Mortimer Ostow, M.D.

United States

Award Year: 1997

Dr. Ostow was one of the first and foremost clinicians to develop a constructive and synergistic relationship between psychoanalysis and psychopharmacology. He was an early advocate for psychotherapy in conjunction with medication. This is a vastly important contribution to psychoanalysis and neuroscience. In his 1962 book “Drugs in Psychoanalysis and Psychothearpy” he outlined his position that drugs alone subdued the symptoms but did not treat the underlying disturbance of mental illness.

In addition, Dr. Ostow has been a lonely pioneer in the study of the interface between psychoanalysis and religion. He is the author of the 1996 book, Myth and Madness, the Psychodynamics of Anti-Semitism a psychoanalytic study of anti-Semitism. He later traced the fanaticism and rage of terrorists to early childhood disturbance. Dr. Ostow previously received the Sigmund Freud Award of the American Society of Psychoanalytic Physicians.

In addition to his psychoanalytical writings and clinical work, Dr. Ostow has also advanced psychoanalysis through the projects of the Psychoanalytic Research and Development Fund. He has directly and indirectly fostered analytic research and stimulated scholarly collaboration and publication.

Dr. Ostow died on September 23, 2006 at the age of 88. Click here to read his obituary from The New York Times.