JEROME W. KOSSEFF

KOSSEFF--Jerome, W., PhD, passed away peacefully on August 1, 2013, after a prolonged illness. He was a World War II veteran and a respected psychoanalyst and educator. Jerome served in the Army Air Forces from 1942-46 as Chief Psychologist, 2nd Central Medical Establishment, 5th Air Force; he administered psychological tests to prospective aviation cadets and, after he was sent to the Pacific theater with a P-38 fighter squadron in 1944, evaluated trauma in combat air crews and treated traumatized service members. He completed service as a 1st lieutenant. After earning his PhD in clinical psychology from New York University, he maintained a private psychoanalytic practice in New York City from 1952-2011, retiring at the age of 92. He was 93 when he retired from his position as an adjunct full professor at Teacher's College at Columbia University after a total of 64 years teaching there. He was a lifelong and generous supporter of young professionals entering the field. He was an innovator in the field of group psychotherapy, particularly by integrating object relations theory into the practice of leading groups. In 1971, he organized a trip to London for an exchange of ideas between British and American psychoanalysts and afterwards began teaching courses in object relation theory. In 1973, he took 16 American therapists to Israel to help with bereavement following the Yom Kippur War; he traveled twice more to Israel to teach. He also volunteered his counseling services at Ground Zero to help those affected by the September 11 attacks. He was deeply involved in professional organizations, particularly the American Group Psychotherapy Association and the Eastern Group Psychotherapy Society (EGPS). In 1970, he founded GROUP, the official journal of EGPS, serving as its editor in chief until 1975. Throughout his career, he continued to contribute to professional publications. Jerome was very proud of his family; he is survived by his wife of 43 years, Elaine, three sons, Peter, Andrew and Christopher and their wives Pam, Nancy and Betty, six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. A memorial service is planned for the future. Contributions may be made to The Nature Conservancy.


Published in The New York Times on Aug. 11, 2013