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Richards, A.K. Richards, A.D. (2000). Benjamin Wolstein and Us: Many Roads Lead to Rome. Contemp. Psychoanal., 36(2):255-265.

(2000). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 36(2):255-265

Benjamin Wolstein and Us: Many Roads Lead to Rome

Arlene Kramer Richards, Ph.D. and Arnold David Richards, M.D.

We are Delighted to have this opportunity to comment on the work of Benjamin Wolstein and on his very interesting understanding of the psychoanalytic situation and the therapeutic action of psychoanalysis. We also want to express our appreciation and admiration for Irwin Hirsch's masterful interview of Wolstein, who many consider to have been one of the true masters of interpersonal psychoanalysis.

As contemporary Freudian analysts, we have to acknowledge that it took us aback at first to realize that until now we have had almost no exposure to Wolstein's work. One of us had read Fiscalini's chapter on Wolstein in Pioneers of Interpersonal Analysis (Stern, Mann, Kantor & Schlesinger, 1995), but that was all. This lack of familiarity is worthy of note, and so is the fact that when we searched the PEP CD-ROM, which includes the publications through 1994 of five psychoanalytic journals, we found that Wolstein had published forty papers and commentaries in Contemporary Psychoanalysis and none in any of the other four journals (Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, Psychoanalytic Quarterly, International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, and Psychoanalytic Study of the Child). Furthermore, there are sixty-one references to Wolstein in Contemporary Psychoanalysis, but only two in JAPA, one in PQ, three in IJP, and none in PSC. The two JAPA citations are by Irwin Hirsch himself. This left us wondering: Did Wolstein ever submit a paper to any of the other four journals? If he did, were they rejected? If he didn't, was it because he thought they would be? Whatever the truth is, the bibliographic facts attest to the great divide that has existed since the 1940s between interpersonal psychoanalysis and the rest of the psychoanalytic world.


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