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Livingston, R.H., Ph.D. (2019). An Introduction. Contemp. Psychoanal., 55(1-2):1-4.

(2019). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 55(1-2):1-4


An Introduction

Ruth H. Livingston, Ph.D.

Woodlawn Hotel/Chestnut Lodge, circa 1900.

Photograph by Philip Reed. Courtesy of Peerless Rockville.

How This Issue Came to Be

It all started in an elevator.

I (Ruth) had just heard several participants at a New Directions weekend read their most recent compositions. I was impressed. One author, in particular, intrigued me. This was Liat Katz, who had written, of all things, a rollicking tale of an encounter with a barista at Starbucks.

Now I was in the elevator, and Liat—whom I’d not formally met—was there with me. Just the two of us. I told her how much I enjoyed her reading. Liat was humble, modest in thanking me. Then, rather shyly, as I recall, she mentioned that she had something she might want to send to Contemporary Psychoanalysis. She wasn’t sure it “fit,” she said, but told me that it was about her experience as an adolescent patient at Chestnut Lodge.

I remember feeling a flutter of excitement. Why? Many reasons. In the 1960s, long before I became a psychologist, I had devoured an inspiring book: I Never Promised You a Rose Garden by Hannah Green. It’s likely this book (which I soon learned was actually written by Joanne Greenberg [see this issue, p. 61-72] as a fictionalized account of her 3-year treatment at Chestnut Lodge) spawned my career as a psychoanalyst. Then, once in graduate school, I found myself drawn to studying accounts of Lodge treatments by Frieda Fromm-Reichman and Harold Searles. As an intern, I worked with the severely mentally ill myself and read Gail Hornstein’s biography of Frieda Fromm Reichmann, in which the Lodge figures prominently.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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