Lew was a giant figure in relational psychoanalysis. He was a long-serving Director of NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, the founding director of the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy (IARPP), and a past president of the American Psychological Association’s Division of Psychoanalysis (Division 39). He edited the Relational Perspectives Book Series and was a co-founder and co-chair of the Sandor Ferenczi Center at the New School. With his dear friend and close colleague, Stephen Mitchell, he was one of the founders of Psychoanalytic Dialogues: The International Journal of Relational Perspectives. His edited volume with Mitchell, Relational Psychoanalysis: The Emergence of a Tradition (1999) and his book A Meeting of the Minds: Mutuality in Psychoanalysis (1996), are essential readings in the relational canon. Lew was recently a named a Fellow of the College of the International Journal of Psychoanalysis (2016-2020) and a Professor in the School of Psychology Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya, Israel.
Lew’s intellectual curiosity knew no bounds. Though he was an admitted relational partisan, he was also deeply Freudian. His writing explored a wide diversity of interests, including the patient’s experience of the analyst’s subjectivity, the legacy of Sandor Ferenczi, mutual regulation and mutual recognition, gender, ethics in psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic writing, controversies in psychoanalytic education and institutions, religion and spirituality, the development of psychoanalysis in America, the historically defined distinction between psychotherapy and psychoanalysis, and critiques of relational theory. His most recent work, Dramatic Dialogue: Contemporary Clinical Practice (2017), was co-written with his partner Galit Atlas, and explored the prospective function and therapeutic action of enactment.
A highly sought after and internationally-renowned teacher, clinician, organizational consultant, and speaker, Lew was also well known for his lively and thought-provoking reading groups on psychoanalytic theory in New York and internationally.
Lew is survived by his partner Galit Atlas, his 3 children with his former wife, Jane Ades, and Galit’s 3 children.