Psychoanalysts are veterans also. Members of the Institute community past and present who have served in the military include the following: Roy Grinker, David Powell, Ed Goldfarb, Joel Susman, Jim Wilson, Arnold Tobin, Arnold Goldberg, Dacia Harrold and Jerome Grunes.
Roy Grinker, MD, was a faculty member of the then Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis, Director of the Psychosomatic and Psychiatric Research and Training Institute at Michael Reese Hospital and many other Chicago medical institutions. He mentored several generations of psychiatric residents who went on to become psychoanalysts. He was also a veteran, serving in the United States Army Medical Corps during World War II.
Grinker along with John Spiegel authored two books on war-related trauma: Men Under Stress (1946) and War Neurosis (1945), based on their work with men suffering war-related trauma in North Africa, and later in Florida with Air Force pilots and crew who had been sent to their special facility. Their two books were important contributions to war-related trauma.
An ongoing tension in the psychoanalytic literature on war-related trauma is whether the traumatic symptoms represent a “new” illness caused by the stress of war, or whether symptoms represented an acute activation of pre-existing neurotic structures. Grinker espoused the later perspective. His treatment approach emphasized integration of the overwhelming experiences that led to acute symptomatology, while taking into account the personality structures of the specific veteran.
Jerome Grunes, pictured here, passed away last month at the age of 93 after a long battle with cancer. As an army private in World War II, Grunes was there for the liberation of the Dachau concentration camp. Because he spoke Yiddish, camp survivors were able to tell him of their experiences. Helping these liberated prisoners cope with their trauma led Grunes to decide to become a psychoanalyst.
As a young army psychiatrist, faculty member Arnold Tobin, was stationed at the Oakland Naval Hospital in California, treating soldiers and marines returning from the Korean War with post-traumatic stress disorder. He was able to reduce what had been frequent outbreaks of violence on his ward by encouraging veterans to talk about their experiences in that conflict.
Other materials on veteran’s issues in the McLean Library and Archives include the following:
- Psychotherapy of the Combat Veteran, by Harvey Schwartz, MD
- War Stress and Neurotic Illness, by Abram Kardiner, MD and Herbert Spiegel, MD
- Anniversary Reactions In Traumatized Combat Veterans: An Opportune Time to Process the Experience Through Narrative, by Ann Newman, RN, MSN, CS
The Institute thanks all its veterans, and veterans everywhere, for their service. We invite all veterans in the psychoanalytic field reading this post to reply with a brief description of your service and how it shaped your life.