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Stories | 09.13.17

Dreikurs' Last Student

Len Sperry, M.D., Ph.D., ABBP, professor and director of clinical training at Florida Atlantic University, and Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Medical College of Wisconsin, has practiced, taught, and written about Adlerian psychotherapy for more than four decades. He completed the Certificate in Psychotherapy from the Adler Institute of Chicago in 1972, and is board certified in psychiatry, preventive medicine, and clinical psychology. Among his 1000+ professional publications are some 80 articles in Individual Psychology journals and 82 books, including the third edition of Psychopathology and Psychotherapy: DSM-5 Diagnosis, Case Conceptualization and Treatment.

“As a student at Adler, Dr. [Rudolf] Dreikurs was my primary mentor,” says Sperry. “When summer courses were held at University of Chicago in 1970, I drove him there and back. Later, I had the good fortune to practice and be supervised in two therapy groups in his private practice. My favorite course was his case seminar in which he would do therapy with one of our own clients each week. What an incredible learning experience! Since I was the last student to graduate just before he passed away, some have called me Dreikurs’ last student.

“Has my training at Adler positively impacted my professional life? The answer is a resounding ‘Yes.’ … It energized my academic careers over the past 45 years at several major universities and is reflected in my publications record and appointments to a dozen journal editorial boards. Other career highlights have been receiving eight lifetime achievement awards, and being selected to edit three psychology journals, including the Journal of Individual Psychology. Most heartening was to return to my alma mater to teach in the new Adler Psy.D. program!”

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