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Wallerstein, R.S. (1997). Merton Gill, Psychotherapy, And Psychoanalysis: A Personal Dialogue. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 45:233-256.
(1997). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 45:233-256
Merton Gill, Psychotherapy, And Psychoanalysis: A Personal Dialogue
Robert S. Wallerstein
Top: Merton Gill, c. 1950 Bottom: Robert Wallerstein, 1965
Merton Gill occupied a unique place in my intellectual and em
otional scheme of things, as close friend and colleague, as scientific ideal and moral gadfly, and as research mentor and supporter, although—despite mutual wishes that would have had it otherwise—we never worked collaboratively in the same setting. I first met Merton in the early 1950s—now more than four decades ago—a time when I, at the very start of my career as a psychotherapy researcher, was fashioning, together with some colleagues, what would evolve into the Psychotherapy Research Project of the Menninger Foundation, an ambitious thirty-year
study of the processes and outcomes of both
psychoanalysis and the psychoanalytic psychotherapies. At the time, we
were applying to the Foundations' Fund for Research in Psychiatry for our first extramural funding.
Merton, whom I knew then only through his early writings on the nature of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy and on their relation (writings that had played a seminal role in the conceptual organization of our project), came as one of the Fund's site visitors. At our first meeting he was his characteristically incisive and lucid self, probing (often uncomfortably so) and at times acerbic, but at the same time always curiously respectful. After the visit none of us could be sure of Merton's take on the project, but in due course we were awarded the grant, which helped launch our project on its long-term career.
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