On This Day … 22 January

People (Births)

  • 1913 – Henry Bauchau, Belgian psychoanalyst and author (d. 2012).
  • 1932 – Berthold Grünfeld, Norwegian psychiatrist and academic (d. 2007).

Henry Bauchau

Henry Bauchau (22 January 1913 to 21 September 2012) was a Belgian psychoanalyst, lawyer, and author of French prose and poetry.

Henry Bauchau was born in Mechelen, Belgium on 22 January 1913. He became a trial lawyer in Brussels in 1936 and was a member of the Belgian Resistance in the Ardennes during World War II.

From 1945 to 1951 he worked in publishing. In 1946, he moved to Paris. He was a friend of Albert Camus, André Gide, Jacques Lacan, and Jacques Derrida.

He was married to Mary Kozyrev; their son is the actor Patrick Bauchau. They lived for a time in Gstaad, Switzerland.

Bauchau died in Paris, France on 21 September 2012, aged 99.

Berthold Grunfeld

Berthold Grünfeld (22 January 1932 to 20 August 2007) was a Norwegian psychiatrist, sexologist, and professor of social medicine at the University of Oslo. He was also a recognised expert in forensic psychiatry, often employed by Norwegian courts to examine insanity defence pleas.

Grünfeld was born in Bratislava in what was then Czechoslovakia. In 1939, when he was seven, he and 34 other Jewish children were separated from their families in an attempt by Nansenhjelpen to rescue them from the early manifestations of the Holocaust. The group of children was sent by train to Norway via Berlin, after having been told they would never again see their parents.

Once in Norway, Grünfeld was first placed at the Jewish children’s home in Oslo, then lived as a foster child with a Jewish family in Trondheim before returning to the orphanage. During the occupation of Norway, Grünfeld avoided capture and deportation by fleeing with members of the Norwegian Resistance in 1942 to neutral Sweden, where he stayed until the war ended. He returned to the children’s home in 1946. The Jewish community funded his education.

Berthold Grünfeld earned his medical degree in 1960, when he also met his future wife Gunhild. He was awarded his doctorate in medicine in 1973 based on a dissertation on abortion. In 1993, he was made professor of social medicine at the University of Oslo.

Grünfeld was noted for his academic contributions within sexology, on the issues of abortion and euthanasia, and within forensic psychology. In addition to his advocacy and teaching, he acted as an expert witness in criminal cases, and as a consultant on human relations and sexology for Oslo Helseråd. His dissertation influenced the reform of abortion laws in Norway.

Grünfeld and his wife had three children and six grandchildren. In 2005, his daughter Nina Grünfeld made a film, Origin Unknown, about her efforts to research her father’s background and heritage. Among other things, she found that his mother had worked as a prostitute and was murdered in the death camp at Sobibor.

What is Regression (Psychology)?

Introduction

Regression, according to psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, is a defence mechanism leading to the temporary or long-term reversion of the ego to an earlier stage of development rather than handling unacceptable impulses more adaptively.

In psychoanalytic theory, regression occurs when an individual’s personality reverts to an earlier stage of development, adopting more childish mannerisms.

Freud, Regression, and Neurosis

Freud saw inhibited development, fixation, and regression as centrally formative elements in the creation of a neurosis. Arguing that “the libidinal function goes through a lengthy development”, he assumed that “a development of this kind involves two dangers – first, of inhibition, and secondly, of regression”. Inhibitions produced fixations; and the “stronger the fixations on its path of development, the more readily will the function evade external difficulties by regressing to the fixations”.

Neurosis for Freud was thus the product of a flight from an unsatisfactory reality:

“along the path of involution, of regression, of a return to earlier phases of sexual life, phases from which at one time satisfaction was not withheld. This regression appears to be a twofold one: a temporal one, in so far as the libido, the erotic needs, hark back to stages of development that are earlier in time, and a formal one, in that the original and primitive methods of psychic expression are employed in manifesting those needs”.

