Clio’s Psyche: Understanding the “Why” of Culture, Current Events, History, and Society

 

© The Psychohistory Forum, Clio’s Psyche, and Paul H. Elovitz

 

Ullman Memorial Dream Feature

 

Montague Ullman (1916–2008): Dream Research Pioneer

Judith Gardiner and Paul Elovitz -

Int. Assoc. for the Study of Dreams©

Montague Ullman, MD died from a stroke on June 7, 2008 with loved ones by his side.  He was emeritus professor at Einstein College and a highly collaborative pioneer in dream work who authored over eighty professional papers and several books, including Behavioral Changes in Patients Following Strokes (1962). He co-authored Working with Dreams (1979) and Dream Telepathy (1973, 2nd Ed. 2003), and co-edited The Variety of Dream Experience (1987, 2nd Ed. 1999) and Handbook of States of Consciousness (1986).  His books have been translated into a variety of languages, with his last volume, Appreciating Dreams—A Group Approach (1996), translated into Chinese in 2007.  A recent release is Ingrid Blidberg’s Swedish film, Catch the Dream, featuring Ullman and his dream process. 

A fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Dr. Ullman was a charter fellow of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis, a life fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, and past president of the Society of Medical Psychoanalysts and the American Society for Psychical Research.  He also served as president of the Parapsychological Association and the Gardner Murphy Research Institute.  In 2006, Montague Ullman was the recipient of an honorary Lifetime Achievement Award (and membership) by the International Association for the Study of Dreams, in recognition of his leadership in the dream community.  He was cited, among other accomplishments, for his role as “father of the group dream work movement that has taken hold all around the world” and through his serious scientific approach, increased the credibility of the study of precognitive and telepathic dreams. 

In the field of psychohistory, Ullman supported the Psychohistory Forum from its inception in 1983—his name graces our letterhead.  Besides occasionally writing on dreams for this journal, in a series of workshops and individual consultation, he helped to develop the Historical Dreamwork Method, always insisting upon rigorous methodological standards.

As a result of being invited to write an extensive autobiographical essay, in his early seventies Monte (everyone called him Monte) provided a most insightful description of his family background, education, emotions, accomplishments and life in general, which we quote liberally below (See Arthur S. Berger, “Autobiographical Notes – Montague Ullman,” Lives and Letters in American Parapsychology: A Biographical History, 1850-1987, 1988).  It has enabled us to write more about his adolescence and motivation than is usually the case in memorial.

Montague Ullman was born in New York City on September 9, 1916 as the elder of two sons and first of three children to the daughter of Polish immigrants and an immigrant from Hungary who had come to America as a teenager.  His father William was “generous to a fault,” “a superb salesman” who “smoked heavily, drank, overate” and gambled.  He built the family business manufacturing men’s hats and overcoats, prior to his early death from a stroke on his forty-fourth birthday.  The family moved from the Lower East Side to the Bronx to middle class respectability on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.  Monte’s conventional mother, Nettie Eisler Ullman, “was a superb cook and baker but given to hysterical anxiety at the slightest provocation.”  She loved “babies and small children but didn’t do so well when the child’s struggles to individuate itself began.”  She never fully recovered from the sudden death of her husband. 

The Ullman’s household was not intellectual, but the parents did aspire for their children to get a good education and advance themselves.  Monte reported, “as far as I could remember, I never saw my mother or father ever read a book.”  However, his “father’s best friend” often came for Sabbath (Friday night) dinner and “did read and became the first inspirational figure” of Monte’s life.  He was the family doctor who was “a very comforting presence when we were ill…[who] would overcome our apprehension with the songs he made up as he examined us and the way he made us laugh.”  This association of laughter with healing is perhaps an ingredient in Monte’s subsequent career as a healer, who had a twinkle in his eye, as he used dreams as a curative instrument. He was drawn to medicine by “family pressures as well as my own aspirations.”  He came to feel “at odds” with his parents, growing up “rejecting their world of bourgeois, religious, commercial values.”  His distance from his parents, including their staunch Republicanism, was painful but “also made it possible for me to follow my own path.”  His own path would lead him to being drawn to communism and, far more importantly, paranormal research.

 After attending a three-year high school in New York, just before his fifteenth birthday, he enrolled in City College of New York.  He reports being “bright enough to handle the work but inside I felt like the immature child I was.  I wanted very much to get into medical school and to get the grades necessary for admission” but the competition was “severe.”  To his deep mortification, his father, who “so wanted me to become a doctor that, despite some resistance and shame on my part, he was not above using influence to ease my admission into medical school at New York University at the end of my third year at college.”  Though he found “the first two years at medical school” to be “difficult” there was “a deep satisfaction that came from the fascination of the subject matter and the prestige of being a medical student.”

In college, extracurricular exposure to psychic phenomena oriented him to the mysteries of the unconscious realm of existence, including dream life.  Just turned sixteen, he knew nothing about psychical research and was studying hard to prepare for medical school, when a science classmate friend confided in him about his personal encounter with psychic phenomena in a series of Saturday night séances.  This experience evolved into a very serious project and inspired Monte to be a psychic researcher.  Sixty years later, he brought together five of the group that had participated in the séances and published an account of it in 2001 in the Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research.

