Roy R. Grinker, Sr.

American psychiatrist and neurologist

Roy Richard Grinker Sr. (Augustgbytu 2, 1900 – May 9, 1993) was an American neurologist and psychiatrist, and pioneer in American psychiatry.

= QuotesEdit

  • Jelliffe changed from an enumerator of visits to the out-patient dept to the most dynamic figure in American Psychiatry
    • Grinker (1933) cited in: John Chynoweth Burnham, William McGuire, Sigmund Freud (1983) Jelliffe, American Psychoanalyst and Physician. p. 166
  • This mechanistic approach to psychiatry is being used extensively at present; I think it can be stated unequivocally that it is fraught with extreme danger. There is not only an emotional but an intellectual change in the patients. Those who have seen fighters that have been in many battles know the 'punch-drunk' or 'slap-happy' conditions and may recognize a similar state in some patients after shock therapy.
    • Grinker (1942) as cited in: Linda Andre (2009) Doctors of Deception: What They Don't Want You to Know about Shock. p. 49
  • There is no single cause for any disturbance of the total organism, whether this be expressed as a behavior pattern often labeled psychiatric entity, or a physical disturbance classified as a somatic disease.
    • Grinker and Robbins (1954) cited in: Eugene Frederick Hahn (1956) Stuttering: significant theories and therapies. p. 17
  • Fatal heart attacks can be triggered by 'anger in all degrees, depression, and anxiety... This doctor states that anxiety places more stress on the heart than any other stimulus, including physical exercise and fatigue.
    • Cited in: McMillen, S.I (1963) None of These Diseases Fleming H. Revell, Co., Westwood, NJ. p. 61
  • I have tried to show that psychiatric research can be empirical and experimental, controlled, and operational and not dependent on inferences, analogies, or anecdotes. Hypotheses can be derived which are testable. Theory is a different matter. At the present we rely heavily on psychoanalytic theory or on still poorly formulated and defined general systems theory, information theory, or transactional theory. To explain the depth and variety of the interrelationship of somatopsychosocial facets of the totality of human behavior in process requires a unified theory of human behavior which we have not yet even approached. Integration or synthesis of biological, psychological, and social theory is not enough.
    • Ginker (1964) as cited in: S. Nassir Ghaemi (2009) The Rise and Fall of the Biopsychosocial Model. p. 24
  • Of the so-called global theories the one initially stated and defined by Bertalanffy in 1947 under the title of "general systems theory" has taken hold... Since then he has refined, modified and applied his concepts, established a society for general systems theory and published a General Systems Yearbook. Many social scientists but only a handful of psychiatrists studied, understood or applied systems theory. Suddenly, under the leadership of Dr. William Gray of Boston, a threshold was reached so that at the 122nd annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association in 1966 two sessions were held at which this theory was discussed and regular meetings for psychiatrists were ensured for future participation in and development of this "Unified Theory of Human Behavior." If there be a third revolution (i.e. after the psychoanalytic and behavioristic), it is in the development of a general theory.
  • The Society for General Systems Theory and its publication General Systems was a mixed bag. Few authors were actually doing research - they philosophized, and many prematurely resolved dilemmas by mathematical equations in a language poorly understood by the empirical investigator.
    • Grinker (1976) in General systems. Vol.19, p. 57
  • Psychiatry is as broad as life
    • Attributed to Grinker Sr. in: Michael Shepherd (1982) Psychiatrists on psychiatry. p. 31
  • Psychiatry rides madly in all direction
    • Attributed to Grinker Sr. in: Michael Shepherd (1982) Psychiatrists on psychiatry. p. 31. This is also the title of a 1964 article in the Archives of General Psychiatry.