Behaviours associated with regression can vary greatly depending upon the stage of fixation: one at the oral stage might result in excessive eating or smoking, or verbal aggression, whereas one at the anal stage might result in excessive tidiness or messiness. Freud recognised that “it is possible for several fixations to be left behind in the course of development, and each of these may allow an irruption of the libido that has been pushed off – beginning, perhaps, with the later acquired fixations, and going on, as the lifestyle develops, to the original ones”.

In the Service of the Ego

Ernst Kris supplements Freud’s general formulations with a specific notion of “regression in the service of the ego” … “the specific means whereby preconscious and unconscious material appear in the creator’s consciousness”. Kris thus opened the way for ego psychology to take a more positive view of regression. Carl Jung had earlier argued that “the patient’s regressive tendency…is not just a relapse into infantilism, but an attempt to get at something necessary…the universal feeling of childhood innocence, the sense of security, of protection, of reciprocated love, of trust”. Kris however was concerned rather to differentiate the way that “Inspiration -…in which the ego controls the primary process and puts it into its service – needs to be contrasted with the opposite…condition, in which the ego is overwhelmed by the primary process”.

Nevertheless his view of regression in the service of the ego could be readily extended into a quasi-Romantic image of the creative process, in which “it is only in the fiery storm of a profound regression, in the course of which the personality undergoes both dissolution of structure and reorganization, that the genius becomes capable of wresting himself from the traditional pattern that he had been forced to integrate through the identifications necessitated and enforced by the oedipal constellation”.

From there it was perhaps only a small step to the 1960s valorisation of regression as a positive good in itself. “In this particular type of journey, the direction we have to take is back and in….They will say we are regressed and withdrawn and out of contact with them. True enough, we have a long, long way to back to contact the reality”. Jungians had however already warned that “romantic regression meant a surrender to the non-rational side which had to be paid for by a sacrifice of the rational and individual side”; and Freud for his part had dourly noted that “this extraordinary plasticity of mental developments is not unrestricted in direction; it may be described as a special capacity for involution – regression – since it may well happen that a later and higher level of development, once abandoned, cannot be reached again”.

Later Views

Anna Freud (1936) ranked regression first in her enumeration of the defence mechanisms, and similarly suggested that people act out behaviours from the stage of psychosexual development in which they are fixated. For example, an individual fixated at an earlier developmental stage might cry or sulk upon hearing unpleasant news.

Michael Balint distinguishes between two types of regression: a nasty “malignant” regression that the Oedipal level neurotic is prone to… and the “benign” regression of the basic-fault patient. The problem then is what the analyst can do “to ensure that his patient’s regression should be therapeutic and any danger of a pathological regression avoided”.

Others have highlighted the technical dilemmas of dealing with regression from different if complementary angles. On the one hand, making premature “assumptions about the patient’s state of regression in the therapy…regarded as still at the breast”, for example, might block awareness of more adult functioning on the patient’s part: of the patient’s view of the therapist. The opposite mistake would be “justifying a retreat from regressive material presented by a patient. When a patient begins to trust the analyst or therapist it will be just such disturbing aspects of the internal world that will be presented for understanding – not for a panic retreat by the therapist”.

Peter Blos suggested that “revisiting of early psychic positions…helps the adolescent come out of the family envelope”, and that “Regression during adolescence thus advances the cause of development”. Stanley Olinick speaks of “regression in the service of the other” on the part of the analyst “during his or her clinical work. Such ego regression is a pre-condition for empathy”.

Demonstration of pain, impairment, etc. also relates to regression. When regression becomes the cornerstone of a personality and the life strategy for overcoming problems, it leads to such an infantile personality.

  • A clear example of regressive behaviour in fiction can be seen in J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye. Holden constantly contradicts the progression of time and the ageing process by reverting to childish ideas of escape, unrealistic expectations and frustration produced by his numerous shifts in behaviour. His tendencies to reject responsibility and society as a whole because he ‘does not fit in’ also pushes him to prolonged use of reaction formation, unnecessary generalisations, and compulsive lying.
  • A similar example occurs in Samuel Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape. Krapp is fixated on reliving earlier times, and re-enacts the foetal condition in his ‘den’. He is unable to form mature relationships with women, seeing them only as replacements for his deceased mother. He experiences physical ailments that are linked to his foetal complex, struggling to perform digestive functions on his own. This literal anal retentiveness exemplifies his inefficacy as an independent adult.

