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(2015). Robert Wallerstein (1920-2014). Psychoanal. Rev., 102(1):171.
(2015). Psychoanalytic Review, 102(1):171
Robert Wallerstein (1920-2014)
Robert Wallerstein, a good friend of nonmedical psychoanalysis before it became fashionable, passed away December 19, 2014, at the age of 94. He published many articles, and his books are classics. He held such prestigious positions as president of the International Psychoanalytic Association (IPA) and Director of Research at the Menninger Foundation. He always gave credit to both Karl Menninger and Erik Erikson, whom he regarded as his mentors. Though most of his articles were published in the journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, he did not hesitate to publish in other journals, such as American Imago and The Psychoanalytic Review. In particular, for the Review, he wrote an article (“The Lobo-Cabernite Affair Revisited: And Commentary on Articles by Villela and Rubin,” 2005, vol. 92, no. 6, pp. 839-856) on a political issue that arose when he was President of the IPA, expressing his concern about the ethical situation that occurred when a patient was aiding the Brazilian military in the torture of prisoners and his analyst was complicit by not “outing” his patient.
The current President of the IPA, Stefano Bolognini, in writing to all IPA members, said, “Like many others, I admired his innovative vision, his courage and his highly civil, democratic, but also firm way of discussion when he debated these topics with other renowned, more traditional analysts who didn't always share these ideas. In my view, he was a founder of a really international culture, open to recognize the richness and diversity of the many schools that grew up in so many countries in one century of Psychoanalysis.”
Robert Wallerstein was a leader in the advancement of the recognition of nonmedical psychoanalysis. Today nonmedical analysts are members of the American Psychoanalytic Association and the IPA. The richness of his articles and books will be there for future analysts to remember. The integrity of his spirit will never be forgotten.
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