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IPY 2011 – Gerald Epstein, MD

During our annual meeting Gerald Epstein, MD was honored as our 2011 Imagery Person of the Year.  Randy Kasper, LCSW, BCD accepted for Dr. Jerry.  Dr. Jerry’s acceptance speech is HERE.

Dr. Epstein, IPY 2011

Randy Kasper had some stories to tell about her mentor and teacher:

“You just mentioned courage and and thinking outside the box so I’d like to tell you a story that Jerry tells about what started his work in this direction.  He was a very conventional, very respected Freudian analyst on New York’s Upper  East Side, and in fact  co-edited the Journal of Psychiatry and Law.   He went to Israel and met with Collette Albouker-Muscat who became his mentor and much loved teacher.

They were speaking about a Freudian exercise of being on a train and seeing the images passing by in a very linear way.  Colette gestured with her forearm, “so you’re saying the images are like this.  What if …,” and she moved her forearm vertically.  Jerry says that in that moment his entire perspective, life and practice changed.

I thought I would tell you my experience of first encountering him.  I was very fortunate to have a good therapy practice and yet I was discouraged.  I saw colleagues studying, being very smart, savvy, but did not witness much in the way of healing.  I called a former classmate and said, ” so how do you prevent yourself from burning out.” She said, “I read a lot. I actually found a book that made me think of you”.  It  was Healing Visualizations by Dr. Gerald Epstein. I got it and a colleague of mine had gotten ill, came over distraught and I gave her an exercise from  the book.

Her experience was profound,  enough to move me to call the author.  I expected to get the assistant of the assistant of a cousin, but Dr. Epstein answered the phone and  I said, “I don’t even know why I am calling you, as a student or client or …. He  said,  “So..come make an appointment, we’ll talk”.  Just before we hung up I thought to ask what his fee was. He told me and I  apologized,  “Oh, I’m sorry to have taken your time, that’s a bit high for me. I’m a Social Worker”.  He said, “So..come in on the weekend.”   The wit and generosity of Jerry.

Side note: He said he thought that what I as studying at the time would make us incompatible. He gave me an article he had written, Hebraic Medicine, on Western Spiritual Tradition. After I read it I called and said “This is exactly what I think!”  He said, “OK, let’s work.”   It was a full 20 years later that I realized he had likely read my face (one of the studies he offers is facial morphology, the reading of faces ) and he saw that I needed a challenge.  He supplied me with one. Fortunate for me!

One of the gifts has been meeting wonderful, gifted colleagues. I asked them why they continue to work and study with him and I’d like to share this with you.

Jennifer Lamonica:   There has never been a time when I have listened to him that I have not learned from him.  Even though I have a good memory and feel I can answer word for word what he will say, he will put a spin on it in a way that I never thought about it. His answers have not only a factual, but contextual understanding that fits each circumstance. I believe that he is one of the true geniuses of our time.  It would be silly not to take classes with him.

Elizabeth Barrett:   Even after more than 20 years of studying spiritual life with Dr. Jerry Epstein, I am still learning something new.  Even if I have heard it before, it may be presented in a different context or serves to reinforce my prior learning.  He is a fountain from which flows a wealth of information from an original perspective.”

Catherine Brown:   Jerry….A brilliant, colorful, droll, funny-as-hell teacher of imagery and imparter of great spiritual Wisdom!!!    He teaches us to shine a light on our inner life so that we can learn and grow and find the peace and joy that already lives within us.

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Dr. Jerry has a byline in ImagiNews and has produced two podcasts for Imagery International.  The first podcast on our podcast page helps us understand the mind/body/spirit connection and relationship to mental imagery: How to Read Mental Images: Learning the Hieroglyphic Language of the Mind for Clinical Use.  His second podcast is Imagery and Dreams.  We thank him for his years of service to the field of Mental Imagery.

Visit his website http://drjerryepstein.org for more information about his training program and downloadable articles.

Randy Kasper, LCSW, BCD is Director and faculty at the American Institute of Mental Imagery West.

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