Terr, Lenore 1936–
Terr, Lenore 1936–
(Lenore C. Terr)
Born March 27, 1936, in New York, NY; daughter of Samuel (a building contractor) and Esther (a librarian) Cagen; married Abba Terr (a physician), June 27, 1957; children: David, Julia. Education: Case Western Reserve University, A.B. (magna cum laude), 1957; University of Michigan, M.D. (cum laude), 1961.
Psychiatrist. Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, academic psychiatrist; Terr Medical Corporation, San Francisco, CA, adult and child psychiatrist. University of California, San Francisco, clinical professor, 1972; University of California, Davis, lecturer in law and psychiatry, beginning 1978; lecturer at Harvard University, Vanderbilt University, University of Michigan, and Smithsonian Institution.
American Psychiatric Association (fellow), American Academy for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (fellow), American College of Psychiatrists (fellow), Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry, American Medical Association, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (director), San Francisco Medical Society, Phi Beta Kappa, Alpha Omega Alpha.
Rockefeller Foundation scholar in residence in Italy, 1981 and 1988; awarded the Blanche Ittleson Award for her research on childhood trauma, the Biopsychological Prize, and the Child Advocacy Award, all by the American Psychiatric Association.
Too Scared to Cry: Psychic Trauma in Childhood, Harper & Row (New York, NY), 1990.
Unchained Memories: True Stories of Traumatic Memories, Lost and Found, Basic Books (New York, NY), 1994.
Beyond Love and Work: Why Adults Need to Play, Scribner (New York, NY), 1999.
Magical Moments of Change: How Psychotherapy Turns Kids Around, W.W. Norton (New York, NY), 2008.
Contributor to medical journals. Debates editor, American Academy of Child/Adolescent Psychiatry Journal, 1988-98.
Lenore Terr is an adult and child psychiatrist who has been studying the psychology of normal and disordered children throughout her medical career. She is an expert in the realm of childhood trauma, and is well known for her work with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in children. Her long-term field studies of the children involved in the 1976 school bus kidnapping in Chowchilla, California, set the standards for what is considered childhood PTSD. She has received numerous awards from the American Psychiatric Association for her work in the field of psychiatry, including the Blanche Ittleson Award for her research on childhood trauma.
Terr's debut book, Too Scared to Cry: Psychic Trauma in Childhood, published in 1990, explores the effects of childhood trauma. The book draws extensively from her research of the kidnapped children in Chowchilla. "Written in an anecdotal format, the book is penetrating and illuminating," contended Genevieve Suttaford in Publishers Weekly. Terr's next book, Unchained Memories: True Stories of Traumatic Memories, Lost and Found, published in 1994, again takes on the topic of childhood trauma. This time childhood trauma is looked at in relation to the recovery of forgotten traumatic memories. Included in the book is the 1990 California case of Eileen Franklin Lipsker, whose recovered memories led to the trial and conviction of her father for sexually assaulting and killing her nine-year-old classmate twenty years earlier. Terr weaves together lost memory cases from her own work as a psychiatrist with material from other work on lost memory cases. Terr writes "clearly about a confusing subject," according to Booklist critic William Beatty. She "offers a broad, balanced view of her topic," asserted a Publishers Weekly critic.
Published in 1999, Terr's third book, Beyond Love and Work: Why Adults Need to Play, explores much lighter subject matter than her previous books. In this book, Terr argues that play is as important for adults as it is for children. She asserts that psychologists have recognized the importance of play in the healthy development of children, but its importance in regard to the mental well-being of adults has been neglected. "She weaves therapy cases and research results together skillfully and writes clearly and personally," remarked a Publishers Weekly critic.
In her 2008 book, Magical Moments of Change: How Psychotherapy Turns Kids Around, Terr uses her own experiences as a psychiatrist, as well as the experiences of over thirty other child and adolescent psychiatrists, to demonstrate how troubled children can benefit from psychotherapy. At the center of this book, which presents forty-eight different cases in total, is Terr's work over fifteen years with a patient who came to her as a toddler after having been severely sexually abused and witnessing her sister's murder. Booklist critic Vanessa Bush called Magical Moments of Change a "fascinating book."
Terr once told CA: "Since 1962 I have been conducting research studies and treating patients. In 1990 I published my first book for the lay public on the psychiatry of growing up. I plan to publish more on child development, human memory, extreme stress, and mastery. I spent my childhood as a pianist. I also was a ‘natural historian’ as a kid, and worked on a science radio broadcast at the age of ten."
Terr later added: "When I was just setting up my practice in San Francisco, I attended a national meeting of a small, exclusive group, the American College of Psychiatrists. They were discussing schizophrenia. I put about four of their ideas together and asked a question, linking the four. Someone answered, ‘That's really interesting.’ Afterward an old man approached me and said, ‘Why aren't you writing in the field?’ I answered, ‘I'll try.’ Later I asked someone who he was. He was Francis Braceland, M.D., the eminent editor of the American Journal of Psychiatry. With an invitation like that, I had to start writing, right?"
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, February 1, 1994, William Beatty, review of Unchained Memories: True Stories of Traumatic Memories, Lost and Found, p. 987; October 15, 2007, Vanessa Bush, review of Magical Moments of Change: How Psychotherapy Turns Kids Around, p. 14.
British Journal of Psychology, May 1, 1997, Graham Davies, review of Unchained Memories, p. 350.
Brown University Child and Adolescent Behavior Letter, April 1, 1994, review of Unchained Memories, p. 5.
Internet Bookwatch, January 1, 2008, review of Magical Moments of Change.
Library Journal, January 1, 1999, Margaret Cardwell, review of Beyond Love and Work: Why Adults Need to Play, p. 132.
Publishers Weekly, March 30, 1990, Genevieve Stuttaford, review of Too Scared to Cry: Psychic Trauma in Childhood, p. 45; February 14, 1994, review of Unchained Memories, p. 76; December 21, 1998, review of Beyond Love and Work p. 37.
Science News, January 5, 2008, review of Magical Moments of Change, p. 15.
SciTech Book News, March 1, 2008, review of Magical Moments of Change.
Recovery Canada,http://www.vansondesign.com/ (September 4, 2008), review of Too Scared to Cry.
Terr Medical Corporation Web site,http://www.terrmd.com/ (September 4, 2008), biographical information on Lenore Terr.