air Force Medical Center, 1987, 1988