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Shellburne Thurber’s images of consulting rooms

American photographer Shellburne Thurber’s images of consulting rooms reveal the tensions of psychoanalysis. The “patient” lies on the couch, as though receiving medical treatment. At the same time, the walls are lined with books, paintings and objets d’art, telling us this is not a hospital but a site of intellectual endeavour. So is psychoanalysis a “talking cure” for the sick or a creative, humanistic exploration of the psyche? The ambiguous set-up of the therapeutic space suggests it is a little of both.

Article in the FT Magazine (19/20 April) co-written with Antonia Macaro

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