In January 1939, Monte began four years of hospital training: two as an intern, one as a neurology resident, and one as a psychiatric resident at the New York State Psychiatric Institute.  His background in neurology oriented him to the neurophysiology of dreaming; his practice in psychoanalysis oriented him to the metaphorical structure and healing potential of the dream, and later work in community psychiatry impressed upon him the importance of identifying and sharing the skills necessary to make dreams generally accessible. 

In 1942, preparing for his psychoanalytic career, he went into personal analysis, which was interrupted when he was drafted into the Army where he served as a captain.  Upon his discharge in December 1945, he opened an office for the practice of neurology and psychiatry, moving into psychoanalysis in 1946 as he completed training, and began teaching, at the New York Medical College.  The 1950s solidified his three major interests: exciting new approaches to psychoanalytic thinking and practice, a growing interest in dreams, and bringing the paranormal into the mainstream of his life.  Ullman terminated his private practice and left the New York Medical College in 1961 to develop a department of psychiatry at Maimonides Hospital (later Maimonides Medical Center) in Brooklyn. 

 In 1962 Monte Ullman established the Dream Laboratory at Maimonides with a grant ob­tained by Gardner Murphy that enabled the exploration of dreams and telepathy.  In 1967 he also developed, and later operated, a community mental health center noteworthy for launching many innovative com­munity programs to provide preventive psychiatry.  Monte’s lifelong commitment to helping ordinary people, which had led him to left wing causes and to visit the Soviet health care system in 1938, informed his decisions to establish a community mental health program focused on prevention, and to develop a method of bringing the healing power of dreamwork to ordinary people.

The work of Monte and his collaborators constituted the primary source of experimental evidence that the content of dreams may be related to tele­pathy.  One of the great parapsychological advances of the late twentieth century came through his use of physiological methodology for monitoring dreams.  Using the EEG to record brain waves and the Rapid-Eye-Movement technique to record eye movements permitted him to discern when sleeping subjects were dreaming and for how long, prior to waking them for their dream reports.

In 1974, Monte awakened to the work of the late physicist David Bohm and developed the concept of a connection between the mystery of dreaming consciousness and Bohm’s approach to still unsettled issues in quantum theory.  He resigned from Maimonides to pursue his interest in dreams elsewhere.  In Sweden from 1974 to 1976, he developed a group dream work process, resulting in the formation of a national society in 1990.  The Dream Group Forum, followed in 2003 with the Dream Group Forum in Finland.  Both groups were committed to extending dream work into the community, an undertaking based on that experiential group method Monte initiated.  It proved suitable not only as a training instrument for professional therapists, but also for making dream work accessible to the interested layman.

Returning to the United States, Ullman joined the Albert Einstein College of Medicine as clinical professor of psychiatry, and the Westchester Center for the Study of Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy to teach therapists in training about his group method. He became more and more convinced that serious and effective dream work could extend beyond the consulting room into the community.  Monte became known for devotion in teaching his approach to both therapists and laity internationally.

Toward the end of his life, Monte reflected upon telepathy as a mental field derived from the universal unconscious.  Thus, he had meshed his work in telepathic dreaming with the connectedness of the dream group process and Bohm’s theory of connectivity.  He was a director of the Lifwynn Foundation believing that fragmentation of our unity as a species has evolved because we fail to recognize our interconnectedness.  Ullman elaborated, “Our dreams are concerned with the nature of our connections with others. The history of the human race, while awake, is a history of fragmentation, of separating people and communities of people ... nationally, religiously, politically” but while asleep “our dreams are connected with the basic truth that we are all members of a single species.”

Monte was a happy, charming, gentle soul who never forgot to be human.  His enormous compassion and infectious humor effected people in every walk of life.  Many described him as a profoundly modest man and a humanitarian who made a significant human and scientific contribution to the world.  His impact on psychiatry, psychology and parapsychology is a substantial legacy reflecting his wisdom, his insight and his critical acumen.

Dr. Ullman was husband of the late Janet (Simon), father of Susan Ullman, William Ullman and Lucy Bain; grandfather of four, great-grandfather of one, brother of Bob Ullman and the late Jean Blake who died the day before he did, and companion of Judy Gardiner.

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A Brilliant and Playful Listener to the Unconscious

Paul H. Elovitz - Clio’s Psyche

His extraordinary abilities as a listener were key to Monte Ullman’s specialness as a human being.  He listened to the conscious and unconscious with rapt attention and taught others to do the same in a playful manner.  The safety and playfulness of his dreamers, built into the experiential dream method, was central to its success.  Adults must trust and feel secure to reveal their unconscious before others; his method guaranteed that the dreamer was in charge and could stop the process at any time.  It also enticed dream group members to literally “make the dream their own”—“playing with it”—as they projected onto it and teased out its nuances.  This offered new possibilities to the dreamer, to be accepted or rejected.  The dream dialogue also left the dreamer totally in control of the process.

