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Maressa Orzack

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Maressa Orzack Obituary
Mystic - Noted psychologist and loving mother, Maressa (Hecht) Orzack, 86, of Mystic, formerly of Newton, Mass., passed away, Nov. 11, 2010. Dr. Orzack died peacefully after a long illness.

She is survived by her children, Deborah S. Orzack of Worcester, Mass., Steven S. Orzack and wife, Arianne Cherbuliez, of Cambridge, Mass., and Elizabeth Orzack Friedman and husband, Joshua Friedman, of Waterford; her grandchildren, Margot Elizabeth Friedman, Abraham Jacob Friedman, and Nora Cherbuliez-Orzack.

She was predeceased by her husband, Louis Hirsch Orzack, in 2003.

Dr. Orzack was born in Boston, on Feb 5, 1924, of parents, Selig and Cecelia Hecht. She spent her earliest years in Europe, but returned to the U.S. where she grew up in New York City, attended Lincoln School, and spent summers in Litchfield, Conn., and Wardsboro, Vt. She graduated from the University of Rochester with a bachelor of arts degree in psychology, followed by a master of arts and a Ph.D. from Columbia University in experimental psychology.

Dr. Orzack was an associate professor at Boston University Medical School, then joined the Psychopharmacology Research Program at Harvard University's McLean Hospital, where she specialized in cognitive behavior therapy. She was a clinical associate in the Psychology and Psychopharmacology Program, coordinator of the Behavior Therapy Affective Disease Program at McLean Hospital, and assistant clinical professor of psychology, department of psychiatry, Harvard Medical School. She worked in the field of addictive behaviors, such as smoking, eating disorders, and addiction to chocolate. In the early 1990s, Dr. Orzack became a major pioneer in the clinical care and research in the field of computer and internet addiction, founding Computer Addictions Therapy Services at McLean Hospital, (www.computeraddiction.com). She served as a leading international expert and resource on computer addiction, doing hundreds of interviews, articles, and court testimonies.

Dr. Orzack loved nature, classical music, opera, art, and chocolate. She and her husband traveled extensively pursuing their interests in nature, collecting historical and political playing cards, miniatures, and visiting exotic and historic locations.

The family wishes to thank the wonderful staff at Avalon Health Center in Mystic for their care, compassion, and support.

She was a member of Temple Israel in Brookline, Mass., where a memorial service will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to the Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton MA 02459.

The family will have visiting hours from 7 to 9 p.m. Sunday and Monday at the home of Libby and Joshua Friedman, 21 Lloyd Road, Waterford, and at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday at Congregation B'Nai Shalom, 117 East Main St., Westborough MA 01581.

A full obituary is available at www.neilanfuneralhome.com

Published in The Day on Nov. 13, 2010
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