Roy Schafer is a psychologist and psychoanalyst who has emphasized the place of narrative in psychoanalytic formulations. Each interpretation is viewed as part of a developing story, the culmination of which is a retelling of the analysand’s life history, emotional problems, and course of analysis. Central to this account is the theme of unconscious conflict. In this view, there is no singular correct psychoanalytic account of each of these; there are only different ways of telling what is taken to be true. Each mode of telling derives from some set of presuppositions about what is significant. Those narrative accounts with the widest and most integrated coverage of available information will usually be considered to have the highest truth-value.
Dr. Schafer was born in the Bronx, New York, in 1922. He earned his B.S degree from the City College of New York, a Ph.D from Clark University, and was trained at the Menninger Foundation and Austen Riggs Center. He was a Clinical Professor at Yale University prior to serving as Professor of Psychiatry at Cornell University Medical College with a year abroad as the first Sigmund Freud Memorial Professor at University College London (1975-76). In 1979 he left Cornell and established a private practice in New York City. He is the author of numerous books including Aspects of Internalization (1990), A New Language for Psychoanalysis (1981), Retelling A Life: Narration and Dialogue in Psychoanalysis (1994), The Contemporary Kleinians of London (1997), Bad Feelings (2003), and Insight and Interpretation (2003).
In 2009, the International Psychoanalytic Association honored Dr. Schafer with its Outstanding Scientific Achievement Award.