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Leavy, S.A. (1974). Lawrence S. Kubie, M. D—1896-1973. Psychoanal Q., 43:1-3.

(1974). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 43:1-3

Lawrence S. Kubie, M. D—1896-1973

Stanley A. Leavy

When the Yale Department of Psychiatry after World War II received the strong psychoanalytic stamp which it has maintained ever since, Lawrence S. Kubie became a familiar and impressive figure in the Medical School halls. Already a distinguished psychoanalyst with many published writings, the influence of his vigorous, colorful personality played a significant role in the lives of many young psychiatrists then in training. Those of us who were residents in those years were relatively unfamiliar with the extent of his work in New York and were inclined to look upon him as distinctly one of our own. We knew immediately that this rather elegant figure with his precise diction and scholarly attainments was through and through a clinician and one whom even those already committed to psychoanalytic psychiatry respected for his neurological knowledge as well as his psychological perceptiveness. For all his commitment to the medical profession and orientation, he made it plain at all times that he was a psychoanalyst, prepared when the inevitable controversies arose to enter the contest well armed with a knowledge of the personality that could rout the opposition. That he enjoyed the controversy was indeed evident, but the solid basis of his arguments was always impressive.

When Kubie was in charge of the staff conference there must have been many of us in training then who became aware for the first time of the empirical data on which the theories of the unconscious and the transference are based. Himself an acute listener, he readily conveyed to the attentive students around him something of his capacity for empathy, reached through the perception of details and their synthesis at a deeper level. He seemed to be everywhere at once in those days, and we learned later that this restless, enthusiastic investigator and therapist was almost constantly involved in teaching and speaking as well as in the practice of psychoanalysis. His personal interest in his students and residents added greatly to the impact of his teaching.


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