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Greenberg left the hospital, went to college, became a writer, and immortalized her beloved analyst as “Dr. Among analysts, Fromm-Reichmann, who had come to the United States from Germany to escape Hitler, was known for insisting that no patient was too sick to be healed through trust and intimacy.
She figured that loneliness lay at the heart of nearly all mental illness and that the lonely person was just about the most terrifying spectacle in the world.
It was late in the afternoon, the day after Christmas.
"I'm coming from the church office to get you," Bill said.
Today’s psychologists accept Fromm-Reichmann’s inventory of all the things that loneliness isn’t and add a wrinkle she would surely have approved of.
To the degree that loneliness has been treated as a matter of public concern in the past, it has generally been seen as a social problem—the product of an excessively conformist culture or of a breakdown in social norms. , the UCLA Loneliness Scale, asks 20 questions that run variations on the theme of closeness—“How often do you feel close to people? As many as 30 percent of Americans don’t feel close to people at a given time.“We evade it and feel guilty.”Her 1959 essay, “On Loneliness,” is considered a founding document in a fast-growing area of scientific research you might call loneliness studies.Over the past half-century, academic psychologists have largely abandoned psychoanalysis and made themselves over as biologists.Fromm-Reichmann even distinguished “real loneliness” from mourning, since the well-adjusted eventually get over that, and from depression, which may be a symptom of loneliness but is rarely the cause.Loneliness, she said—and this will surprise no one—is the want of intimacy.