My mother has worked as a clinical psychologist for the majority of my life. I vividly remember the various offices she practiced out of. As a kid, it was a place of mystery where strangers went to talk, cry and shout, and where children had their drawings “read”. Maybe that is why this series of photographs by psychoanalyst Mark Gerald appealed so much to me.
In The Shadow of Freud’s Couch is a photographic project that documents psychoanalysts in their offices.
“This project, which I began in 2003, stems from my intersecting lives as a psychoanalyst and photographer. I have always been interested in seeing people…in their surface appearance and in the deeper sense of who they are…
The subject of the psychoanalyst is fascinating because of its traditional posture of neutrality. The analyst and the analytic space, as represented physically by the office, occupy a very private domain. The person and the room have been thought to exist as a blank screen for patients to project their transferences and fantasies upon. The Victorian consulting room of Sigmund Freud, with its oriental rug-draped couch, set a mood and technique that governed psychoanalytic life for much of its first century.
Today, psychoanalysts speak not with a single voice or presentation. They are a mosaic of diverse practitioners showing multiple faces in their work. I feel very fortunate to have been welcomed into the special places where my colleagues practice, to have been granted the opportunity to experience these analytic spaces, and to see the women and men who, true to Freud, still are the receivers of dreams and dread.”