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Diane Deutsch (Colleague)

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I met Jen on a course last January, 'Foundations of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy'. She was licensed as a psychologist in February 1999. A final step in a terribly long process of preparation and accreditation. She was just beginning her career as a psychologist. She had all the talents needed to make a brilliant career as a psychologist. Intelligence, perceptiveness, sensitivity, insight, and a great intellectual curiosity. In the course that we took together she always asked the best questions. Her curiosity and intellectual hunger led her to do additional readings, which then in her generosity she made available to other class members.

She was academically well prepared. She had had an excellent education at Temple University. She had given herself fully to this task: mastering the large body of knowledge that is psychology. Passing the California written and oral licensing exams the first try, she was ready to be launched into the profession. Her natural empathy and ability to connect, which many here can attest to, was a natural strength in her clinical work. Bruce Arnow, Ph.D., chief psychologist in the Department of Psychiatry at Stanford, recognized all these qualities in her (and more) and chose her out of a field of 70 candidates for a fellowship year at Stanford. He remembers her as simultaneously challenging, delightful and stimulating.

When she developed the cancer we discussed other ways she could function as a psychologist. Research and writing interested her. Those of you who have received her e-mails know she was a gifted writer. Bruce Arnow says that she understood how to make use of her facility for language in the service of healing. Jen hoped that this facility for language and her natural healing capacities could be further used in the service of research. Her dissertation research on weight problems in pubescent girls was just the beginning of her exploring her research interests, skills and strengths.

She was blessed in her development as a psychologist. A development that ended too soon. Sooner than any of us were prepared for, before we could know how all these seeds of potential would spring forth and blossom in her, growing her into a mature professional. But we know they would have.

The poet Rilke in The Sonnets to Orpheus, writes about a girl, a dancer who dies young. I'd like to end with his words:

But you now, dear girl, whom I loved like a flower whose name
I didn't know, you who so early were taken away:
I will once more call up your image and show it to them,
beautiful companion of the unsubduable cry.

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Page last updated: Monday, 05 March 2001 06:22:11 Eastern Time.