Members of dream groups knew Montague Ullman was something special.  After all, here was a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst welcoming people into his home, using his first name, and working in the dream vineyards (in my personal experience illegal, illiterate grape pickers probably make more money for their labor than do most dream workers!).  He did not seek to squeeze the reality of those he sought to help into some theoretic Procrustean bed, as was not uncommon in his profession.  As a “recovered psychiatrist,” rather than making a handsome income prescribing legal drugs to patients, he put aside the authority and prestige of psychiatry to help people come into close contact with their unconscious desires because of his belief in the healing power of dreams—when listened to rather than suppressed and repressed.  He did not need the big income, office, and title to heal people.  In fact, he thought these were obstacles to helping people know themselves, since they expected knowledge to come exclusively from “the doctor” rather than themselves.  Monte believed the Socratic dictum “know thyself” was the key to healing.

Psychoanalytic training and experience were invaluable assets in Ullman’s work with dreams and dreamers.  They helped him see past the defensiveness, reaction formations, rigidity, and verbiage so often used as defenses against relating to others positively and knowing oneself.  When a new member appeared in the dream group behaving like a bull in a china shop, he listened to his own dream in which the disruptive man appeared as a teddy bear, and Monte knew the individual could ultimately adjust to the group, which he did.  In dealing with an energetic, loquacious, talented, dream enthusiast who for years did not accept the need for boundaries, he was insistent to the point of toughness, about enforcing the rules allowing space for the dreamer and the other participants to understand the dream’s meanings.

Monte was quite willing to reveal himself when he thought it might help someone struggling with a problem.  In my case, both my brother and mother had died quite young at the same age, and when that age loomed before me, my death anxiety was revealed in a dream. Monte spoke of having confronted the same issue as he approached age forty-four when his father had died of a stroke.  His sharing of his own anxieties was most reassuring.

My own route to discovering the enormous value of Ullman’s work was circuitous.  My course on dreams in psychoanalytic training had been disappointing.  The instructor and materials were uninspiring.  In therapy sessions and control (supervision) analysis I discovered the enormous value of dreams for probing the patient’s unconscious, but felt frustrated since the patient did not see what I saw in the dream, yet looked to me to articulate what it said.  I appreciated the insight regarding my own countertransference when I dreamed of being President Carter’s psychoanalyst at a time I was writing a psychobiography of him, yet I needed additional tools for probing dreams.  I wanted to be able to probe the treasure trove of dreams of the pioneer chemist Sir Humphry Davy (1778-1829) which I had discovered on a 1981 sabbatical in England and most of all, I wanted to uncover the creativity revealed in our dreams. 

In 1982, after Monte spoke on dreams at my New Jersey psychoanalytic institute, I found a new way to understanding dreams.  The outcome was that after I attended his dream group sessions in Ardsley, New York, as well as one or two leadership training sessions, I became an Ullman dream group leader.  I worked with Monte, Don Hughes, Mena Potts, and others to apply a modified version of the Ullman technique to the dreams of historical personages (The Historical Dreamwork Method), and I wrote articles and chapters of books on dreamwork.  We may not have been able to get deceased dreamers to associate to their dreams, but we could greatly enlarge the number of possible explanations for it and help the historical biographer to understand much more about his/her own countertransference to the subject.  Without having in-depth knowledge of psychohistory, Monte supported the Psychohistory Forum and occasionally wrote for Clio’s Psyche.

As a historian and psychoanalyst, I was taught to be skeptical of claims of precognition and telepathy, generally finding other disclaimed explanations for these assertions.  Yet, because of a precognitive dream, I can happily report that a gift copy of Ullman and Krippner sits on my shelf with a dedication reading, “To Paul[,] who precognized a situation and solved it[.]  Appreciatively[,]  Monte[,]  July 1984.”  On July 9, 1984 I dreamt that I had a flat tire and presented the dream in Ullman’s group which was meeting for the first time on the following Monday.  Uncharacteristically, he left the group briefly to answer and make phone calls and appeared to be a bit distracted.  Amidst his apologies to the dreamer and group for the interruptions, he explained that a potential buyer, with whom he had no way of communicating, was coming to look at his used Volvo shortly after our meeting and that the mechanic had promised to come directly to fix a flat tire that had been discovered only that morning.  After the meeting was over, I volunteered to replace the flat with his spare tire, which I did.  The following week as I walked out of the next dream group meeting, Monte handed me his book with the dedication.  

A key reason for Monte Ullman’s success was his genuine interest in and respect for people.  He sat back in his chair in a relaxed manner, radiating curiosity, good will, kindness, infectious humor, intelligence, interest, and warmth.  He kept the focus on the dream, gently rejected theory as a distraction, and helped dreamers focus on their own day and life residue, associations, feelings, and fantasies regarding concrete images in their nocturnal productions.  As he spoke slowly and deliberately, we sat at the edge of our seats listening to his every word.  Dr. Ullman’s very expertise would have been a distraction form the ultimate source of knowledge of the dream—the dreamer.  The ultimate genius of his methodology was that most of the time he took the back seat, serving only as the protector of the dream method, while the dreamer was allowed free rein of interpretation, and the group projected onto the dream (“played with it”) and dialogued about the possible meanings of the dream. 