On This Day … 14 January

People (Deaths)

Harry Stack Sullivan

Herbert “Harry” Stack Sullivan (21 February 1892 to 14 January 1949) was an American Neo-Freudian psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who held that “personality can never be isolated from the complex interpersonal relationships in which [a] person lives” and that “[t]he field of psychiatry is the field of interpersonal relations under any and all circumstances in which [such] relations exist”.

Having studied therapists Sigmund Freud, Adolf Meyer, and William Alanson White, he devoted years of clinical and research work to helping people with psychotic illness.

On This Day … 06 January

People (Births)

  • 1915 – John C. Lilly, American psychoanalyst, physician, and philosopher (d. 2001).

People (Deaths)

  • 2014 – Julian Rotter, American psychologist and academic (b. 1916).

John C. Lilly

John Cunningham Lilly (06 January 1915 to 30 September 2001) was an American physician, neuroscientist, psychoanalyst, psychonaut, philosopher, writer and inventor. He was a member of a generation of counterculture scientists and thinkers that included Ram Dass, Werner Erhard and Timothy Leary, all frequent visitors to the Lilly home. He often stirred controversy, especially among mainstream scientists.

Lilly conducted high-altitude research during World War II and later trained as a psychoanalyst. He gained renown in the 1950s after developing the isolation tank. He saw the tanks, in which users are isolated from almost all external stimuli, as a means to explore the nature of human consciousness. He later combined that work with his efforts to communicate with dolphins. He began studying how bottlenose dolphins vocalize, establishing centres in the US Virgin Islands, and later San Francisco, to study dolphins. A decade later, he began experimenting with psychedelics, including LSD, often while floating in isolation. His work inspired two Hollywood movies, The Day of the Dolphin (1973) and Altered States (1980).

Julian Rotter

Julian B. Rotter (22 October 1916 to 06 January 2014) was an American psychologist known for developing social learning theory and research into locus of control. He was a faculty member at The Ohio State University and then the University of Connecticut. A Review of General Psychology survey, published in 2002, ranked Rotter as the 64th most eminent and 18th most widely cited psychologist of the 20th century. A 2014 study published in 2014 placed at #54 among psychologists whose careers spanned the post-World War II era.

On This Day … 03 December

People (Births)

  • 1895 – Anna Freud, Austrian-English psychologist and psychoanalyst (d. 1982).
  • 1943 – J. Philippe Rushton, English-Canadian psychologist and academic (d. 2012).

People (Deaths)

  • 2008 – Robert Zajonc, Polish-American psychologist and author (b. 1923).
  • 2014 – Nathaniel Branden, Canadian-American psychotherapist and author (b. 1930).

Anna Freud

Anna Freud (03 December 1895 o 09 October 1982) was a British psychoanalyst of Austrian-Jewish descent. She was born in Vienna, the sixth and youngest child of Sigmund Freud and Martha Bernays. She followed the path of her father and contributed to the field of psychoanalysis. Alongside Hermine Hug-Hellmuth and Melanie Klein, she may be considered the founder of psychoanalytic child psychology.

Compared to her father, her work emphasized the importance of the ego and its normal “developmental lines” as well as incorporating a distinctive emphasis on collaborative work across a range of analytical and observational contexts.

After the Freud family were forced to leave Vienna in 1938 with the advent of the Nazi regime in Austria, she resumed her psychoanalytic practice and her pioneering work in child psychology in London, establishing the Hampstead Child Therapy Course and Clinic in 1952 (now the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families) as a centre for therapy, training and research work.

J. Philippe Rushton

John Philippe Rushton (03 December 1943 to 02 October 2012) was a Canadian psychologist and author. He taught at the University of Western Ontario and became known to the general public during the 1980s and 1990s for research on race and intelligence, race and crime, and other purported racial correlations.

