Gerald described to CBS News' Susan Spencer his interest in photographing offices: "All of the objects in the analyst's office, whether they're intentionally designed or brought in, or created, have meaning. Psychoanalysis is a practice of looking at and trying to understand the meaning of experience -- not only the surface meaning, but the more underlying meaning.
Left: The psychoanalytic office of Martin Bergmann, Ph.D., New York, N.Y.
"Martin Bergman is still practicing. He has turned 100 years old this year, and he is a real treasure in our field," said Gerald, pointing to his office's "very classical quality."
By CBSNews.com senior producer David Morgan
"Most people's conception of psychoanalysis comes from New Yorker cartoons, Woody Allen movies -- you know, the analyst is always an old white man with a little beard, sitting with his pad behind the couch," said Gerald. But he says the field has become much more diverse: "Many more women -- in fact, nowadays, most psychoanalysts who are in training are women, many more people of color, people from different cultures and backgrounds."
Avgi Saketopoulou, Ph.D., New York, N.Y."I'm very interested in showing diversity in the offices," Gerald said. "And there are very interesting distinctions. But most offices carry with them a few basic ideas. And these are connected to the notion that a psychoanalytic office is an enclosure. It's a place for privacy, a place to get at and reach areas that are not easy to reach in the social world."
Lourdes (Luly) Casares, Ph.D., Coral Gables, Fla.Gerald said Dr. Luly Casares' office speaks to the importance of the geographic and cultural context in which psychoanalytic offices exist. "There's the light and the sun that's coming through. There is this sense of presence. There's art on the walls on the side, and a number of evocative objects for patients to interact with. But I think what's also here is that Luly herself, as all psychoanalysts are, we are objects in our own office, and we are part of the decor of the office. And that includes our style, our clothing, our presence in the space, and how that can be used in this collaborative effort that is psychoanalysis."
"You're sort of focused on [her], because there's such a blank slate there," said Spencer.
"Yes, it's true," Gerald replied, adding, "Psychoanalysis is represented by a wide spectrum -- more and more young psychoanalysts are people who are bringing different sensibilities into the work."
Eyal Rozmarin, Ph.D., New York, N.Y.Eyal Rozmarin's consulting room features a series of images of an atomic bomb exploding.
"A very unusual image to have in the office," said Gerald. "It might scare one person to death, and another person might welcome something very eruptive in themselves, that they could see in this space the opportunity and the possibility of being able to bring up some of the things that feel uncontainable in themselves. . . . Many of his patients were ex-pat Israelis. So I think there was something that would resonate with them, having lived in a culture and in an environment where violence and war was not uncommon."
Sylvie Faure-Pragier, M.D., Paris, France"We study a lot, we learn a lot, we have a lot of forebears that we try to model ourselves after," said Gerald. "And it takes a long time to differentiate and finally separate ourselves into having a personal psychoanalytic voice, and a personal psychoanalytic self."
Kim Leary, Ph.D., Cambridge, Mass."There's not a psychoanalyst who've I've photographed -- and I've photographed analysts in South America, in Mexico, in Europe, in the United States -- who does not have a couch in their office," said Gerald.
Seymour Moscovitz, Ph.D., New York, N.Y.Gerald recalled, "One of the senior New York analysts who actually works in a psychoanalytic approach called interpersonal psychoanalysis, which does not use the couch, said, 'I never use the couch with my patients, they always sit up. But if I didn't have a couch, I wouldn't feel like a psychoanalyst.' "
Self-portrait of Mark Gerald, New York CityOne motivation for Gerald's photography project was to see himself in his work: "As psychoanalysts we're very interested in increasing and expanding consciousness and awareness about experience. And I realized that I couldn't see myself -- no one can see themselves, after all -- so I wanted to see what I saw, by looking at myself."
"So what did you learn about yourself?" asked Spencer.
"Well, I learned that it took a while to become a good subject for the camera!" he laughed. "That is, to relax into the experience. I think this is true for analysts, especially young analysts, that it takes a while to become comfortable within yourself in doing the work that you do."
For more info:
"In the Shadow of Freud's Couch" - Photographs by Mark Gerald (markgeraldphoto.com)
Freud Museum, Vienna
Freud Museum, London
By CBSNews.com senior producer David Morgan