Our best ways to commemorate Montague Ullman are to probe our own dreams, lead dream groups using his methodology, examine claims of precognitive and telepathic dreams as well as of paranormal experiences with his scientific precision, and value the creativity and the healing powers of dreams.  Should I find the time to complete my book, The Creativity of Dreams, the dedication will include Monte’s name alongside that of my wife.

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This ‘Dream’ Man of Firsts

Mena Potts - University of Pittsburgh

With the June 7th death of Dr. Montague Ullman, a renowned psychoanalyst and psychiatrist, we have suffered the loss of a towering figure and leading authority in the psychology of dreams and dreaming.  Monte’s death was a deep personal and professional loss for me.  Its impact was cushioned by a dream I had a month before his passing; he was in a hospital bed with tubes and an oxygen mask—I felt he was dying.  That dream marked his departure, while a dream in the late 1970s presaged our meeting later in the 1980s.

Monte’s peerless achievements in the field are punctuated with firsts: he was the first full-time director of the Department of Psychiatry at Maimonides Hospital, he was the first to develop a community mental health center in New York, he was the first to develop a sleep laboratory at Maimonides in Brooklyn, New York, he was the first to conduct ground-breaking, scientifically-controlled laboratory experiments in dream telepathy—along with Dr. Stanley Krippner—and he was the first to originate the Experiential Dream Group Process in order to move dream work out of the consulting room and into the community.  Monte’s grassroots, dream-work movement has spread to Sweden, Finland, Taiwan, and elsewhere.  He is first in the understanding of dreams. 

I came to know Monte by a rather labyrinthine path.  In the mid 1970s I went to Zurich and studied dreams with Jungian analyst, Frau Dora Kalf, a member of Jung’s original group.  I took courses at the Jung Institute and at Frau Kalf’s East-West Psychology Institute, during which I had a rare, all-day small group session with the revered Dalai Lama; both he and Kalf were spiritually inspiring and professionally motivating.  When I returned I sought a doctoral program in the psychology of dreams, but could not locate one. 

Later that decade I had a precognitive dream in which I had dreamed that a “Dr. Monet” or “Dr. Monte” could help me locate such a doctoral program.  That dream led me to seek out Dr. Ullman’s assistance whose full name and nickname I did not know at the time.  Dr. Ullman told me “no graduate degree program in dreams and dreaming exists,” but he offered to help develop a doctoral program through the Union Institute and he served on my doctoral committee with Drs. Stanley Krippner, Clark Moustakas, and others.    

Dr. Ullman structured my experiential dream group internship, my internship at the Institute for Contemporary Psychoanalysis, and my psychic dream internship at the American Society For Psychical Research.  Were it not for Monte, I could never have received the first doctorate ever awarded in the psychology of dreams.  I am deeply indebted to him for all he gave to me and will cherish his memory.  Through Monte I found what I could not locate within the walls of a university: the largest collection of dream knowledge and a wonderful methodology.  I had found “Dr. Monet -Monte” and my personal cathedral of learning.

Monte was internationally renowned and singularly beloved, but fame and adulation could not turn his head or inflate his ego.  Monte possessed gentility, decency, and humility, exhibiting love and caring in his relationships with his family and others.  That’s how I will remember him.  I was honored to have worked with Monte professionally, and privileged to have shared an endearing friendship with him for nearly three decades, as was my husband Dom.  We miss Monte profoundly, will recall him fondly, remember his iconic contributions to dream work, and tribute his exceptional character and humanity as a stellar human being.  

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A Man for All Seasons Who Changed My Life

Stanley Krippner - Saybrook Graduate School and

Research Center

In 1961, Montague Ullman founded a dream laboratory at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn.  A few years later, he asked several eminent psychologists and psychiatrists to direct the laboratory’s research program on anomalous effects in dreams.  They all turned him down because the laboratory was only assured funding for three years, and the study of telepathic, clairvoyant, and precognitive dreams was hardly a move that would lead to career advancement.  When Monte offered the position to me, I immediately accepted it and have never regretted the decision. 

When I arrived in Brooklyn, Monte told me about the adventures he shared with a few college friends, a series of private meetings marked by ostensibly anomalous events such as the sudden appearance of strange objects and messages purportedly written by a “Dr. Bindelof,” a physician who claimed to have died in 1919.  He also told me of psychotherapeutic encounters in which patients reported dreams that incorporated specific elements of his own personal life.  These were the personal sources that motivated Monte to organize a dream laboratory that took advantage of newly developed technology—monitoring research participants’ brain waves and eye movement activity—to determine the appropriate time to awaken them and ask for dream reports.

Monte and I designed an experimental protocol that involved introducing a staff member to a volunteer, and then separating them for the night.  Once the staff member reached his or her own room, the staff member opened a randomly selected envelope and focused on the enclosed art print.  Research participants tried to incorporate these images into their dreams; a team of outside experts attempted to match dream protocols with the art prints used on those nights—and did so at statistically significant levels.  It was a pleasure to work out the details of these studies with Monte; his insights into both the dreaming process and the nature of anomalous phenomena provided material that I could draw upon in designing an airtight procedure that would be evaluated statistically and that would rule out trickery, sensory cueing, and coincidence. 

