John Strauss releases ‘To Understand a Person: An Autobiography of Sorts’

May 27, 2021

Koerner fellow John Strauss, professor emeritus of psychiatry, recently released an autobiography, To Understand a Person: An Autobiography of Sorts. In it, he writes about his life of many experiences: as a student at Swarthmore College under the major psychologists in the movement focusing on insight and social organization; as a hitchhiker after his sophomore year covering over 9,000 miles in the U.S. and more the following year in Europe; as a special student in Geneva, Switzerland, with Jean Piaget; as a psychiatrist treating patients, carrying out research with the World Health Organization, and conducting many independent studies of what determines chronicity or recovery in severe mental illness; and as a professor of psychiatry at Yale Medical School. The book describes the nature and impact of these personal and professional experiences, including ideas about understanding a person that emerged from them. Strauss writes, “Every step of this project was more interesting than I could have imagined, and to my surprise, I kept learning new things about my life and about how to think about people’s lives more generally.”

John Strauss is a renowned psychiatrist who specialized in understanding the long-term course of severe mental illness. His numerous professional awards and more than 200 published articles reflect his training by seminal Gestalt psychologists such as Wolfgang Köhler and Solomon Asch and his study with Jean Piaget.

For more information and to order the book, click here.