Rushton’s work was heavily criticised by the scientific community for the questionable quality of its research, with many academics arguing that it was conducted under a racist agenda. From 2002 until his death, he served as the head of the Pioneer Fund, an organization that was founded in 1937 to promote eugenics and that in its early years supported Nazi ideology, for example, by funding the distribution in US churches and schools of a Nazi propaganda film about eugenics. The Pioneer Fund has been described as a white supremacist organisation and designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Centre.

Rushton was a Fellow of the Canadian Psychological Association and a onetime Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. In 2020 the Department of Psychology of the University of Western Ontario released a statement stating that “much of his research was racist” and his work was “deeply flawed from a scientific standpoint”. As of 2021, Rushton has had six research publications retracted.

Robert Zajonc

Robert Bolesław Zajonc (23 November 1923 to 03 December 2008) was a Polish-born American social psychologist who is known for his decades of work on a wide range of social and cognitive processes.

One of his most important contributions to social psychology is the mere-exposure effect. Zajonc also conducted research in the areas of social facilitation, and theories of emotion, such as the affective neuroscience hypothesis. He also made contributions to comparative psychology. He argued that studying the social behaviour of humans alongside the behaviour of other species, is essential to our understanding of the general laws of social behaviour. An example of his viewpoint is his work with cockroaches that demonstrated social facilitation, evidence that this phenomenon is displayed regardless of species. A Review of General Psychology survey, published in 2002, ranked Zajonc as the 35th most cited psychologist of the 20th century.

He died of pancreatic cancer on 03 December 2008 in Palo Alto, California.

Nathaniel Branden

Nathaniel Branden (born Nathan Blumenthal; 09 April 1930 to 03 December 2014) was a Canadian-American psychotherapist and writer known for his work in the psychology of self-esteem. A former associate and romantic partner of Ayn Rand, Branden also played a prominent role in the 1960s in promoting Rand’s philosophy, Objectivism. Rand and Branden split acrimoniously in 1968, after which Branden focused on developing his own psychological theories and modes of therapy.

On This Day … 08 November

People (Births)

People (Deaths)

  • 2007 – Chad Varah, English priest, founded The Samaritans (b. 1911).

Hermann Rorschach

Hermann Rorschach (08 November 1884 to 02 April 1922) was a Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst. His education in art helped to spur the development of a set of inkblots that were used experimentally to measure various unconscious parts of the subject’s personality. His method has come to be referred to as the Rorschach test, iterations of which have continued to be used over the years to help identify personality, psychotic, and neurological disorders. Rorschach continued to refine the test until his premature death at age 37.

Education and Career

Rorschach, in his early years, attended Schaffhausen Cantonal School in Schaffhausen, Switzerland. Rorschach was a bright student from the beginning, and he often tutored other students at his school. After Ernst Haeckel suggested a career in science, Rorschach attended Academie de Neuchatel in 1904 studying geology and botany. After just a single term, he transferred to the Universite de Dijon to take French classes. The same year he enrolled in medical school at the University of Zurich. While studying, Rorschach began learning Russian, and in 1906, while studying in Berlin, he travelled to Russia for a holiday.

Travel was a large part of his life after medical school. On a trip to Dijon, in France, he met a man who taught him about Russian culture. Torn by the decision whether to stay in Switzerland or move to Russia, he eventually took a job as first assistant at a Cantonal Mental Hospital. While working at the hospital, Rorschach finished his doctoral dissertation in 1912 under the psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler, who had taught Carl Jung. The excitement in intellectual circles over psychoanalysis constantly reminded Rorschach of his childhood inkblots. Wondering why different people often saw entirely different things in the same inkblots, he began, while still a medical student, showing inkblots to schoolchildren and analysing their responses. This dissertation contained the origins for his ink blot experiment.