Indeed, we were a “dream team,” that enjoyed a “dream relationship.”  Our contact continued after we both left Maimonides in the early 1970s.  I studied Monte’s dream appreciation method at his home in Ardsley, New York, which also gave me the opportunity to maintain contact with his lovely wife, Janet.  Our visits were marked by intellectual discussions, philosophical speculations, and personal interchanges.  We discussed life’s triumphs and tragedies frankly and openly, including his grief over Janet’s death and, later, her appearance in a series of remarkable dreams. 

When I turned seventy-five, Monte and his companion Judy Gardiner drove to Manhattan to help me celebrate.  I introduced him to my family and friends as “the man who changed my life.”  The same can be said of other men and women I have known, but my friendship with Monte was multi-dimensional.  It was marked by intellectual growth (on my part), wit (primarily on his  part), and storytelling (on both our parts).  Monte Ullman was more than a man for all seasons; he was a man for all reasons.

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Remembering Monte

Robert Van de Castle - University of Virginia

Over forty years ago, I first met Montague Ullman in Miami when he sought to recruit me for a position at Maimonides Hospital to establish a Sleep and Dream Laboratory to study telepathic dreams.  At the time I was working with Calvin Hall at the Institute of Dream Research.  For several hours each day sitting under a palm tree, Calvin and I were busy scoring up dreams and working on our book The Content Analysis of Dreams.  Though I found Monte to be a quite charming, kind, warm person with a wonderful smile and sense of humor, that idyllic setting overruled any considerations about moving to Brooklyn.  His subsequent hire of Dr. Stanley Krippner turned out to be the perfect choice to meet the needs for that challenging Maimonides project. 

Eventually, Calvin and I investigated whether telepathic material could be incorporated into dream content and got very encouraging results.  Monte invited me to see whether I would be able to demonstrate similarly successful results at Maimonides partly because of my excellent memory for the details of dreams and capabilities as a telepathic receiver.  I eventually participated as a subject on eight experimental nights during a forty-four week period.  On each morning that I had served as a subject, I would spend an hour or two with Monte while we explored at great length my feelings about the person several hundred yards away in a locked room who had served as the “sender,” what was going on in my life at the time, what associations I had to the target picture and so forth.  Monte was the “sender” on one of these experimental nights.  It was an interesting process to weave back and forth all the associations to the material that emerged that night.  The publication of Monte and Stan’s classic book Dream Telepathy eventuated from nearly a decade of their systematic research on this topic.

It was a pleasure to be in the audience when Monte received his award for Lifetime Achievement in Dreamwork from the International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD) at their annual meeting in 2006.  No one was a more deserving recipient than Monte.  His theoretical proposals involving the vigilance hypothesis, the role of inter-species connectedness, and his recent forays into finding links between the mysterious realms of the paranormal and David Bohm’s theories on quantum physics have always been beautifully articulated, well reasoned, and extremely compelling.

During our recent 2008 IASD conference in Montreal, Dr. Milton Kramer emphasized in his invited address how groundbreaking Monte’s humanitarian role had been in establishing the first mental-health clinic in New York City and how he had always been a strong advocate for the under-served and under privileged. 

Monte was an incredibly humble man who would easily become embarrassed if anyone attempted to congratulate him for being the outstanding human being and friend that he was to so many of us, or if we tried to point out how extraordinarily significant his theoretical contributions had been in shaping our views about the purpose and functions of dreaming.  Monte also completely revolutionized the way that dreams were dealt with in professional settings.  His compassionate and supportive way of working with dream groups and spelling out the techniques that eventually became incorporated into his compassionate “if it were my dream” technique have been enthusiastically spread around the globe. 

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The Healing Power of Dreams

Wendy Pannier - Dream Group Leader

Montague Ullman was one of the great mentors in my life.  His groundbreaking research with Stanley Krippner into psychic phenomenon and telepathy in dreams validated what I had experienced since I was a young child—and confirmed that I was sane. 

After reading Dream Telepathy, I knew this was someone I had to study with.  I can not remember where we first met—I think it was a workshop at the Open Center in New York in the early 1980s.  I do recall that I was the only lay dream worker there, surrounded by psychoanalysts and psychotherapists and others much more credentialed than I was.  Monte put me completely at ease, letting me know he was delighted to have a nonprofessional in the group.

That was the beginning of a long and wonderful friendship.  I attended every possible Leadership Training Workshop, feeling comfortable as we sat in a circle of chairs in Monte’s book-lined living room discussing the fine points of leading a dream group.  It was naturally a prerequisite that the man I married had to attend one of these seminars—and we have been sharing dreams ever since.  (I think it makes for a healthy relationship.)  When we married, Monte gave us a piece of art his daughter had created—it’s in our bedroom and I call it “the city dreaming.”

