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Kubie, L.S. (1935). William Herman, M.D—1891-1935. Psychoanal Q., 4:345-346.
(1935). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 4:345-346
William Herman, M.D—1891-1935
Lawrence S. Kubie
WILLIAM HERMAN was born in Nashville, Tennessee, on January 27, 1891. In 1925, he married Susan Evarts Hale. He died suddenly of coronary thrombosis on January 25, 1935, at the end of his forty-fourth year. He is survived by his widow, two children, his mother and his brother.
Herman graduated from Yale in 1912, tried business for a few years, then entered Harvard Medical School, and received his M.D. in 1920. After a medical interneship at the Massachusetts General Hospital he studied psychiatry at the Henry Phipps Psychiatric Clinic of the Johns Hopkins Hospital, and at the Boston Psychopathic Hospital. This was followed by study abroad: clinical neurology and neuro-pathology in Paris and London; and in Amsterdam, clinical neurology, comparative neuro-anatomy, and his first step towards a training in psychoanalysis.
Even before he became interested in psychological medicine, William Herman was an artist and a "Menschenkenner". These artistic and humanistic leanings led him to seek first a Jungian training. Consequently his first analytic experience was with a disciple of this school, to be amplified subsequently through contact with Jung himself. On his return to Boston in 1925 he practiced his own thoughtful version of Jungian "analytical psychology".
After five years of careful, intuitively guided efforts to test and apply these methods, William Herman supplemented them with a thorough Freudian training. This new analytical experience proved to be fruitful in every way. In his life and in his work its value was evident to everyone who knew him. To a man of great artistic appreciation, with an unusual intuitive gift in his relationship to people, was added a firm and mature grasp of technique. As a result he represented in his own person a rare combination of native gift and training. He was moving quietly towards work of increasing significance. It was characteristic that in collaboration with Dr. Stanley Cobb he should struggle several years with the difficult problems of the epilepsies without allowing himself to make any report. Only those who were close to him knew of his interesting results, and of his refusal to publish them until after five more years. It was a striking personal tribute that without the usual fanfare of publication, he should have been in a position to create a sympathetic and receptive attitude towards psychoanalysis in medical and academic circles in Boston.
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