Thomas W. Ross passed away on October 15, 2018 at the age of 68. Born in Kalamazoo, Michigan and raised in northern Indiana, he returned to Kalamazoo, Michigan to attend Kalamazoo College. He received his doctorate in Counseling Psychology from Western Michigan University in 1979 and postdoctoral training in Psychoanalysis from the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis and the Jung Institute in 1986. He began his career in the community mental health system serving as clinical and executive director in both Calhoun County and Allegan County. In 1979 he developed and maintained an independent psychoanalytic practice. In 2009 he relocated to Portland, Oregon where he continued his teaching, supervision, and clinical practice.
Over the course of his distinguished 49-year career, Thomas held numerous positions as an administrator, teacher, and supervisor as well as maintaining an independent practice, but none as consequential as the vital role he played within psychology and psychoanalysis. Within a decade of its inception, Thomas assumed a leadership role within what is now known as the American Board and Academy of Psychoanalysis, twice serving as its president. He also was instrumental in establishing and maintaining the Psychoanalytic Specialty Council or Synarchy within Psychology. The fruits of his labor can now be seen in an organization that has certified over 150 specialists in psychoanalysis since its inception, offering a forum within which psychoanalytic practitioners and other mental health professionals can exchange ideas.
Thomas’s work with ABAPsa was of utmost importance to him. He was fiercely devoted to doing everything possible to insure psychoanalysis was available to all regardless of their socioeconomic status, and he worked tirelessly to ensure the practice of psychoanalysis was not limited by institutional affiliation or identification. Through his energy and leadership, he inspired others to get involved and to appreciate the value of pluralism. The importance of relationships he formed along the way were matched only by the high esteem and love felt by those who were fortunate enough to enjoy his friendship.
(c) American Board & Academy of Psychoanalysis (ABAPsa)