Monte often said, “Whisper dreams in my ear and I’ll follow you anywhere.”  Well, he and Ingegerd Hansson, who was involved with the Swedish Dream Group Forum, whispered dreams in my ear and I followed them to Greece in 1995 shortly after I went into remission from a late stage cancer.  I am convinced that it was more healing than the chemotherapy, and I have been doing dream work with cancer patients ever since.  It was on the plane returning from Greece that I presented the idea of a newsletter about his work.  At first Monte said it wouldn’t work, but before we landed he said “maybe.”  The result was Dream Appreciation, a quarterly newsletter we published from 1996-2002.  This was wonderful because it allowed him to share new thoughts and insights in a more informal way than refereed journals.  There he introduced the concept that dream group members are “midwives to the dream” and wrote a series on “dreams and art” which was inspired by The Actors Studio.

In 2006 I was honored to present Monte with the International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD) Lifetime Achievement Award for his research and contributions to the field of dreams.  Always a modest man, he was surprised at the IASD award and the overwhelming audience response to his talk.  He did not realize how many lives he had touched—including mine—or how many people came to understand their dreams through his gentle process.

We have lost a great luminary, but his light is shining in other dimensions—and perhaps even in our dreams.

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Monte Ullman as a Teacher of Dreams

David Lotto - Psychohistory Forum Researcher

In 1979 in my second year of psychoanalytic training at the Westchester Center for the Study of Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, I was introduced to working with dreams in a class led by Monte Ullman.  There were about a dozen of us in the twelve-week-long class.  Each class consisted of one of us presenting a recent dream which we then spent the next hour and a half working with using Monte’s experiential model of group dreamwork.  He was a true master at getting people to feel comfortable and competent in presenting their own dreams and working with the dreams of others. 

In addition to getting to know my classmates and becoming known to them in a new and much more intimate way, which considerably enhanced my learning over the following years, Monte showed us the richness and complexity of dreams.  He taught us that essential skill of being able to open yourself to what the dream images say, the additional things the dreamer may tell us, and our own associations, feelings, and reactions.  

Of the thirty-six courses I took at the institute, Monte’s was the one which I remember the most.  By the end of the course I felt that I had been fully launched on the process of becoming a psychoanalyst—having been initiated into the quintessential art of psychoanalysis—working with dreams. 

A number of years later I was involved in organizing a conference on dreams in the Berkshires in which he was the keynote speaker and led the large group of participants in an Ullman dream group experience.  He did a wonderful job and was highly appreciated by the participants.  Monte left the world a richer place.  He will be missed.      

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Ullman’s Commitment to Human Connectedness

Lloyd Gilden - Lifwynn Foundation

My acquaintance with Monte developed through our participation in the activities of the Lifwynn Foundation, beginning in the 1990s.  The Foundation was predicated on the assumption that beneath interpersonal conflict lays an innate disposition to social harmony.  Monte enthusiastically subscribed to this perspective writing that “in each of us, there is an incorruptible core of being that is sensitive to the way we hurt ourselves or others, and concerned with undoing the fragmentation that has resulted.”  Furthermore, “our dreams are constant reminders of the infinity of ways we have managed to get derailed and, at the same time, they provide us with the opportunity to get back on track.”

With sheer social genius Monte created a group dream work process that carries group members in the direction of awareness of their solidarity and connectedness.  He created a safe atmosphere with a non-intrusive process that leads to the lowering of social defenses and promotes a deep level of sharing and communion. 

Monte radiated wisdom, calmness, and centeredness in his being that encouraged group members to explore deeply within themselves and discover their capacity for similar feelings.  It was an honor and a privilege to be his friend and colleague, participate in his dream groups, and benefit from his benign presence. q

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Contributors to the September 2008 Edition on the 2008 American Election and the Ullman Memorial

James William Anderson, PhD, a psychologist and psychoanalyst, is Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Northwestern University, and a faculty member at the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis.  Editor of the Annual of Psychoanalysis, he has published psychobiographical essays on Frank Lloyd Wright, William and Henry James, Woodrow Wilson, and Edith Wharton, as well as a series of papers on the methodology of psychobiography.  Professor Anderson may be contacted at j-anderson3@northwestern.edu.

Sho Araiba was born in 1983 and grew up in Tokyo before becoming an international student in America.  After attending SUNY Rockland Community College from 2003 to 2005 he continued his study in psychology at CUNY Queens College from 2005 to 2007.  In 2008 he will begin a masters program in psychology (Learning and Behavior Analysis) at CUNY Queens College. 

Herbert Barry III, Ph.D., is a psychologist who became a faculty member in the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy in 1963, Professor in 1970, and Professor Emeritus in 2001.  From 1970 to 2001 he had an adjunct appointment as Professor in the Anthropology Department of the School of Arts and Sciences.  He is a member of the Psychohistory Forum and was president (1991-1992) of the International Psychohistory Association (IPA). An early publication is “Relationships Between Child Training and the Pictorial Arts,” (1957) Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, vol. 54, pp. 380-383.  One of his current research projects is on the choice by novelists of the names of the fictional characters.  Professor Barry may be contacted at barryh@pitt.edu.

