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PCMH History

Gutheil Library

The library of Postgraduate Center was launched in 1949 with a group of 160 books. Most were donations from Dr. and Mrs. Wolberg, and from early instructors and candidates who contributed their college psychology textbooks. When the Center was granted an absolute charter by the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York in 1957, one of its stated purposes was “to provide, operate and maintain facilities for study and research.”

The mission statement of the library follows: The library exists as a coordinated academic reference and research facility. Its purpose is to provide prompt and accurate library service to the diversified clientele who study, teach, provide therapy, and conduct research at the Center; and to procure any published work or non-book material that is needed in the pursuit of the Center’s aims in education, research, therapy, and community service.

In 1959 the library was named in honor of the late Emil Arthur Gutheil, M.D. He was founder of the Association for the Advancement of Psychotherapy, and editor of the American Journal of Psychotherapy. He was one of the founders of the Center and helped formulate the master plan which was published in that Journal in January, 1948. He was also the first Director of Education of the Center. Lilly, his wife, whom he met in Austria when he was studying psychoanalysis under Wilhelm Stekel a member of the inner circle of Sigmund Freud, was a social worker there. They emigrated to the United States in the late nineteen thirties when Dr. Gutheil foresaw the coming onslaught of the Nazis.

His monograph, the Handbook of Dream Analysis, published in 1951, remained in print for decades and was translated into Dutch, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese.

In December 1990 the library was rededicated to honor both Dr. and Mrs. Gutheil in recognition of their devotion to and support of Postgraduate Center. Both their sons, Thomas, a forensic psychiatrist, and John, a lawyer, and their families, and many friends attended. Mrs. Gutheil had worked in the library and also helped produce the Center publication, The International Mental Health Research Newsletter, under the editorship of Dr. Ted Riess and available in Psychological Abstracts.

A year later the Benjamin Fielding Memorial Committee, organized to honor the late Dr. Fielding, who had been Director of the Training Department from 1973 to 1981, decided to fund an audiovisual library. Thus The Benjamin B. Fielding Audiovisual Library is an integral part of the Gutheil Collection and is available in the Newman Library.

The current collection of approximately 11,000 volumes is now online and is accessible through CUNY Plus via the Internet. Its scope is far reaching. The strongest areas of the Collection are in historic as well as current schools in psychotherapy and psychoanalysis, covering theoretical treatises as well as the wide range of treatment modalities including the fields of psychiatry, clinical psychology, and clinical social work, treatment of various age groups, from early childhood through adolescence, adulthood, and old age. and individual as well as group -therapies, family and couples therapy, behavior therapy, treatment of patients with a wide range mental illnesses, diagnostic tests , addictions, AIDS, rehabilitation, treatment of ethnic minorities, psychopharmacology, community mental health, normal development, and more. A comprehensive reference collection is also included. Listed below are the journal titles held.

Because the Center always attracted scholars and authors, the Library has been an important resource for their creative endeavors. The published works of Center authors are honored at annual graduation ceremonies with Author Recognition Awards presented under the aegis of Dr. Henry Kellerman, who is a prominent author. The Gutheil Library Collection holds the complete collection of the works of Center authors.

The Gutheil Collection will continue to grow through the acquisition of books, journals, and other media. It currently provides access to the PEP (Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing) archives. This database contains full text articles from multiple major psychoanalytic journals including: Contemporary Psychoanalysis, The International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, The International Review of Psycho-Analysis, The Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, The Psychoanalytic Quarterly, plus the annual publication, The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, from their inception.

Postgraduate Center for Mental Health

The parent organization of the Gutheil Library is the Postgraduate Center for Mental Health. The Center formally started on July 29, 1945, the brain child of Lewis R. Wolberg, M.D., an eminent psychiatrist, and his wife, Arlene, a psychiatrist social worker, The Center was a birthday gift to her. Dr. and Mrs. Wolberg both had a deep commitment to public service at a time when community mental health facilities were inadequate to meet the needs of a large population having mental and emotional difficulties, and when there were insufficient numbers of trained personnel to meet the problem both on treatment and preventive levels.

The first site, located in the basement of the Wolberg home, an Eastside brownstone, was named the “New York Consultation Center.” Fees ranged from fifty cents to five dollars per session. Following the end of World War II, the Center treated many returning veterans who were suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder (then called shell shock), and other mental problems. At one time there were seventy five part-time psychiatrists, six hundred patients, five psychologists, and one social worker. With such a large patient population, the founding group had to find a building.

The group, wrestling with a program for the future, came to the conclusion that there was a need for a postgraduate center for continuing education organized around the fourfold program of treatment intervention, supervised instruction, research, and community service and education. In 1948 the Center received a temporary charter from the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York, which enabled it to begin its training program. Thus the Postgraduate Center for Psychotherapy was formally launched November, 1948. From the start, the new program evoked controversy because it offered multi-disciplinary training to psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers. This concept of the “mental health team” approach was unorthodox, as was another issue–that of eclecticism in theory and practice.

Some of the early “giants” were Emil Gutheil, M.D., Ted Reissue, Ph.D., Theodora Abel, Ph. D., Emanuel Schwartz, Ph.D., Alexander Wolf, M.D., and Marvin Aronson, Ph.D. One of Dr. Wolberg’s friends, Samuel Rubin, the founder of Faberge, inspired innovative programs, for example, the Samuel Rubin International Lecture Series, which brought such distinguished scholars from abroad as Dr. Konrad Lorenz from Germany, and Professor A.R. Luria from the Soviet Union.

Over the years, the Center proved to be the first multi-disciplinary training and treatment institute in the country. Its analytically oriented special training programs for non-mental health professionals (nurses, police officers, union leaders) when first initiated, were considered revolutionary. In 1966, Dr. Wolberg wrote,

“Thus we remain committed to the concept that there more to mental health than just psychotherapy. If through our work human relations become better, more positive, less destructive, more personally rewarding to each individual and to all individuals, then we are slowly achieving the goals to whose attainment we are dedicated. What we have learned in twenty-one years, what we will continue to learn in the days and years ahead, we hope to be able to put at the service of the twenty-first century.”