Wolberg, Lewis Robert

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WOLBERG, LEWIS ROBERT (1905–1988), U.S. psychiatrist and psychoanalyst. Born in Russia, Wolberg was taken to the United States at the age of nine months. When he completed his training, he was appointed clinical professor of psychiatry at the New York University Medical School and a training analyst at the New York Medical College from its beginning in 1943. He was a founder of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis. Although trained in psychoanalysis in its more classical form, he rapidly became aware of the need for innovations. He was a pioneer in the field of dynamic psychiatry and contemporary psychotherapy. In 1945 he founded the Postgraduate Center for Mental Health, of which he was medical director and dean, and later dean emeritus. Here he created a model community mental health center based upon a multi-disciplinary approach to treatment, training, research, and prevention. He was in the forefront of new ways to bring a mental health orientation to the individual, the family, the neighborhood, the nation, and the international community. A leading authority on hypnosis, Wolberg pioneered the use of this technique for more than 50 years. He was an outstanding teacher and a member of many psychiatric associations and published extensively in professional and popular periodicals.

His most important books are Hypnoanalysis (1945), The Technique of Psychotherapy (2 vols, 1954), Medical Hypnosis (2 vols., 1948), Short-Term Psychotherapy (1965), Psychotherapy and the Behavioral Sciences (1966), The Dynamics of Personality (1970), Hypnosis, Is It for You? (1972), and The Practice of Psychotherapy (1982).

add. bibliography:

P. Buirskl (ed.), Frontiers of Dynamic Psychotherapy: Essays in Honor of Arlene and Lewis R. Wolberg (1987).

[Yehudith Shaltiel]