Toils of Testing
A Life Course for the Author
John has more than 50 years of professional experience in part using evaluation instruments of which the MMPI occupied a time-consuming presence. He is now retired from the professional lists. There is time to look over what has transpired.
John graduated from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, North Dakota in 1954. His professor Hermann F. Buegel was his first role model. He was an honest man filled with contagious energy and enthusiasm. He stuck up for his students, a rare attribute for a full professor. This did not sit lightly with some administrative types. John introjected, as the analysts are wont to say, at least some of these virtues with the same results from the side of the administrators he has encountered.
James Brody taught neuroanatomy in the Medical School. He gave John a brain to dissect. John was delighted.
John graduate in 1954 receiving the Bachelor of Arts with Honors degree.
He entered the New School for Social Research in New York City in the fall of 1954; graduating with the Masters of Arts degree in 1957. His professors were Kurt Goldstein, Hans Lukas Teuber, Solomon Asch, Mary Henley, Hans Jonas, and Hans Wallach. Gestalt psychology was the theoretical approach for all teaching and research.
John's friend and mentor Erwin Friedman, Ph.D. painted a glowing picture of the adventures inherent in a European education. John set out in 1960 for Vienna. He arrived there to be greeted by Erwin quite by surprise at the café in the hotel in which he was staying. Erwin was so proud of his US citizenship he waved his US passport around in the air for one-and-all to see. He ordered 'weel' (veal, he never got the pronunciation of the American 'W' quite right) and began to familiarized John to the local scene. Enrollment in the psychology program was in September. Graduation occurred in July 1963.
A list of John's professors includes Hubert Rohracher who was the leading European authority on electroencephalography, physiological psychology, and neuropsychology.
Viktor Frankl is the creator of Logotherapy, a concept arising in part out of his 36 months as a prisoner in Nazi concentration camps. Frankl was an exceptionally generous man who gave time for John to attend two years of his weekly clinical presentations. Frankl formulated the first ever anti-anxiety medication in the world. He was an accomplished psychiatrist, neurosurgeon, developer of the first anti-anxiety drugs in Europe, and a psychologist. His book Man’s Search for Meaning is a foundation stone for humanistic care and concern. Frankl along with Freud and Jung is the last of the great 20th Century Viennese thinkers in medicine, psychology, and humanistic philosophy. He was exceptionally kind to this writer, a kindness that is deeply appreciated and long remembered.
Professor Frederick Kainz, an exceptional sparkling raconteur, gourmand, wine expert, and linguist (he spoke 26 languages) as well as the Vorstand of the First Philosophy Institute asked John if he could publish a small paper comparing the English evolving in England with that in America that John had written. It was published!
During WWII the Nazis forced Professor Kainz out of his teaching position at the University of Vienna. He served as an attendant for severely disabled children in western Austria during the war.
Dr. Klaus Foppa researched the psychology of learning issues. He befriended John and gave him directions on how to proceed in the dissertation phase of his studies. He relocated to Basel Switzerland to continue his work after John graduated.
Professors Haeckel, Hirschberger, and Slawik taught John the intricacies of Ethnology research.
Professor Haeckel was an Infantryman during WWII. In Russia he received severe wounds. He was an engaging and generous man who looked kindly upon a rather’ too old to be a ‘student’ American.
Professors Bayr-Klimpfinger and Asperger taught Pedagogical Psychology. Professor Klimpfinger generously provided information concerning the development of Pediatric Psychology in Austria for a paper Henry P. David later published.
Professors Frankl, Nowathy, and Solms conducted classes in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy in the medical school as well as forensic medicine as practiced in Austria.
The dissertation topic was the use of a stress measurement technique named Micro vibration with mentally retarded children and a group of neurologically normal children. The results demonstrated that the members of disadvantaged groups lived with markedly higher levels of stress on a daily basis.
John served in institutions for the mentally retarded, prisons, jails, juvenile detention facilities, community mental health centers, state hospitals, general hospitals, as well as psychiatric hospitals. John has worked in the forensic arena for 30 years. He has presented testimony in civil and criminal trials and presented before the Nevada State Supreme Court.
John is retired now. He occupies his time attempting to manage the cursed machine called a computer to type out interpretive statements used to describe the behavior of clinicians’ clients. The task is teaching him the hidden nuances of the English language which he unwittingly missed in his studies.
And the Beat goes on.
11 May 2017