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Sometimes, a couch is a only a couch, but not in Dr. Nathan Kravis’s new book, On the Couch: A Repressed History of the Analytic Couch from Plato to Freud (MIT Press, 2017). In a live interview conducted in connection with the Manhattan Institute for Psychoanalysis, we discuss how the couch has become the leading symbol for psychoanalysis in positive and maligned ways. Dr. Kravis discusses how the couch came to signify reclining, rest, introspection and healing and how important decor was for Freud as he was developing the analytic method. We spoke about the role of the couch in the last hundred years and what the future holds for it. We even speak about our own couches and how patients use them!
There is a brief question-and-answer period as well. This book is beautifully illustrated: Doctor Kravis describes many of the pictures in the book during this interview – you can see a link to  some of the photos discussed here.

Christopher Bandini tweets @cebandini.


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