All the while, Rorschach remained fascinated by Russian culture. In 1913, he obtained a fellowship opportunity in Russia, where he continued to study contemporary psychiatric methods. Rorschach spent some time in the village of Kryukovo outside of Moscow, and in 1914 he returned to Switzerland to work at the Waldau University Hospital in Bern. In 1915, Rorschach took the position of assistant director at the regional psychiatric hospital at Herisau, and in 1921 he wrote his book Psychodiagnostik, which was to form the basis of the inkblot test.

Chad Varah

Edward Chad Varah CH CBE (12 November 1911 to 08 November 2007) was a British Anglican priest and social activist from England. In 1953, he founded the Samaritans, the world’s first crisis hotline, to provide telephone support to those contemplating suicide.

Life

Varah was born in the town of Barton-upon-Humber, Lincolnshire, the eldest of nine children of the vicar at the Anglican church of St Peter. His father, Canon William Edward Varah, a strict Tractarian, named him after St Chad, who, according to Bede, had founded the 7th-century monastery ad Bearum (“at Barrow”), which may have occupied an Anglo-Saxon enclosure next to Barton Vicarage.

He was educated at Worksop College in north Nottinghamshire and won an exhibition to study natural sciences at Keble College, Oxford, quickly switching to Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE). He was involved in the university Russian and Slavonic clubs and was founder-president of the Scandinavian Club. He graduated with a third-class degree in 1933.

Clerical Career

Varah was initially reluctant to follow his father’s vocation, but his godfather persuaded him to study at Lincoln Theological College, where he was taught by the Revd Michael Ramsey, later Archbishop of Canterbury. He was ordained deacon in the Church of England in 1935 and priest in 1936. He first served as curate at St Giles, Lincoln, from 1935 to 1938, then at St Mary’s, Putney, from 1938 to 1940 and Barrow-in-Furness from 1940 to 1942. He became vicar of Holy Trinity, Blackburn, in 1942 and moved to St Paul, Battersea, in 1949. He was also chaplain of St John’s Hospital, Battersea.

The Grocers’ Company offered him the living of St Stephen Walbrook in 1953. He became rector of the church, designed by Christopher Wren, adjacent to the Mansion House in the City of London. The church was closed for structural repairs from 1978 to 1987. His son, Andrew, built chairs to replace its pews. Great controversy followed the installation of a large circular altar in travertine marble by Henry Moore, commissioned by Varah and his churchwarden Peter Palumbo. The matter was finally settled by the Court of Ecclesiastical Causes Reserved in 1987, which granted a retrospective faculty for its installation.

He was a supporter of women priests, but preferred the traditional 16th century Book of Common Prayer (1549) to the liturgical changes authorised in 1966 (Book of Common Prayer (1928). Despite the absence of a permanent congregation, the church remained popular for weddings. He officiated at the marriage of Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones, only daughter of Princess Margaret, to actor Daniel Chatto in 1994.

He was made an honorary prebendary of St Paul’s Cathedral in 1975, becoming senior prebendary in 1997. He retired in 2003, aged 92, by which time he was the oldest incumbent in the Church of England.

Samaritans

Varah began to understand the problems facing the suicidal when he was taking a funeral as an assistant curate in 1935, his first church service, for a fourteen-year-old girl who had taken her own life because she had begun to menstruate and feared that she had a sexually transmitted disease. He later said “Little girl, I didn’t know you, but you have changed the rest of my life for good.” He vowed at that time to encourage sex education, and to help people who were contemplating suicide and had nowhere to turn.

To that end, Chad Varah founded the Samaritans in 1953 in the crypt of his church, with the stated aim that it would be an organisation “to befriend the suicidal and despairing.” The phone line, MAN 9000 (for MANsion House), received its first call on 02 November 1953, and the number of calls increased substantially after publicity in the Daily Herald on 07 December 1953.

He was director of the central London branch of Samaritans until 1974, and president from 1974 to 1986. He was also founder chairman of Befrienders Worldwide (Samaritans International) from 1974 to 1983, and then its president from 1983 to 1986.

Break with Samaritans

Later in life, Varah became disillusioned with the Samaritans organisation. He announced in 2004 that “It’s no longer what I founded. I founded an organisation to offer help to suicidal or equally desperate people. The last elected chairman re-branded the organisation. It was no longer to be an emergency service. It was to be an emotional support.”

