While there are many books on psychoanalysis, few address what it is like to live one's life as a psychoanalyst. The Unsung Psychoanalyst focuses on the challenges, tragedies, and rewards of a psychoanalytic life using as an example the pioneering and prescient Canadian analyst Ruth Easser (1922–1975). Gifted as a clinician and teacher, Easser had a formative influence in New York and Toronto on a generation of psychoanalysts, many of whom are today's leaders in the field.
Based on interviews with more than thirty of Easser's teachers, colleagues, students, analysands, family and friends, and a review of her papers, Mary Kay O'Neil builds a portrait of life as a psychoanalyst. The author traces as well some of the developments of psychoanalytic thought during the past fifty years.
The Unsung Psychoanalyst touches on the founding and growth of New York's Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research, and on the development of the Toronto Psychoanalytic Society and Institute where Easser taught during the last five years of her life.