Leo Rangell, M.D.

United States

Award Year: 1991

rangell-leo_4I am very moved to have been granted this Award. It is gratifying to be honored for one’s work by one’s colleagues.

If I may offer one serious reflection in what otherwise should be solely a celebratory mood, I would like to say that of the various achievements which might have elicited these awards, it is the combined scientific output of my fellow recipients, the present and the past ones, which I am most proud to join. What was honored in each case was not a paper, or an idea, but a lifetime body of thought. The uniqueness of psychoanalysis stands on its theory of understanding, in ferment in this area for decades. While its method leads to the past, its practice points to the future.

On a lighter note, as the one awardee who calls this area home, I would like to welcome my fellow honorees and the good friends of all of us, to breathe deeply of this garden spot at which we are assembled, and to toast what we have in common and what we are working together to achieve. Thank you for sharing this with us. – Leo Rangell

Dr. Leo Rangell is the Honorary President of The International Psychoanalytic Association since 1997. He is the first American to hold that position, his predecessors being Ernest Jones, Heinz Hartmann and Anna Freud. Dr. Rangell was President of The International Psychoanalytic Association for two terms, and President of The American Psychoanalytic Association twice, five years apart, the first such occurrence in over 50 years. He was President of The Los Angeles Psychoanalytic Society three times and President of the Southern California Psychiatric Society in its founding years, in 1955.

He is an Honorary member of the Los Angeles Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, the Southern California Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, the New Center for Psychoanalysis, the Los Angeles Institute and Society for Psychoanalytic Studies, the Peruvian Psychoanalytic Society, and the San Francisco Psychoanalytic Institute and Society.

He is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at UCLA, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry (Psychoanalysis), University of California San Francisco, the first double appointment in the University of California system, and the first appointment in psychoanalysis. He has been John B. Turner Visiting Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia, Honorary Professor in Michigan, Wisconsin and many other places. He has served on the Editorial Boards of numerous Journals.

Dr. Rangell has delivered most of the Distinguished Lectureships, has won almost every award and received almost every honor in the field of psychoanalysis. It is said of Dr. Rangell that he has been the President of everything, and has won every honor twice. He was twice winner of the International Clinical Essay Prize of the British Institute for Psychoanalysis, in 1951 and 1953. He won the Heinz Hartmann Award of the New York Psychoanalytic Institute, the Sigourney Award of the American Psychoanalytic Association, the Distinguished Service Alumni award of the University of Chicago. He has been Visiting Scholar at the Sigmund Freud Center in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, a Guggenheim Fellow on “The Unconscious Roots of the Decision-Making Process”, and a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford.

Dr. Rangell is the author of over 450 scientific publications in psychoanalysis, psychiatry and neurology. His subjects span from the clinical to the theoretical, across the entire spectrum of psychoanalytic theory, from the microscopic, unconscious intrapsychic process, the locus of anxiety, and psychic trauma, to the widest socio-cultural concerns. He is the author of “The Mind of Watergate”, “Psychoanalysis at the Political Border”, and most recently “The Psychoanalysis of Public Opinion”.

A recent book, “My Life in Theory”, written as Dr. Rangell approached the age of 90, is a seminal overview, from direct participation, of the history of psychoanalytic theory. In that work, Dr. Rangell weaves together the cumulative course of psychoanalytic theory, and his personal observations of the subjective, interpersonal issues that both furthered and impeded its growth and development. People and ideas, Dr. Rangell states, play equal roles in this developmental history. In this summary work, Dr. Rangell elucidates his fusion of divisive and fragmenting theoretical developments into a unitary theory of psychoanalysis, which he has been writing about for half a century. Following his last book, “The Road to Unity in Psychoanalytic Theory,” comes “Music in the Head. Living at the Brain-Mind Border. (Your Brain Makes Sounds, Your Mind Makes Music and Dreams and Poems and Everything Else)” scheduled for publication in July 2009 as Dr. Rangell approaches the age of 96.

Click here for Dr. Rangell’s bibliography.

To read and listen to “Man in a Group” by Leo Rangell, click here. Although written more than three decades ago it is still a relevant contribution to its subject the compromise of integrity and the impact of the group on the individual.

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