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In Memoriam: Dr. Bernard Shulman

University News | 11.27.18

Dr. Bernard Shulman, co-founder of Adler University, died November 24, 2018 at age 96.

One the most important scholars, practitioners, and teachers to advance Adlerian psychology, Dr. Shulman wrote more than 100 articles and books about Adlerian practice, and traveled the world lecturing about Alfred Adler.

Dr. Shulman taught throughout most of Adler University’s history, including some of the institution’s first classes in 1952, as well as later classes in the 1990s that remain in the curriculum today. Many Adler University alumni were inspired by his passion, insight, and compassion in the classroom.

He also served on Adler University’s Board of Trustees from 1963 until 2008, and served as Board Chair from 2000 to 2005.

While he was in medical school in the early 1940s, Dr. Shulman met Adler University’s other co-founders, his mentor Rudolf Dreikurs and his colleague Harold Mosak. Dr. Shulman heard Dr. Dreikurs lecture during a class and immediately wanted to hear more. After graduating, Dr. Shulman joined Dreikurs’ practice and together they invited Dr. Mosak to join them in clinical work and teaching to extend Alfred Adler’s work.

Shulman, Dreikurs, and Mosak founded the Alfred Adler Institute in 1952, which in 2015 became Adler University.

“We attempted to emulate what Adler achieved in Vienna… not only [in Chicago and] the United States, but in Canada, Israel, Brazil, Australia, India, and Greece,” Dr. Shulman said in an interview in 1998.

“Dr. Shulman was a gifted psychiatrist, supervisor, and leader,” said Adler University President Raymond E. Crossman, Ph.D. “Dr. Shulman was the Adler University Board Chair when I was hired in 2003. I am grateful to him for taking a chance on me, and for supporting me to become an Adlerian.”

Among his leadership and clinical roles, Dr. Shulman served as Chairman for the Department of Psychiatry at St. Joseph Hospital from 1964 to 1984 and as Director of Psychiatric Services at Diamond Headache Clinic from 1986 to 2004.

Dr. Shulman was a leader in the Adlerian community and was the president of the North American Society of Adlerian Psychology from 1962 to 1964.

He was also a Lifetime Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and president of the International Association of Individual Psychology from 1972 to 1980. Dr. Shulman practiced clinical psychology until late in life, seeing his last patient in 2013 on his 91st birthday.

Dr. Shulman is survived by his wife, Phyllis, and his children Mark, Robert, and Cynthia. His daughter Cynthia, grandchildren Jessica and Ben, and his grandson-in-law Michael are Adler University alumni.

The Adler University community extends its condolences to the family of Dr. Shulman and is grateful for his many contributions to the institution.

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