Award Year: 2009
Richard C. Friedman combines the commitments and superb clinical skills of a psychoanalyst psychiatrist with those of a researcher/clinician. His innovative and seminal papers on homosexuality which he describes as a normal variant of human sexuality were based on a psycho endocrine study of male homosexuality carried out in the 1970s. Subsequently he presents a radically revised psychoanalytic perspective about male homosexuality and sexual motivation generally. He also critically addresses key issues in psychosexual development . Emphasizing the importance of sexual differentiation of the brain and behavior Friedman (and his colleague Jennifer Downey) proposes a revised view of the Oedipus complex and of psychosexual development during late childhood . Friedman also discusses the effects of antihomosexual prejudice on the etiology of depression in non-heterosexuals His work has altered the nature of clinical treatment of non-heterosexual individuals and of psychosexual education throughout the world. His scholarship is so carefully observing, so thoughtful and so obviously relevant that it has led to changes that include the admission of homosexual candidates into psychoanalytic institutes and their faculties. It has influenced psychoanalytic institutes to accept the view that conversion of sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual should not be a goal of psychoanalytic treatment. Additionally, Friedman was among the first investigators to report the powerful co-varying influences of affective and character pathology on suicidality in adolescents and young adults. . He was also one of the first to emphasize the importance of effectiveness as opposed to efficacy research. A recent study of 551 patients in the private practices of senior analytically trained psychiatrists demonstrates a consistent pattern of treatment effectiveness. This helps provide a basis for psychoanalytic therapy as an evidence-based treatment .
To watch a video of Wilma Bucci’s Introduction and Richard C. Friedman’s Acceptance Speech for the Sigourney Award on January 14, 2010 at the Essex House in New York City click here.