Paul A. Dewald, M.D.
Paul A. Dewald, M.D. (M ’45, R ’52), an influential psychoanalyst, author and teacher, died Nov. 3, 2011, in the Brentmoor Retirement Community in Ladue, Mo. He was 91.
Dr. Dewald was the former director of the St. Louis Psychoanalytic Foundation and later the St. Louis Psychoanalytic Institute.
In 1972, Dr. Dewald published a trailblazing book, The Psychoanalytic Process, in which he presented, day-by-day, session-by-session, the analysis of a woman in treatment with him. He created a revealing book, a testament to the talking cure, formulated by Sigmund Freud in 19th century Vienna.
His book, Psychotherapy: A Dynamic Approach, published in 1964, was an important and popular textbook.
A native of New York City, Dr. Dewald moved to St. Louis in the early 1960s.
“Paul came to St. Louis at a crucial point,” said Nathan M. Simon, M.D., a psychoanalyst who was Dr. Dewald’s student, colleague and friend for half a century. “There were only four psychoanalysts in St. Louis at the time, and the plan was to make it a training center for analysts. Paul really invigorated the group here; plus, because of the strength of his personality, he was a tremendous front man for psychoanalysis itself, and he led people to support it.”
The St. Louis Psychoanalytic Institute has played an important role in teaching.
“He was crucial in shaping the original classes,” Simon said. The psychoanalytic model requires candidates for certification as analysts go through the process themselves. Dr. Dewald was personal analyst of many who came to the institute.
Dr. Dewald continued to teach until recently. Gail Glenn, a psychoanalyst, a student of Dr. Dewald and a colleague at the Institute, said: “Paul Dewald was the ultimate teacher, mentor. Although the world knew of his academic writings and analytic therapeutic skills, in his soul, he prided himself as an educator.”
Dr. Dewald was the son of cultured and activist parents, who counted a number of famous artists as friends. His mother and father were major figures in Felix Adler’s Society of Ethical Culture. Adler was a member of a great rabbinical family.
Dr. Dewald’s parents collected art, choosing works from their friend Arthur Stieglitz's Gallery 291. Their collection was distinguished particularly by the works of the then barely known and the generally unrecognized American artists, such as Georgia O’Keeffe, John Marin, Arthur B. Dove, Stanton MacDonald-Wright and a few early works by Thomas Hart Benton.
Dr. Dewald was educated at the progressive Ethical Culture-Fieldston Schools in New York, which his parents had attended, and where they had studied with sociologist and photographer Lewis Hine. Photographer and filmmaker Paul Strand was a classmate of Dr. Dewald.
Dr. Dewald earned a bachelor’s degree at Swarthmore College. He served in the U.S. Army from 1946 to 1948 before completing his residency in Rochester. He received his certification in psychoanalysis from the State University of New York, Downstate, in Brooklyn in 1960.
In addition to his many articles and books, Dr. Dewald also was a clinical professor at the medical schools of Washington University and Saint Louis University.
Dr. Dewald is survived by his wife, a daughter, a son, two stepdaughters, three stepsons and 14 grandchildren and step-grandchildren.
The family requests donations be made to the Paul A. Dewald Lecture at the St. Louis Psychoanalytic Institute, 8820 Ladue Rd., St. Louis, Mo., 63124.
This obituary is based on an article written by Robert Duffy, associate editor of the St. Louis Beacon, and published in the Beacon, which gave its permission for use in the obituary. To read the original article, go to: http://www.stlbeacon.org/issues-politics/region/obits/114018-paul-a-dewald-psychoanalyst-teacher
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