ⓘ Lawrence Hartmann


ⓘ Lawrence Hartmann

Lawrence Hartmann is a child psychiatrist, social activist, and former President of the American Psychiatric Association. Hartmann played a central role in the APAs 1973 decision to remove homosexuality as a diagnosis of mental illness from its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. This change opened the modern era of LGBTQ rights by providing support for the overturning of laws against homosexuals and by advancing gay civil rights, including the right to marry.


1. Early life

Hartmann was born in Vienna, Austria in 1937 into a family of intellectual social reformers. Hartmanns early years were unsettled by the annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany Anschluss, and his familys consequent emigration from Vienna to Paris in 1938, to Switzerland in 1939, and to New York City in 1941. His father was Heinz Hartmann 1894-1970, an internationally known psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, as well as a student and analysand of Sigmund Freud. He became widely known as an ego-psychologist and a dean of world psychoanalysis in the mid-twentieth century. His mother, Dora Karplus Hartmann, M.D. 1902-1974, came from a family of lawyers and publishers. A noted mountaineer in her early life, she chose to become a pediatrician in Vienna over the objections of her father who believed that a womans constitution was not strong enough to endure medical school. She continued her medical training in New York to become a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst.


2. Education

Hartmann was educated at the Fieldston School in New York City after which he attended Harvard College, where he received a B.A. in History and Literature magna cum laude, Phi Betta Kappa. As a Rhodes Scholar, Hartmann earned two degrees in English Literature from Oxford University. He received an M.D. from Harvard Medical School and then served as an intern in pediatrics at the University of California in San Francisco. He served his residency in psychiatry 1965-1967 and a fellowship in child psychiatry 1967-1969 at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center MMHC. Upon completion of his training, Hartmann began a private practice and continued as a clinical professor of psychiatry at MMHC.


3. Career

Following the Kent State Shootings in 1970, Hartmann co-founded and chaired the Committee of Concerned Psychiatrists within the American Psychiatric Association with the goal of persuading the APA to" acknowledge and take part in social issues that affect mental health and mental illness.


4. Personal life

Hartmann has lived with Brian Pfeiffer, an architectural historian, in Cambridge, Massachusetts since 1973. They married in 2004 when Massachusetts became the first state in the nation to grant full civil rights for same-sex marriage.

Boston Psychoanalytic Institute.


5. Selected bibliography

Doerr, O., Hartmann, L., Lira, E. & Weinstein, E. 1992, Torture: Phenomenology and psychiatric sequelae. Psychiatry, 555:177-184.

Hartmann, L. 1973, Some Uses of Dirty Words by Children. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. 121:108-122. 0961221-8/abstract

Hartmann, L. & Hanson, G. 1986, Child psychotherapy. In: Current Psychiatric Therapies, ed. J. Masserman. New York: Grune and Stratton, pp. 29-43.

Nightingale, E., Hartmann, L., Hannibal, K., Geiger, J., Lawrence, R. & Spurlock, J. 1990, Apartheid medicine. JAMA, 26416:2097-2102.

Hartmann, L. 1991, Humane values and bio-psychosocial integration. Amer. J. Psychiatry., 1483:1130-1134.

Hartmann, L. 1992a, Some social psychiatric problems in Chile, South Africa and the Soviet Union. In: Psychiatry and World Accords, ed. J. Masserman. New York, Gardner, pp. 5-15.

Hartmann, L. 1992b, Reflections on humane values and bio-psychosocial Integration. Amer. J. Psychiatry., 1499:1135-1144.

Hartmann, L. 1994, Heinz Hartmann: A memorial tribute and filial memoir. Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 49:3-12.

Hanson, G. & Hartmann, L. 1996, Latency development in prehomosexual boys. In: Textbook of Homosexuality and Mental Health, ed. R.P. Cabaj & T.S. Stein. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press, pp. 253-266.

Hartmann, L. 1996, Foreword. In: Textbook of Homosexuality and Mental Health, ed. R.P. Cabaj & T.S. Stein. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press, pp. xxv-xxxi.

Hartmann, L. 1998a, Children are left out. Amer. J. Forensic Psychiatry. 193:33-44.

Hartmann, L. 1998b, Eros in a gay dyad: A discussion. Gender & Psychoanalysis., 33361-371.

Hartmann, L. 1998c, Physician-assisted suicide. Psychiatric Services, 4911:1468-1474.

Hartmann, L. 2001, Confidentiality. In: Primer of the APA, ed. D. Langsley. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press, pp. 39-45.

Hartmann, L. 2003, Too flawed. Dont publish: A commentary on Spitzer and changing sexual orientation. Archives Sexual Behavior, 32:436-438.

Hartmann, Lawrence. "Koryagin, suspicious of glasnost, recounts ongoing Soviet abuses." Psychiatric Times, Sept. 2015, p. 52.

Nightingale, Elena, MD, PhD; Hannibal, Kari, MA; Geiger, H. Jack, MD; Hartmann, Lawrence, MD; Lawrence, Robert, MD; Spurlock, Jeanne, MD. Apartheid Medicine: Health and Human Rights in South Africa.


6. Additional references

American Psychoanalytic Association. Press Release: APsaA Issues Overdue Apology to LGBTQ Community. June 21, 2019.

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Lawrence Hartmann, M.D., Life Member’s Report, June, 2012.

Bayer, R. Homosexuality and American Psychiatry: The Politics of Diagnosis. New York: Basic Books; New York, NY, USA: 1981.

Drescher, J. An Interview with Lawrence Hartmann, M.D., Journal of Gay and Lesbian Psychotherapy, Vol. 10, Issue 1, 2006.

Drescher, J. and J. P. Merlino, ed. American psychiatry and Homosexuality: An Oral History. Chapter 3: An Interview with Lawrence Hartmann, MD. Routledge: 2007.

Drescher J., Merlino J.P., editors. American Psychiatry and Homosexuality: An Oral History. Routledge; New York, NY, USA: 2007.

Levin, Aaron. Global Initiative on Psychiatry. Psychiatric News, Vol. 48, Issue 3, p 12.

Sabshin, Melvin M.D.: Lawrence Hartmann, M.D., One Hundred Twentieth President, 1991-1992. American Journal of Psychiatry, v 149.9, Sept., 1992.

Spiegel, Alix. 81 Words: The Story of how the American Psychiatric Association decided in 1973 that homosexuality was no longer a mental illness. This American Life, 204: January 18, 2002.

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