Smiley Blanton, M.D. (1882-1966)

Smiley Blanton, M.D. was a patient of Freud from September 1, 1929 to May 30, 1930. He had several more weeks of analysis with Freud in August 1935, and then again in August 1937 and August 1938. Freud allowed Blanton to write whatever he wished after his analytic session. Smiley Blanton’s notes were used for his book “Diary of My Analysis with Freud” (1971). The analysis was conducted in English and Freud’s English was described as “perfect.” Freud gave Blanton a book which Freud wanted him to read about Shakespeare’s identity.

Born in Tennessee into a religious Protestant family, Smiley Blanton obtained his M.D. from Cornell University (1914), and had psychiatric training under Dr. Adolf Meyer. After serving in the United States military in World War I, he studied neurology and psychological medicine in London, 1922-1923. Encountering Nazi persecution of Jews when he was in Vienna, Blanton urged Freud to leave before he would be killed. Freud inscribed a copy of “The Interpretation of Dreams” for Blanton during his 1935 visit, and indicated he might not be alive next year; Freud often spoke about death. Smiley Blanton presented analytic cases to Freud for supervision during his analysis, and indicated that Freud’s session sometimes was extended 5-10 minutes.

Smiley Blanton collaborated with Rev. Norman Vincent Peale in his later years in New York, creating the American Foundation of Religion and Psychiatry. They trained Clergy in Pastoral Counseling and established a free clinic at the Marble Collegiate Church.

Harold P. Blum, M.D.