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Garfinkle, E. (2015). End-of-Life Issues in Psychoanalytic Work: An Interview with Ely Garfinkle. Canadian J. Psychoanal., 23(2):386-393.

(2015). Canadian Journal of Psychoanalysis, 23(2):386-393


End-of-Life Issues in Psychoanalytic Work: An Interview with Ely Garfinkle

Ely Garfinkle

11 October 2015

CHARLES LEVIN:: Let's begin with your feelings about psychoanalysis. What drew you to this kind of work?

ELY GARFINKLE: The reason I became a psychoanalyst was that … I wanted to do something that would allow me to use all of myself, my capacity as a human being, my experience, everything, and put it on the table. Being a general practitioner didn't afford me that opportunity, and I was not good enough as a pianist … This of course was a rationalization; I knew I was fucked up and I needed help, and so this was a way for me to get the analysis that I needed. I didn't think at the time I would actually become a psychoanalyst. I was a rebel … a kid that needed help. I had had contact with psychoanalysts in Montreal at the Jewish General and the Allan Memorial. I was amazed by the kinds of things they were saying and I was just beginning to discover myself.

CL: It's easy for many of us to forget what a revelation the analytic way of thinking can be when we are new to it!

EG: Yeah, in the language of the time, it was mind-blowing! My early experience in the analytic community was very positive, and this was also in conjunction with my analysis with Doug Levin, which was life changing. He was a very, very good analyst. The relationship and the transformations that were occurring—the hard work … it was very difficult—but it cemented my belief that this was what I wanted to be doing.


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