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Blum, H.P. (2020). Leonard Shengold, M. D.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 101(3):595-596.

(2020). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 101(3):595-596

Leonard Shengold, M. D.

Harold P. Blum

Leonard Shengold, a highly esteemed psychoanalyst, died on 16 January 2020 at the age of 94. He was born to Jewish parents who had come to the United States from Minsk and Vilnius. He recalled, from an early age, his father having cardiac angina attacks and his own and his mother’s crying, fearful of his father’s death. Their fears were not unwarranted; his father died when he was 12 years old, a severe traumatic loss as he confronted the challenges of adolescence. This early trauma verylikely contributed to Shengold’s sensitivity, as well as his later interest in anxiety, grief, and traumatic loss, from both clinical and theoretical perspectives.

Shengold served in the US Army during World War II, and was stationed in India, North Africa, and Asia. His military experiences expanded his horizons, introducing him to a variety of people from other backgrounds and cultures. This doubtless contributed to his clinical and personal sensitivity to each individual in his/her own culture and society. Two books of special interest to him during his military service were Freud’s Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis and Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past. Both books further stimulated Shengold’s abiding creative and productive investigations of child development and psychopathology. Shengold’s stressful early life and his choice of reading can be seen as precursors of his choice of psychoanalysis as a career, and of his creative work on child abuse.

[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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