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Latest News Around the Web

Ask the Doctor: Concerned when a friend does not reply?

QUESTION:
A questioner asked what to do when a friend who lives in another town who she suspects is having emotional difficulties, and who has attempted suicide in the past, doesn’t answer phone calls, e-mails, or other attempts at communication.

ANSWER:
The first thing to do is to try to establish communication with your friend. It sounds as though you have already done this, but what might help is for you to send e-mails and voicemail messages telling her that you are very concerned and worried about her, that it frightens you to not hear from her, and that you beg her to at least send an e-mail or preferably call you to let you know how she is doing.

A second suggestion: If you ever believe there is a clear emergency, call the police in the local area where your friend lives and give them all the information you have, and they can try to help your friend or make sure she is OK.

The Building of a Sanctuary Receives Media Award

The American Association of State and Local History (AASLH) has given a Certificate of Commendation to the documentary film The Building of a Sanctuary. Executive Producer and Foundation member Carol Allen will travel to St.Louis, MO to accept the award.

The AASLH Awards Program not only honors significant achievement in the field of local history, but also brings public recognition to small and large organizations, institutions, and programs that contribute to this arena. By publicly recognizing excellent achievements, the Association strives to inspire others.

Made by Historic Towson, Inc., the film is about the last built and best designed of the early private psychiatric hospitals in the United States, The Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Hospital.  Its founders drew on lessons learned from other institutions and from Europe to provide moral treatment in a homelike setting and to turn 400-acres into an intimate campus of Victorian buildings with beautifully landscaped grounds.

Honorary Director Riva L. Novey, M.D., Aged 90, Obituary

Riva Novey, M.D. a prominent member of the psychiatric community in Baltimore died on May 27, 2005, age 90, at the Wesley Home in Mount Washington. Dr. Novey’s career in the mental health field spanned a period of 58 years from her graduation from the School of Social Work at Smith College in 1938 until her retirement from the practice of psychiatry and psychoanalysis in 1996. During her career she was active in the teaching of psychiatric residents at the Johns Hopkins, University of Maryland, and Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Hospitals. Additionally, she was a supervising and training analyst in the Washington Psychoanalytic Institute. She was a member of the Maryland Psychiatric Society beginning in 1958 and was chosen a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association in 1966. She was given Distinguished Life Fellowship in 1985.

She was born Riva London in Selma, Alabama, January 15, 1915 and moved with her parents to Baltimore as an infant. After graduation from Forrest Park High School in 1932 she attended Goucher College in Baltimore earning an A.B. degree in 1936. She was elected to Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society while there. She earned a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Smith College in1938 and did social case work in family and children’s agencies and the University of Maryland Psychiatric Clinic 1938-1948, and was the chief psychiatric social worker for the University of Maryland Psychiatric Clinic 1946-1948. Because she wanted to become a psychiatrist, she entered the University Of Maryland School Of Medicine in 1949 and graduated with her M.D. degree in 1954. She interned at the Union Memorial Hospital 1954-55. Her residency in psychiatry was at the Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Hospital 1955-57, and she served as staff psychiatrist at the Springfield State Hospital 1957-1959. She began her psychoanalytic studies at the Washington Psychoanalytic Institute in 1957 and graduated in 1962. She was a Diplomat of the American Board of Psychiatry, certified in Psychiatry in 1965.

Dr. Novey held many teaching positions in the mental health field. She was a supervisor of social work students from the University of Maryland, Catholic University, and Smith College during her years as a social worker. She instructed medical and nursing students at the University of Maryland. She had been a supervisor of psychiatric residents at the University of Maryland, Sheppard Pratt, and Johns Hopkins Hospitals in their experience of learning psychotherapy. In this capacity she was respected and was sought out because of her experience and expertise. The Washington Psychoanalytic Institute recognized her skill and dedication by making her a supervising and training analyst in 1968.

Dr. Novey was married in the late 1930’s to Samuel Novey, M.D. a prominent Baltimore psychiatrist and psychoanalyst. After his death in 1967, several years later she married a local artist, Jacob Glushakow who died in 2000.

All who knew her admired her cheerful outlook on life, her understanding of people, their conflicts, and their strengths, her interests in the cultural life of the community and society, and her willingness to share her ideas and expertise. She was an excellent cook, a harpsichordist, and shared with her late husband a lively interest in art. Her wisdom and guidance will be missed by everyone who benefited from knowing her.