Men Under Stress, 1945Edit

  • The emotional stress is a complex network of unusual strains inherent in the combat situation. The stress is derived from different sources, which again mutually reinforce each other.
    • p. 33 cited in: David Goodman Mandelbaum -(1952) Soldier groups and Negro soldiers. p. 78
  • Prior to his introduction to combat, the average flier possesses a series of intellectual and emotional attitudes regarding his relation to the war. The intellectual attitudes comprise his opinon concerning the necessity of the war and the merits of our cause. Here the American soldier is in a peculiarly disadvantageous position compared with his enemies and most of his Allies. Although attitudes vary from strong conviction to profound cynicism, the most usual reaction is one of passive acceptance of our part in the conflict. Behind this acceptance there is little real conviction. The political, economic or even military justifications for our involvement in the war are not apprehended except in a vague way. The men feel that, if our leaders, the “big-shots,” could not keep us out, then there is no help for it; we have to fight. There is much danger for the future in this attitude, since the responsibility is not personally accepted but is displaced to the leaders. If these should lose face or the men find themselves in economic difficulties in the postwar world, the attitude can easily shift to one of blame of the leaders. The the cry will rise: “We were betrayed—the politicians got us in for their own gain. The militarists made us suffer for it.
  • There is much that is lacking in the political education of American troops, for which army policy cannot be criticized in view of the similar apathy on the home front. Late in the struggle the army became aware of this weakness among our soldiers. The Information and Education Division was then organized to repair this gap in the psychological preparation for combat. Some progress in the face of considerable resistance has been made by this service, but at the time of writing the men still have only a dim comprehension of the meaning of the fascist political state and its menace to our liberal democratic government. The war is generally regarded as a struggle between national states for economic empires. The men are not fully convinced that our country was actually threatened, or, if so, only remotely, or because of the machinations of large financial interests. In such passive attitudes lie the seeds of disillusion, which could prove very dangerous in the postwar period. Certainly they stand in startling contrast with the strong political and national convictions of our Axis enemies, which can inspire their troops, when the occasion demands, with a fanatical and religious fervor. Fortunately, strong intellectual motivation has not proved to be of the first importance to good morale in combat. The danger of this lack seems to be less to the prospect of military success than to success in the peace and to stability in the postwar period.
  • The formation of such feelings of obligation and loyalty to any group with which one is identified is of the highest significance to good morale. It is the essence of the powerful patriotic feelings which are stimulated in times of war, but which have their origins in earliest childhood. …Not all Americans have been able to develop a range of identification large enough to include the nation and thus to develop strong feelings of loyalty and obligation. To some extent this ability seems to be a measure of social maturity.
  • The men seldom have any real, concrete notions of what combat is like. Their minds are full of romanticized, Hollywood versions of their future activity in combat, colored with vague ideas of being a hero and winning ribbons and decorations.
    • p. 44
  • Combat leaves a lasting impression on men’s minds, changing them as radically as any crucial experience through which they live.
    • p. 371

The borderline syndrome, (1968)Edit

Grinker, R. R., Werble, B., & Drye, R. C. (1968). The borderline syndrome: A behavioral study of ego-functions. New York: Basic Books
  • In this book, we have reported on a behavioral research study of hospital patients that included a post-hospital follow-up and an investigation of patients'families, We have in brief attempted to state what the borderline syndrome is and speculate on the how and the why.
    • p. v
  • Although depression as an affect is found in several of the borderline categories, it does not correspond with that seen in the depressive syndrome. The borderline depression is a feeling of loneliness and isolation.
    • p. 95

Quotes about Roy R. Grinker, Sr.Edit

  • In his attempt to produce an integrative overview of twentieth-century psychiatric history and thought, Grinker has given us a book that is full of broad generalizations about the importance of an interdisciplinary approach to mental health and psychiatric research.
    • Citation in: "Psychiatry in Broad Perspective. Roy R. Grinker" in: The Personnel and Guidance Journal. Volume 54, Issue 8, April 1976
  • [Roy R. Grinker's Psychiatry in Broad Perspective]... provokes us to more thinking and, one hopes more research...
    • American Journal of Psychiatry, quoted in The Psychiatric quarterly (1977). Vol 49-50. p. 162
  • Roy Grinker's life spanned nearly the entire 20th century, and his influence on the development of psychiatry during that century was profound... Roy Grinker was especially proud of his teaching and training, and many of his students went on to become chairs of departments across the country. He used to tell his residents who were anxious about graduating and going out into the world: "Well, you can always start the program over!" During his career, Grinker's interests ranged over neurology, psychiatry, psychosomatic medicine, clinical research, and psychoanalysis. Ultimately, he was a mentor and role-model for several generations of teachers and leaders in all these various fields.

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