• Paul Woodruff Professor for Excellence in Undergraduate Studies, School of Undergraduate Studies
  • Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Dell Medical School
  • Professor of Population Health, Department of Population Health, Dell Medical School
  • Professor of Medical Education, Department of Medical Education, Dell Medical School

Stephen Sonnenberg, M.D., was educated at Princeton University, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where he earned his medical degree and also 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.

He 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 & behavioral sciences 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 he 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 the Paul Woodruff Professor for Excellence in Undergraduate Studies in the School of Undergraduate Studies. In 2021-22 he served as Interim Associate Chair for Education in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at Dell Medical School. He served as principal investigator of the National Endowment for the Humanities-funded Patients, Practitioners and Cultures of Care Project, a research and development effort that created a new undergraduate Bridging Disciplines Program, Patients, Practitioners and Cultures of Care, and a collaborating Plan II Track Humanities, Healthcare, and Advocacy. He chairs the Faculty Panel governing this BDP Program, which emphasizes the relationship of health care and the humanities. He also directs the collaborating Plan II Track. He has been 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 Committees, the chairmanship of the Hamilton Book Awards Selection Committee in 2017, and the Facilities Planning group that worked on the design of the Texas Brain Health Center-Austin State Hospital.

Sonnenberg serves and has served 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 Viet Nam 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 2004 as the recipient of the Psychoanalytic Training Today Award of the International Psychoanalytic 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.

Sonnenberg’s important professional affiliations have included the American Psychiatric Association ((Distinguished Life Fellow), the American College of Psychiatrists (Fellow), the American College of Psychoanalysts (Fellow), the American Psychoanalytic Association (Founding Head, Education Department, 2009-12), and the Washington School of Psychiatry (President, 1982-84).

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

Selected talks, lectures, and presentations

Curriculum Vitae

Professional Interests

Points of intersection of psychoanalysis, psychiatry, medical education, population health and other areas of scholarly inquiry, especially the humanities. 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, especially for pre-healthcare undergraduates; medical humanities, ethics and the doctor-patient relationship; and health and human rights.