On This Day … 03 November

People (Deaths)

  • 1957 – Wilhelm Reich, Ukrainian-Austrian psychotherapist and author (b. 1897).

Wilhlem Reich

Wilhelm Reich (24 March 1897 to 03 November 1957) was an Austrian doctor of medicine and a psychoanalyst, along with being a member of the second generation of analysts after Sigmund Freud.

The author of several influential books, most notably The Impulsive Character (1925), Character Analysis (1933), and The Mass Psychology of Fascism (1933), he became known as one of the most radical figures in the history of psychiatry.

Reich’s work on character contributed to the development of Anna Freud’s The Ego and the Mechanisms of Defence (1936), and his idea of muscular armour – the expression of the personality in the way the body moves – shaped innovations such as body psychotherapy, Gestalt therapy, bioenergetic analysis and primal therapy. His writing influenced generations of intellectuals; he coined the phrase “the sexual revolution” and according to one historian acted as its midwife. During the 1968 student uprisings in Paris and Berlin, students scrawled his name on walls and threw copies of The Mass Psychology of Fascism at police.

After graduating in medicine from the University of Vienna in 1922, Reich became deputy director of Freud’s outpatient clinic, the Vienna Ambulatorium. During the 1930s, he was part of a general trend among younger analysts and Frankfurt sociologists that tried to reconcile psychoanalysis with Marxism. He is credited for establishing the first sexual advisory clinics in Vienna, along with Marie Frischauf. He said he wanted to “attack the neurosis by its prevention rather than treatment”.

He moved to New York in 1939, after having accepted a position as Assistant Professor at the New School of Social Research. During his five years in Oslo, he had coined the term “orgone energy” – from “orgasm” and “organism”—for the notion of life energy. In 1940 he started building orgone accumulators, modified Faraday cages that he claimed were beneficial for cancer patients. He claimed that his laboratory cancer mice had had remarkable positive effects from being kept in a Faraday cage, so he built human-size versions, where one could sit inside. This led to newspaper stories about “sex boxes” that cured cancer.

Following two critical articles about him in The New Republic and Harper’s in 1947, the US Food and Drug Administration obtained an injunction against the interstate shipment of orgone accumulators and associated literature, believing they were dealing with a “fraud of the first magnitude”. Charged with contempt in 1956 for having violated the injunction, Reich was sentenced to two years imprisonment, and that summer over six tons of his publications were burned by order of the court. He died in prison of heart failure just over a year later, days before he was due to apply for parole.

On This Day … 26 October

People (Births)

  • 1909 – Ignace Lepp, French psychologist and author (d. 1966).

Ignace Lepp

Ignace Lepp (born John Robert Lepp; 26 October 1909 to 29 May 1966) was a French writer of Estonian origin.

According to his book Atheism in Our Time, Lepp was an atheist and Marxist for many years and claimed to have occupied important positions in the communist party with whom he later became very disillusioned. He then converted to Roman Catholicism and was ordained a priest in 1941. He wrote many non-fiction books including some about atheism, religion, and later psychiatry, as he was a psychologist and psychoanalyst.

He wrote among other books: The Ways of Friendship, The Psychology of Loving, The Authentic Existence, The Communication of Existences. He also wrote The faith of men; meditations inspired by Teilhard de Chardin (Teilhard et la foi des homme), about the French thinker Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.

On This Day … 20 October

People (Births)

  • 1859 – John Dewey, American psychologist and philosopher (d. 1952).
  • 1927 – Joyce Brothers, American psychologist, author, and actress (d. 2013).

People (Deaths)

  • 2015 – Arno Gruen, German-Swiss psychologist and psychoanalyst (b. 1923).

John Dewey

John Dewey (20 October 1859 to 01 June 1952) was an American philosopher, psychologist, and educational reformer whose ideas have been influential in education and social reform. He was one of the most prominent American scholars in the first half of the twentieth century.

