Leo Stone

United States

Award Year: 1994

Leo Stone, psychoanalyst and teacher was born in Brooklyn New York in 1904. He received his medical degree from the University of Michigan in 1928. He studied pathology in Vienna and Berlin in 1930 then completed a residency in neurology at Montefiore Hospital. He trained in psychiatry at the Menninger Clinic until 1936, after which he established a private practice in New York, which he continued until his death in 1997. He graduated from the New York Psychoanalytic Institute in 1941.

Dr. Stone first achieved prominence after Anna Freud approvingly discussed his 1954 paper, “the widening scope of indications for psychoanalysis”, a plea for humanely expanding the use of psychoanalysis to treat a broad range of illnesses. This paper became the basis for his book The Psychoanalytic Situation: An Examination of Its Development and Essential Nature (1961). He also published The Therapeutic Experience and Its Setting: A Clinical Dialogue with Robert Langs (1980) and Transference and Its Context: Selected Papers in Psychoanalysis (1984).

Dr. Stone was an early proponent of a flexible approach in psychoanalysis. His view was that an analyst who remained too rigid risked damaging his patient and undoing any treatment, a view that was radical at the time when analysts favored giving the silent treatment or acting as a reflecting mirror.

See also The New York Times obituary.