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Adolf Meyer

Founding Director 1909-1941

Adolf Myere

Meyer was appointed chair of the new Phipps Clinic for its opening in 1913, having established himself in America via his work as a scholar and psychiatrist, and penultimately as Director of the Pathological Institute of the New York State Hospitals for the Insane. Although he was not a psychoanalyst, he was a founding member of the American Psychoanalytical Association and served as president of the American Psychiatric Association.

“Adolf Meyer was not only the dominant figure in American psychiatry between 1895 and 1940, but one of the two great figures who changed psychiatry into a dynamic therapy and into a discipline that affords meaningful insights into human behavior…he was the person largely responsible for the pragmatic, instrumental, and pluralistic approach that has been distinctive of American psychiatry…Johns Hopkins offered the opportunities he sought: to introduce psychobiology and dynamic psychiatry into the medical school curriculum…to establish a university training center for psychiatrists; to bring psychiatry into a close working relationship with the remainder of medicine; to build and develop a university psychiatry research and teaching hospital; to organize and run a model psychiatric hospital that was community oriented.”

Theodore Lidz, Adolf Meyer and the Development of American Psychiatry. American Journal of Psychiatry 123 (3): 320-332, 1966