She is survived by a sister, Ms. Debbie London-Hoffman of Owning Mills, Maryland, a brother, Coleman London, of Southbury, Connecticut, a step daughter, Ms. Jane Glushakow of Baltimore, and nephews, Michael Novey of Baltimore and Larry Novey of Washington.

Honorary Director Jerome D Frank M.D. 95 dies

Jerome D. Frank M.D. Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at The Johns Hopkins University Medical School died on Monday March 14th, 2005. Dr. Frank was recognized worldwide for his extensive research on psychotherapy and group therapy. He was also known for his criticism of nuclear weapons. He was an honorary member of the Maryland Foundation for Psychiatry’s board since its inception and was always available for advice and guidance.

Jerome Frank, professor emeritus of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University Medical School, was a major figure in American psychology and psychiatry. Profoundly influenced by the ideas of the social psychologist Kurt Lewin, with whom he studied both in Germany and at Cornell, Dr. Frank was deeply committed to applying the principles of rigorous academic research to meaningful human problems, including the treatment of the mentally ill, the understanding and resolution of political and international conflict, and the promotion of a just society.

After earning a PHD in psychology at Harvard, Dr. Frank pursued medical training at Harvard Medical School and psychiatric residency at the Henry Phipps Clinic of the Johns Hopkins Hospital, initially under Dr. Adolf Meyer. As a military psychiatrist in the Asian Theater during World War Two, he first noted the effects of demoralization upon the health and well-being of American troops overseas. In collaboration with Florence Powdermaker of the Veterans Administration, he pioneered the use of group psychotherapy for psychiatric conditions, particularly conditions in which demoralization plays a role.

After joining the faculty of the Johns Hopkins University Medical School in 1949, Dr. Frank, with the encouragement of Dr. John C. Whitehorn, began applying the methods of psychology research to the study of psychotherapy. In the course of this research, funded by the NIMH and continuing over several decades, Dr. Frank developed his understanding that all psychotherapies make effective use of certain common principles, including a healing rationale, hope, mastery, and a caring therapeutic relationship. His best known work, Persuasion and Healing: A Comparative Study of Psychotherapy, first published in 1961, developed this insight and related effective psychotherapy to other types of healing influence, including faith healing and participation in cohesive social groups such as religious cults. The three editions of this work, continuously in print in many languages, have been a important bridge among many professional and lay groups that aim to relieve suffering through the application of counseling, healing ritual and helping relationships. The understanding that these are all forms of psychotherapy  based common principles of psychology fostered the development of psychotherapy within the disciplines of psychiatry, clinical psychology, social work, pastoral counseling, medicine and nursing. Current psychotherapeutic practices, including cognitive behavioral psychotherapy, time-limited psychotherapy, and group psychotherapy (including self-help groups) all rely heavily on the intellectual foundations of Dr. Frank’s work.

Dr. Frank’s was committed to understanding real problems in society. He had been studying in Germany during the rise of Nazism, and he was in the Pacific when the atomic bomb fell on Hiroshima.  His feelings as a parent in the post war era led him to study the psychology of the nuclear arms race and to work for nuclear disarmament. His book, Sanity and Survival in the Nuclear Age: Psychological Aspects of  War and Peace, impressed Senator William Fulbright, the former head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Senator Fulbright shared Dr. Frank’s grasp of the nuclear threat and the need to change people’s understanding of war to meet it. Dr. Frank testified by invitation before the Senate Foreign Relations committee in 1966. He was a founding member of Physicians for Social Responsibility and for years participated actively in the deliberations of the Council for a Livable World, among many political/social commitments.

In his final years, Dr. Frank returned to the study of psychotherapy. He came to believe that demoralization is a dimension of mental and medical illnesses of many kinds, and that psychotherapy uniquely combats this state. This insight remains important , contributing to the many forms of mental health care provided to soldiers involved in current conflicts. Dr. Frank also returned to the world of post-modern academia, developing the provocative and still controversial idea that psychotherapy is a form of healing rhetoric rather than an applied science.

Dr. Frank mentored many students, residents and colleagues during his years at Johns Hopkins. They repaid him with respect, affection, and a willingness to develop and disseminate his ideas, something he knew and treasured. His own reflection provides perhaps the most fitting capstone for the career of this lifelong teacher and researcher  "*more territory remains to be explored. So my intellectual journey ends, not with conclusions, but with questions, as all such journeys should."

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