The Most Influential Psychiatrist of the 20th Century Might Be Someone You’ve Never Heard Of

One hundred years ago, a 23-year-old University of Vienna medical student attended a lecture by Professor Sigmund Freud. It was a dream analysis. As the students filed out of the lecture hall, the famous psychoanalyst asked the young student, later known as J.L. Moreno, what kind of work he was doing. “Well, Dr. Freud,” he replied, “I start where you leave off. You meet people in the artificial setting of your office. I meet them on the street and in their home, in their natural surroundings. You analyze their dreams. I give them the courage to dream again.”

This extraordinarily arrogant response by an unknown medical student to a distinguished professor foreshadowed the life of a prolific innovator whose ideas are so pervasive that they rival those of Freud himself in their influence on our time.

I’ll admit a bias here. J.L. — who died in 1974 on his 85th birthday — was my dad, and I’ve just published a book about his life and work, Impromptu Man: J.L. Moreno and the Origins of Psychodrama, Encounter Culture, and the Social Network. But I think the facts bear me out. —> Read More Here


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