The overriding theme of Dewey’s works was his profound belief in democracy, be it in politics, education, or communication and journalism. As Dewey himself stated in 1888, while still at the University of Michigan, “Democracy and the one, ultimate, ethical ideal of humanity are to my mind synonymous.” Dewey considered two fundamental elements – schools and civil society – to be major topics needing attention and reconstruction to encourage experimental intelligence and plurality. He asserted that complete democracy was to be obtained not just by extending voting rights but also by ensuring that there exists a fully formed public opinion, accomplished by communication among citizens, experts and politicians, with the latter being accountable for the policies they adopt.

Dewey was one of the primary figures associated with the philosophy of pragmatism and is considered one of the fathers of functional psychology. His paper “The Reflex Arc Concept in Psychology,” published in 1896, is regarded as the first major work in the (Chicago) functionalist school. A Review of General Psychology survey, published in 2002, ranked Dewey as the 93rd-most-cited psychologist of the 20th century.

Dewey was also a major educational reformer for the 20th century. A well-known public intellectual, he was a major voice of progressive education and liberalism. While a professor at the University of Chicago, he founded the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, where he was able to apply and test his progressive ideas on pedagogical method. Although Dewey is known best for his publications about education, he also wrote about many other topics, including epistemology, metaphysics, aesthetics, art, logic, social theory, and ethics.

Joyce Brothers

Joyce Diane Brothers (20 October 1927 to 13 May 2013) was an American psychologist, television personality, advice columnist, and writer. She first became famous in 1955 for winning the top prize on the American game show The $64,000 Question. Her fame from the game show allowed her to go on to host various advice columns and television shows, which established her as a pioneer in the field of “pop (popular) psychology”.

Brothers is often credited as the first to normalise psychological concepts to the American mainstream. Her syndicated columns were featured in newspapers and magazines, including a monthly column for Good Housekeeping, in which she contributed for nearly 40 years. As Brothers quickly became the “face of psychology” for American audiences, she often appeared in various television roles, usually as herself. From the 1970s onward, she also began to accept fictional roles that parodied her “woman psychologist” persona. She is noted for working continuously for five decades across various genres. Numerous groups recognised Brothers for her strong leadership as a woman in the psychological field and for helping to destigmatise the profession overall.

Arno Gruen

Gruen was born in Berlin in 1923, and emigrated to the United States as a child in 1936 when his parents, James and Rosa Gruen, fled Germany to save their lives.

He studied at the City College of New York. Then, after completing his graduate studies in psychology at New York University, he trained in psychoanalysis under Theodor Reik at one of the first psychoanalytic training centres for psychologists, the National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis in New York City.

Gruen held many teaching posts, including seventeen years as professor of psychology at Rutgers University. From 1979 on, he lived and practiced in Switzerland. Widely published in German, his groundbreaking first book to be released in English, The Betrayal of the Self, was published by Grove Press in 1988.

On This Day … 12 October

Events

People (Births)

  • 1925 – Denis Lazure, Canadian psychiatrist and politician (d. 2008).
  • 1929 – Robert Coles, American psychologist, author, and academic.

People (Deaths)

  • 1948 – Susan Sutherland Isaacs, English psychologist and psychoanalyst (b. 1885).

Eastern State Hospital (Virginia)

Eastern State Hospital is a psychiatric hospital in Williamsburg, Virginia. Built in 1773, it was the first public facility in the present-day United States constructed solely for the care and treatment of the mentally ill. The original building had burned but was reconstructed in 1985.

Denis Lazure

Denis Lazure (12 October 1925 to 23 February 2008) was a Canadian psychiatrist and politician. Lazure was a Member of the National Assembly of Quebec (MNA) from 1976 to 1984 and from 1989 to 1996. He is the father of actress Gabrielle Lazure.

Lazure attended Université de Montréal and was a doctorate in medicine. He also attended the University of Pennsylvania in psychiatry as well as the University of Toronto in which he was bachelor in hospital administration.

