When I heard of Elisabeth Young-Bruehl’s sudden death last week, I was shocked and saddened. She was a teacher, a mentor, and a friend. I had just seen her two weeks before at a lecture she gave on homophobia and “childism,” the subject of her new book, out this month from Yale University Press. During the lecture, she was as warm and engaging as ever, brilliant and iconoclastic, passionate about her work and her investment in protecting young people.
I took a class of hers in college entitled The Psychology of Adolescence, and later reconnected with her as I was applying to psychoanalytic training programs. She guided me through that process, introduced me to influential colleagues, and assisted me in getting my first papers published. When she lived in my neighborhood, I fed her cats when she traveled out of town, and we had many fascinating and inspiring talks together over coffee.
She was not only a brilliant intellect, she was also an accessible and warm person. She was a true mensch and I will miss her.
Read Elisabeth’s obituary in the New York Times.
Check out her book Childism.
Read her blog.