In Memory of Dr. Marvin Hyman

In Memoriam: Marvin Hyman, Ph.D.

Dr. Marvin Hyman, a founding member of the Academy for the Psychoanalytic Arts, passed away on February 12, 2016, in Dallas, Texas. He is remembered for his vast contributions to the field of psychoanalysis and for his lifelong commitment to teaching, writing, and professional practice. Below is his obituary as it appeared in the Detroit Free Press:

HYMAN DR. MARVIN husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and psychoanalyst. Passed away in Dallas, Texas on February 12, 2016. Dr. Hyman was well known in Detroit where he had a private practice, taught and trained residents at the University of Michigan, University of Detroit and various hospitals for over 50 years! He will be missed by his family, colleagues, patients and friends.

Members of the Academy of the Psychoanalytic Arts share their memories below:

"Marv always loved to assert that the notion of death, most notably his own, remained an empirical question. I am very curious to know what his research has ascertained. 

For me, the person he was and continues to be, is one of the most intelligent, ethical, kind, generous and funny 'thoughts that has come to mind' for me...ever. My conversations with him have become part of who I am as a clinician, teacher and human being. He was my first teacher of solipsism, and since he believed that he was in a world entirely of his making, I am eternally grateful to him for including me in it.

I would also like to note that it is sadly and wryly humorous that the obituary in the Free Press stated that he taught and trained 'residents.' Yes, he did indeed teach psychiatry residents, but first and foremost he was a clinical psychologist, deeply committed to psychology. He taught and supervised psychology interns, psychology post doctoral fellows, and licensed psychologists. The 'error' in the obituary which omits this, and by implication, subsumes psychology students under the term 'resident' is the very thing that inspired Marv to be a founding member of the Academy--an organization that continues to devote itself to preserving an increasingly diminished and precious space for psychology that is NOT subsumed by medicalized health care. The Marv I know would point this 'error' out with a twinkle in his eye and continued determination to interpret this meaningful parapraxis. I can hear Marv now, telling the Free Press editorial staff that their 'thoughts might suggest' that both he and psychology no longer exist, but that these thoughts necessitate closer examination." - Linda J. Young, Ph.D.

"There was one nugget of wisdom that has stuck with me all of these years and which I constantly find of use in working with my patients. He once mentioned that patients come to us with their problems, but, in fact, they are really presenting us with their solutions . A big part of the therapeutic work is trying to understand what the problems are that underlie the solutions presented to us." - Lawrence Kron, Ph.D.

"I did greatly enjoy the times I had the privilege of talking with him. My deepest sympathy for his loss..." - Judith Vida, M.D.

"The words of Dr. Hyman undoubtedly echo in many of our minds as we work. A few statements which in particucular I recall as his:

1.) 'When you want to do something unusual--first, don't do it; then, ask yourself why.'

2.) Question: Can you treat marital problems with psychoanalysis? Answer: 'That is an oxymoron.'

3.) 'Think dirty.'" - Susan Greenshields, Ph.D.