Lazure was the founder of the infant psychiatry department of Saint-Justine Hospital in 1957. He was also the director of this hospital as well as those of Riviere-des-Prairies and Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine all in the Montreal region. He would later be the director in 1974 of the first psychiatric hospital in Haiti. He was also a teacher at Université de Montréal and was the President of the Canadian Association of Psychiatrists.

Robert Coles

Robert Coles (born 12 October 1929) is an American author, child psychiatrist, and professor emeritus at Harvard University.

Born Martin Robert Coles in Boston, Massachusetts on 12 October 1929, to Philip Coles, an immigrant from Leeds, England, United Kingdom, and Sandra Young Coles, originally from Sioux City, Iowa. Robert Coles attended Boston Latin School where he played tennis, ran track, and edited the school literary magazine. He entered Harvard College in 1946, where he studied English literature and helped to edit the undergraduate literary magazine, The Harvard Advocate. He graduated magna cum laude and earned Phi Beta Kappa honours in 1950.

Coles originally intended to become a teacher or professor, but as part of his senior honours thesis, he interviewed the poet and physician William Carlos Williams, who promptly persuaded him to go into medicine. He studied medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, graduating in 1954. After residency training at the University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois (the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine), Coles moved on to psychiatric residencies at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, and McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts (the two hospitals are affiliates of Harvard University and the Harvard University Medical School in Cambridge, Massachusetts).

Knowing that he was to be called into the US Armed Forces under the Doctor Draft, Coles joined the Air Force in 1958 and was assigned the rank of captain. His field of specialisation was psychiatry, his intention eventually to sub-specialise in child psychiatry. He served as chief of neuropsychiatric services at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi, and was honourably discharged in 1960. He returned to Boston and finished his child psychiatry training at the Children’s Hospital. In July 1960, he was married to Jane Hollowell, and the couple moved to New Orleans.

Susan Sutherland Isaacs

Susan Sutherland Isaacs, CBE (née Fairhurst; 24 May 1885 to 12 October 1948; also known as Ursula Wise) was a Lancashire-born educational psychologist and psychoanalyst. She published studies on the intellectual and social development of children and promoted the nursery school movement. For Isaacs, the best way for children to learn was by developing their independence. She believed that the most effective way to achieve this was through play, and that the role of adults and early educators was to guide children’s play.

In 1907, Isaacs enrolled to train as a teacher of young children (5 to 7-year-olds) at the University of Manchester. Isaacs then transferred to a degree course and graduated in 1912 with a first class degree in Philosophy. She was awarded a scholarship at the Psychological Laboratory in Newnham College, Cambridge and gained a master’s degree in 1913.

Isaacs also trained and practised as a psychoanalyst after analysis by the psychoanalyst John Carl Flugel (1884-1955). She became an associate member of the newly formed British Psychoanalytical Society in 1921, becoming a full member in 1923. She began her own practice that same year. She later underwent brief analysis with Otto Rank and in 1927 she submitted herself to further analysis with Joan Riviere, to get personal experience and understanding of Melanie Klein’s new ideas on infancy. Isaacs also helped popularise the works of Klein, as well as the theories of Jean Piaget and Sigmund Freud. She was initially enthusiastic for Jean Piaget’s theories on the intellectual development of young children, though she later criticised his schemas for stages of cognitive development, which were not based on the observation of the child in their natural environment, unlike her own observations at Malting House School.

Between 1924 and 1927, she was the head of Malting House School in Cambridge, which is an experimental school founded by Geoffrey Pyke. The school fostered the individual development of children. Children were given greater freedom and were supported rather than punished. The teachers were seen as observers of the children who were seen as research workers. Her work had a great influence on early education and made play a central part of a child’s education. Isaacs strongly believed that play was the child’s work.

Between 1929 and 1940, she was an ‘agony aunt’ under the pseudonym of Ursula Wise, replying to readers’ problems in several child care journals, notably The Nursery World and Home and School.

In 1933, she became the first Head of the Child Development Department at the Institute of Education, University of London, where she established an advanced course in child development for teachers of young children. Her department had a great influence on the teaching profession and encouraged the profession to consider psychodynamic theory with developmental psychology.