Psychoanalysis & You is an APsA podcast about psychoanalysis and everyday life hosted by Dr. Gail Saltz.

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Show Notes

The future of psychotherapy as a profession depends, in large part, on how young people understand the discipline.

So, what is the best way to introduce the concepts of psychoanalysis to the next generation?

Elizabeth Lunbeck, MA, is a historian of psychoanalysis, psychiatry and psychology currently serving as Professor and Chair of the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University. She teaches courses in the history of psychoanalysis, including a general education lecture course, Psychotherapy and the Modern Self.

Lunbeck is also the author of The Psychiatric Persuasion: Knowledge, Gender, and Power in Modern America and The Americanization of Narcissism and coauthor of Family Romance, Family Secrets: Case Notes from an American Psychoanalysis. She is currently writing a book on the talking cure—from Freud to TikTok.

On this episode of Psychoanalysis and You, Elizabeth Lunbeck joins host Dr. Gail Saltz to explain how she demystifies psychoanalysis for her students without dumbing it down.

Lunbeck discusses the benefit of teaching concepts like transference and reenactment by tying them to our everyday experiences and describes her approach to addressing student curiosity around the efficacy of psychoanalytic treatment.

Listen in for Lunbeck’s insight on how the pandemic has changed public understanding of psychoanalysis and learn what we can do as mental health professionals to ‘defend the brand’ in a time when anyone can call themselves a therapist.

Topics Covered

  • Lunbeck’s approach to teaching undergraduates about psychotherapy
  • The benefit of teaching concepts like transference and reenactment by tying them to our everyday experiences
  • Lunbeck’s students’ openness to learning about psychoanalysis
  • How talk is the technology of all 250 branded therapies
  • What Lunbeck does to demystify concepts of psychoanalysis without dumbing them down
  • How Lunbeck teaches counterintuitive ideas like Fairbairn’s allure of the bad object
  • Lunbeck’s approach to addressing the efficacy of psychoanalytic treatment with her students
  • How the pandemic has changed public understanding of psychoanalysis
  • How the pandemic highlighted the magnitude of the mismatch between mental health providers and need
  • Lunbeck’s concerns around distance treatment for mental health conditions
  • What psychoanalysts can do to ‘defend the brand’


Connect with Elizabeth Lunbeck

Elizabeth Lunbeck at Harvard University


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‘Anna O. and the Talking Cure’ in QJM: Monthly Journal of the Association of Physicians

Working Alliance Inventory

Fairbairn’s Allure of the Bad Object

Otto Kernberg

Books by Abraham Zaleznik

‘The Efficacy of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy’ in American Psychologist

Research by Anthony Bateman and Peter Fonagy

Anthony Bateman’s MBT Training Videos

Books by Edward Bernays

Black Psychoanalysts Speak

APsA Staff