Rudolph Binion, PhD, Leff Families Professor of Modern European History, has taught comparative history and psychohistory at Brandeis University since 1967.  His most recent psychohistorical book is Past Impersonal: Group Process in Human History (2005).  A member of the Editorial Board of Clio’s Psyche, he may be contacted at binion@brandeis.edu.

Sander J. Breiner, MD, is Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, a professor of psychiatry at two medical schools at Michigan State University, and one medical school at Wayne State University.  In addition to being a Research Associate of the Psychohistory Forum, he is a Training and Supervising Psychoanalyst, and author of over 100 scientific articles and books, which include Slaughter of the Innocents: Child Abuse Through the Ages and Today (1990). Dr. Breiner may be contacted at sjbreiner@comcast.net.

Kelly Bulkeley, PhD, is a Visiting Scholar at the Graduate Theological Union and teaches in the Dream Studies Program at John F. Kennedy University, both in the San Francisco Bay Area.  He earned his doctorate in Religion and Psychological Studies from the University of Chicago Divinity School and is a former president of the International Association for the Study of Dreams.  He has written and edited several books on dreaming, most recently Dreaming in the World’s Religions: A Comparative History (NYU Press, 2008) and American Dreamers: What Dreams Tell Us about the Political Psychology of Conservatives, Liberals, and Everyone Else (Beacon Press, 2008).  Professor Bulkeley may be contacted at kellybulkeley@earthlink.net.

Paul H. Elovitz, PhD, is a presidential psychohistorian trained in history, political science, and psychoanalysis, who has been researching and writing about the candidates and presidents since 1976.  He is Editor of Clio’s Psyche, a founding faculty member at Ramapo College who formerly taught at Temple, Rutgers, and Fairleigh Dickinson universities, and a founder and past president of the International Psychohistorical Association.  He has over 200 publications and for over three decades has organized psychohistorical meetings in Manhattan on a regular basis.  He has published on the dreams of historical personages such as Humphry Davy, Mary Wollstonecraft and her daughter Mary Shelly, and Robert Lewis Stevenson, as well as historical dream methodology.  He studied dreams in psychoanalytic training and later with Montague Ullman (1916-2008, a pioneer in the field), ran dream workshops for years, devised a method of probing the dreams of historical and public personages, wrote various articles and chapters of books on dreams, and edited the dreams of others as a journal editor.  Prior to working on Obama’s dreams, he did an intense biographical and psychological portrait of the Illinois Senator, published in the fall 2008 issue of the Journal of Psychohistory.  Dr. Elovitz may be contacted at pelovitz@aol.com .

Kenneth Fuchsman, EdD, is a historian who teaches interdisciplinary studies courses online at the University of Connecticut, where he has been in a variety of capacities for thirty years.  Dr. Fuchsman writes on the history of psychoanalysis and is currently exploring the dynamics of oedipality in single parent and blended families.  He may be contacted at ken.fuchsman@uconn.edu or kfuchsman@gmail.com.

Florian Galler, a Swiss macroeconomist with degrees in economic and social history, lives in Zurich where he works as an economic teacher at the KV Zurich Business School.  Since his academic position is not directly related to his psychohistorical research he considers himself to be a private, that is an independent, scholar.  He is past-president of the German Society for Psychohistory and Political Psychology and a long time member of the Psychohistory Forum.  He may be contacted at floriangaller@bluewin.ch or through his homepage of www.psychohistory.ch.

Judy B. Gardiner has been researching and writing on the symbolism of her dreams since she retired from a twenty-year corporate career.  She has been a panelist at the Association for the Study of Dreams and has lectured on her dream message—the topic of Lavender: An Entwined Adventure in Science and Spirit, her yet to be published novel.  In collaboration with Montague Ullman, whose last five years she brightened, her work focuses on how dreams reveal both our internal and external environments.  Ms. Gardiner also helped to contact some of those memorializing Monte. She may be contacted at Jbgardiner@aol.com. 

Lloyd Gilden, PhD, did brain research and taught psychology at Queens College of CUNY in New York City for thirty years before retiring from teaching.  For the last ten years he has been president of the Lifwynn Foundation while continuing his clinical practice. He may be contacted at kllg729@aol.com.

Ted Goertzel, PhD, is Professor of Sociology at Rutgers in Camden, a Research Associate of the Psychohistory Forum, and a prolific author.  Among his books are Fernando Henrique Cardoso: Reinventing Democracy in Brazil (1999), Linus Pauling: A Life in Science and Politics (1995), and Turncoats and True Believers: The Dynamics of Political Belief and Disillusionment (1992).  In 2004 he and his niece Ariel Hansen updated and co-edited his parents’ 1962 book, Cradles of Eminence: Childhoods of More Than 700 Famous Men and Women.  Prof. Goertzel may be contacted at goertzel@camden.rutgers.edu. 

