Harold Searles, psychiatrist, Died at 97

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Harold Frederic Searles was born in 1918, and died on November 18, 2015.

He was one of the pioneers of psychiatric medicine specializing in psychoanalytic treatments of schizophrenia.

Harold had the reputation of being a therapeutic virtuoso with difficult and borderline patients; and of being, in the words of Horacio Etchegoyen, president of the IPA, “not only a great analyst but also a sagacious observer and a creative and careful theoretician”.

Harold was born in 1918 in Hancock, New York, a small village in the Catskill Mountains along the Delaware River, which was the subject of many of his reminiscences in his first book, The Nonhuman Environment.

He attended Cornell University and Harvard Medical School before joining the US armed services in World War II, where he served as a captain After the war he continued his psychiatric training at the Chestnut Lodge, a private sanitarium in Rockville, MD from 1949 to 1951, then at the Veterans Administration Mental Hygiene Clinic in Washington, DC from 1951-1952.

In 1949 he started work at Chestnut Lodge, where he stayed for the next fifteen years.

His colleagues included Frieda Fromm-Reichmann, to whose philosophy of treatment he acknowledged his personal debt.

Harold retired from his private practice in Wasington, D.C., in mid-1990’s and moved to California in 1997, where both of his son’s lived.

Harold, wife died in 2012, at the age of 93. Thereafter, Searles lived with his youngest son, Donald, a Los Angeles-based attorney.

Harold, daughter is actress Sandra Dickinson, a London-based actress.

His eldest son, David Searle, is a Southern California motorcycle journalist.

He died on November 18, 2015 in Los Angeles.

Harold was survived by five grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.

Harold passed away at age 77 in November 2015.

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