“… I have been an analyst for more than fifty years and I still find it astonishing that every patient has something new to communicate. Sometimes I’ll encounter a patient who has so much new to say that it’s bewildering. It is as if any analyst is living not only his own life, but also the lives of countless other people. So I think I am making a bargain with Death. I am cheating. I am living more than one life.” — Marin Bergmann, PhD
“… My taste is for African art that comes from my Afro-centric perspective. That’s a part of who I am. If a white analyst puts African art in her office, it is perceived as nothing more than her having good taste. For me, as an African American, when I choose to display African art, it is interpreted differently, more personally, as an aspect of my identity, which is also true. I can imagine that to some new black patients, their first reaction might be” ‘I want to get out of here. This guy has his black self right up front and out there. I don’t want to deal with the black part of myself. I’d rather go to a white analyst.’ In a way, I’m challenging those patients to respond. It opens the dialogue where I can say, ‘okay let’s see what we can do with that response,’ and then the real therapeutic work can begin…” — Kirkland C. Vaughns, PhD
For Fifty Shrinks, New York City-based photographer and psychiatrist Sebastian Zimmermann shot dozens of therapists and psychoanalysts standing or seated within their private offices. The seedling ideas for the project began to take root as Zimmermann built his own practice in Upper West Side Manhattan, where he observed within himself a sense of remoteness from the outside world. While his patients shared with him intimate portions of themselves, the role of psychiatrist necessitated a detached and discrete existence.