Rajiv Jhangiani, Ryan Cross, Sverre Frisch, Katya Legkaia, and Ekaterina Netchaeva, work in the Department of Psychology at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, under the supervision of Peter Suedfeld, PhD, where they conduct research on political psychological topics including elite decision-making, terrorism, genocide, and ethnopolitical conflict.  Professor Suedfeld is a past president of the Canadian Psychological Association and a recipient of the International Society of Political Psychology’s Harold D. Lasswell award for "distinguished scientific contributions in the field of political psychology.” Correspondence may be addressed to Rajiv Jhangiani at rajiv@psych.ubc.ca.

Stanley Krippner, PhD, is professor of psychology, Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center, San Francisco.  He co-authored Dream Telepathy with Montague Ullman, a book that reviewed their experiments at Maimonides Medical Center where he directed the Dream Laboratory for a decade.  In 2002, he received the American Psychological Association Award for Distinguished Contributions to the International Advancement of Psychology.  He may be contacted at skrippner@saybrook.edu. 

Philip Langer, PhD, is Professor of Educational Psychological Studies at the University of Colorado.  Together with Robert Pois (1940-2004) he published, Command Failure in War: Psychology and Leadership (2006).  Prof. Langer may be contacted at Philip.Langer@Colorado.edu. 

David Lotto, PhD, a psychologist/psycho-analyst in Pittsfield Massachusetts and a Psychohistory Forum researcher, frequently writes for these pages and the Journal of Psychohistory.  He may be contacted at dlotto@ nycap.rr.com.

Wendy Pannier, President (2005-06) of the International Association for the Study of Dreams and a long time member of its Board’s Executive Committee, published Dream Appreciation featuring Monte’s work from 1996-2002.   She has conducted dream workshops and groups in the U.S. and abroad and in recent years has developed programs to help cancer patients work with their dreams and nightmares.  She also works with health care professionals.  Wendy may be contacted at DreamWendy@verizon.net.

Mena E. Potts, PhD, a University of Pittsburgh Competency program trainer, is the founder of the Dream Center for Education and Research, a past board member of the International Association for The Study of Dreams, and a Research Associate of the Psychohistory Forum.  Dr. Potts may be contacted at Drmpotts@aol.com.

Burton Norman Seitler, PhD, a clinical psychologist/ psychoanalyst in private practice and Director of Counseling and Psychotherapy Services (CAPSR) in Ridgewood and Oakland, New Jersey, is also Director of the Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy Studies Program of the New Jersey Institute for Training in Psychoanalysis in Teaneck.  Dr. Seitler serves on the Board of Directors of the International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology and may be contacted at binsightfl@aol.com. 

Charles B. Strozier, PhD, educated at Harvard, the University of Chicago, the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis, and the Training and Research Institute in Self Psychology (TRISP), is Professor of History at John Jay College and the CUNY Graduate Center, as well as Director of the Center on Terrorism of John Jay College.  In addition, he is a psychoanalyst and a training and research analyst at TRISP.  In addition to three edited volumes with Michael Flynn, his books include Apocalypse: On the Psychology of Fundamentalism in America (1994, 2002), Lincoln’s Quest for Union: A Psychological Portrait, 1982, 2001), and Heinz Kohut: The Making of a Psychoanalyst (2001, it won the NAAP Gradiva Award, the Canadian Goethe Prize, and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize).   Strozier, who was the founding editor of the now defunct Psychohistory Review, is currently writing New York City and 9/11: A Psychological Study of the World Trade Center Disaster and is co-editing The Fundamentalist Mindset for Oxford University Press. Professor Strozier may be contacted at charlesbstrozier@yahoo.com. 

Hanna Turken, NCPsyA, BCD, LCSW, is in the private practice of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy in New York City and is a senior member of the National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis (NPAP), as well as a Research Associate of the Psychohistory Forum and a member of the board and supervisor in the New York State Society for Clinical Social Work.  Turken has published and presented papers at national and international conferences on sexuality, culture, the role of the father, sexual addiction, and other subjects.   She may be contacted at hjturken@verizon.net.

Robert Van de Castle, PhD, Professor Emeritus, University of Virginia Health Sciences Center, is former president of the Association for the Study of Dreams and the Parapsychological Association.  He is author of Our Dreaming Mind (1994) and may be contacted at riv@virginia.edu.

 

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Ó Copyright 2008 Clio’s Psyche Extracted from volume 15 no. 2 pages 51-69 of the new format version

 

 

  

 

 

Clio’s Psyche

 

Vol. 15 No. 2                                      September 2008

 

ISSN 1080-2622

 

Published Quarterly by The Psychohistory Forum

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Editor: Paul H. Elovitz, PhD

 

Editorial Board

C. Fred Alford, PhD University of Maryland James W. Anderson, PhD Northwestern University David Beisel, PhD RCC-SUNY • Rudolph Binion, PhD Brandeis University • Andrew Brink, PhD Formerly of McMaster University and The University of Toronto • Ralph Colp, MD Columbia University • Joseph Dowling, PhD Lehigh University • Glen Jeansonne, PhD University of Wisconsin • Peter Loewenberg, PhD UCLA • Peter Petschauer, PhD Appalachian State University • Leon Rappoport, PhD Kansas State University

 

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