is with great sadness that I must inform you all that I
learned from a colleague today that Peter Giovacchini, M.D.
died on Monday, 19 July. As many of you know, he was a
remarkable and brilliant man. Dr. Giovacchini was instrumental
in bringing the work of D.W.Winnicott (as well as other
members of the British school of psychoanalysis) to
professional audiences in the U.S.A., and in so doing,
expanded the parameters of patients for whom the
psychoanalytical method was seen as appropriate and effective.
As such, he helped to change the definition of psychoanalysis
itself. He was a graduate of the Institute for Psychoanalysis
in Chicago—affiliated with the American Psychoanalytic
Association, yet was largely estranged from them—and
organised psychiatry and psychoanalysis, in general. Indeed,
while he founded the Center for Psychoanalytic Study in
Chicago—which was one of the very first (if not the first)
psychoanalytic institute in the U.S.A. outside of New York
City to offer full psychoanalytic training to non-M.D.
candidates—he was largely “AWOL” from it, himself, for
many years, so mistrustful was he of organised,
institutionalised, anything. He authored approximately thirty
books and hundreds of articles and book chapters and gave much
to successive generations of mental health clinicians of all
many of you also know, Dr. Giovacchini was active in the
International Federation for Psychoanalytic Education, still
presenting and discussing the works of others and was looking
forward to being present at the next conference here in
Chicago, this November. He was an indefatigable advocate for
psychoanalysis, an ethic of free association, and for the
rights of patients to have a space in which to have a
treatment. He promulgated an ethos of openness in the
transmission of psychoanalytical principles that challenged
the prevailing pedagogical mode. He will be sorely missed by
his friends, colleagues, students, patients, and family.
L. Downing, Psy.D.