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Mann, J. (1964). Felix Deutsch—1884-1964. Bul. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 20:443-445.

(1964). Bulletin of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 20:443-445

Felix Deutsch—1884-1964

James Mann, M.D.

The year was 1939 and I was a third-year student at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The class had assembled in the main amphitheater for the presentation of a psychosomatic case. A small, wiry, energetic man, new to the faculty, interviewed and discussed with us the young female patient. His Viennese accent was understood with difficulty by some—perhaps in the main by those who hesitated to allow themselves to hear what he was telling. In a beloved characteristic dramatic teaching display, the head cocked to one side, the upturned eyebrows, the feigned surprise, and in tones carefully measured to produce a precise effect, he told the class that this young girl would not long survive her asthma. When it was over I knew I had found a teacher who was a master, in fact, of psyche and soma.

Not long after, I sat in a small room with headphones attached and listened to Felix Deutsch interview a patient in the adjoining office in his research quarters in the medical school. At my feet, a primitive variety of recording apparatus turned slowly. I could not fully appreciate then that I was listening to his associative anamnesis, nor did I realize that his crude recording devices were pioneering what was not to become part of psychiatric teaching and research for another ten years.

When World War II was over and I came to Boston for psychoanalytic training, it seemed entirely natural for me to turn to Felix Deutsch as my training analyst. Despite the interval of interneship years and wartime service, I mark my relationship with Felix Deutsch as having begun twenty-five years ago—more than enough time to see beyond the training analyst and sufficient time to dispel the nurturant glow of the analytic situation.

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