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Robert Wallerstein

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Robert Wallerstein Obituary
Dr. Robert S. Wallerstein

Of Belvedere, California, died December 21, 2014, of heart failure, surrounded by children and grandchildren. Born in Berlin, Germany in 1921, he moved to New York City at age two. His bachelors and MD were from Columbia University. An internationally renowned psychoanalyst, Wallerstein trained at the Menninger Foundation, Topeka, Kansas; and there became Director of Research and the longitudinal Psychotherapy Research Project. Moving to the Bay Area in 1966, he was Chief of Psychiatry at Mount Zion Hospital; Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at UC San Francisco; Supervising Analyst at the SF Psychoanalytic Institute; and served as President of the American and International Psychoanalytic Associations. He received the prestigious Sigourney Award for outstanding contributions to psychoanalysis in 1991; was twice a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, California, and a Fellow at the Rockefeller Foundation Study Center in Bellagio, Italy.

His 20 books and over 400 scholarly articles made a vast contribution to the scientific study of psychoanalysis. He was a leader by consensus, a pioneer in psychoanalytic research, and an advocate for training analytic practitioners from lay backgrounds, founding the innovative Doctor of Mental Health program at UC Berkeley-UCSF. Throughout his life's work, he strived for a pluralistic general theory that would integrate the many strands of psychoanalysis. His books included: Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis: Theory, Practice, Research, 1975; Becoming a Psychoanalyst, 1981; Forty-Two Lives in Treatment, 1986; The Talking Cures: The Psychoanalyses and the Psychotherapies, 1995; Lay Analysis: Life Inside the Controversy, 1998; Psychoanalysis: Clinical and Theoretical 1999; and Psychoanalysis: Education, Research, Science, and Profession, 2003.

Bob was a generous, kind, and humble man, who could tell and re-tell stories about his personal and professional life with a remarkable lucidity, whether it was from 50 years ago or up to the day of his death. He was pre-deceased by his beloved wife of 65 years, Judith Wallerstein, and his son Michael. He is survived by his daughters, Nina and Amy; his daughter-in-law Liz; his sons-in-law, Glenn and David, and five grandchildren. Donations can be sent to the Wallerstein Memorial Library, UCLFAA Inc. (University College London), c/o Chapel and York, 1000 N. West Street, Suite 1200, Wilmington, DE 19801; or New Israel Fund, PO Box 96712, Washington, DC, 20077-7438, nif.org.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Dec. 28, 2014
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