Montague Ullman, Pioneer in Dream Research, Dies at 91

 

Dr. Ullman devoted his life to extending dreamwork beyond the consulting room, out into the community where ordinary people can help each other understand their dreams.

 

Dr. Montague Ullman, Emeritus clinical professor of psychiatry at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, graduated from New York University College of Medicine in 1938.  Subsequent to his internship and residencies in neurology and psychiatry, he served as a captain in the Army Medical Corps in World War II. He was on the psychoanalysis faculty of the New York Medical College and had a private psychoanalytic practice until 1961. In 1967, Dr. Ullman became the full-time director of the department of psychiatry at the Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.  There he helped to develop one of the first fully operational community mental health centers in the United States. He also pioneered a sleep and dream laboratory where he led a team that investigated the occurrence of dream telepathy.

 

In 1974, Dr. Ullman awakened to the work of the late David Bohm and developed the concept of a connection between the mystery of dreaming consciousness and Bohms approach to still unsettled issues in quantum theory. Dr. Ullman passionately pursued this concept until his death.

 

That same year, he resigned as director of the department of psychiatry and director of the community mental health center to pursue his interest in dreams at various teaching centers in Scandinavia and in the United States. His work in Sweden resulted in the formation of a national society, The Dream Group Forum, in 1990, and was followed in 2003 with the respective Dream Group Forum in Finland. Both groups were committed to the task of extending dream work into the community, an undertaking based on the experiential group method Dr. Ullman initiated. He taught in Sweden from 1974 to 1976. On his return to the United States, he became a member of the faculty of the Einstein College. He became known for his selfless devotion to teaching his dream group approach to both therapists and laity internationally.

 

Dr. Ullman was a Charter Fellow of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis, a Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, past president of the Society of Medical Psychoanalysts and a past president of the American Society for Psychical Research. In 2006, he was presented with an honorary lifetime membership by the International Association for the Study of Dreams, in recognition of his leadership and contributions to the international dream community. The announcement cited, among other accomplishments, his role as "the father of the group dream work movement that has taken hold all around the world" and creating credibility for precognitive and telepathic dreams.

 

He was on the board of directors of the Lifwynn Foundation, of which he was a long-time member. He shared the view with Lifwynns founder, Dr. Trigant Burrow, that fragmentation of our unity as a species has evolved because of our failure to recognize our interconnectedness. Ullman expanded upon that by writing, 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; our dreams are connected with the basic truth that we are all members of a single species.

 

 He authored over 80 professional papers and several books, including Behavioral Changes in Patients Following Strokes. He co-authored Working With Dreams and "Dream Telepathy; and co-edited The Variety of Dream Experience and Handbook of States of Consciousness. Montague Ullman's experiential dream group method has become popular in Taiwan, where it is finding use in social work circles and university and graduate school curricula, in both Chinese and in English. Dr. Ullman's final book, Appreciating Dreams - A Group Approach, translated into Chinese by Dr. Shuyuan Wang, is being used as a textbook in several Taiwanese universities.

 

Dr. Ullman was husband to the late Janet (Simon), father of Susan Ullman, William Ullman and Lucy Bain; grandfather of Annalese McDermott and Jessica Bain, Leif Ullman and Noah Daniel Ullman; great grandfather of Harris McDermott and brother of Bob Ullman and the late Jean Blake.