Dr. Arlow was one of the most important and valuable members of the psychoanalytic community of the United States in the second half of the 20th century, esteemed as teacher, investigator, scholar, and clinician. He was editor of the Psychoanalytic Quarterly from 1972 to 1979 and president of the New York Psychoanalytic Institute, president of the American Psychoanalytic Association, chair of that association’s Board on Professional Standards, and both treasurer of the International Psychoanalytic Association and one of its vice-presidents.
He was the author of many original psychoanalytic articles and two books. One was a work of history titled The Legacy of Sigmund Freud(1). The other, of which Dr. Arlow was a co-author, was titled Psychoanalytic Concepts and the Structural Theory(2). It remained in print for more than 30 years.
Among his many contributions, Dr. Arlow advanced the view that sensory perception is a complex phenomenon influenced both by external sensations and by coexisting inner unconscious wishes and fears. He made important contributions to the understanding of empathy, to the role of the experience of déjà vu, and to the significance of psychoanalytic understanding of the psychology of art, literature, and religion. However, he is best known for the demonstration of the part played by unconscious fantasies in the genesis of the neurotic symptoms and characterological abnormalities that every psychotherapist attempts to identify and correct.
Dr. Arlow’s colleagues and former students created a web site in his name at http://www.psychoanalysis.net/IPPsa/Arlow/Intro. It contains biographical information and a number of his unpublished works.