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Bergmann, M.S. (2000). Lay Analysis: Life Inside the Controversy: Robert S. Wallerstein, M.D. Hillsdale, NJ/London: Analytic Press, 1998. 455 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 69(1):162-167.

(2000). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 69(1):162-167

Lay Analysis: Life Inside the Controversy: Robert S. Wallerstein, M.D. Hillsdale, NJ/London: Analytic Press, 1998. 455 pp.

Review by:
Martin S. Bergmann

Future generations of psychoanalytic historians will be indebted to Robert Wallerstein for writing a kind of history never written before. The Talking Cures, a volume of 600 pages, appeared in 1995, tracing the history of the relationship between psychoanalysis and the psychotherapies it had inspired. Only three years later, Wallerstein brought out another massive volume tracing the history of Lay Analysis in the United States. This volume may turn out to be of even more importance because it appears at a time when the problem of Lay Analysis is having an effect on the sense of identity of American psychoanalysts. What distinguishes both books is not only that they were written by a “consummate insider,” who was himself a leading participant in the changes he now records; but equally significant is the fact that the author possesses an unusual sensitivity in describing a gradual process of change that takes place over decades until it suddenly becomes what the author calls a “sea change.”

The first two chapters of the book deal briefly, perhaps too briefly, with the issue of Lay Analysis before World War II.

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