Harriet Gail Wald, LCSW — In Memoriam
(Honorary member — passed away in 2022)
(1945 – 2022)
(Honorary member — passed away in 2022)
(1945 – 2022)
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Trustbridge or Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.
The sad news about Harriet Wald’s death has recently reached us. As we grieve the loss of someone who was extremely committed to the Object Relations Institute for Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis for over two of its decades (the institute is now 31 years old), we have rich memories of working with this very special person.
Harriet Wald was a clinical social worker and an analyst, formerly trained at the Postgraduate Center for Mental Health. She was an active ORI Board member for many years, and she taught the group supervision courses every year until her retirement from the ORI’s faculty. Harriet was deeply engaged in getting to know each and every student and candidate in training. She loved all our students and candidates, and they loved her in return; they were very comfortable discussing any problems they had, professional, personal, or/and related to the training. Harriet was also an advisor and individual supervisor for many of our candidates in training.
Harriet and Kenneth Wald’s home in the Upper West Side was often a place for many of the Institute’s events, including our graduations, open houses, and holiday parties. Harriet and Ken, both dedicated clinicians-analysts both embraced the Institute’s ideas and its growth. For many years, they were very generous donors to ORI, who helped to sustain the Institute’s programs at very affordable tuition rates. Harriet was a devoted mother to her daughter and son. And I saw her children grow up, along with the growing up of the Institute.
Harriet Wald was also a dear friend of mine, and she and I shared many professional and personal concerns together. I never will forget Harriet’s faith in the Institute, despite many challenging phases of development during the years that she served on the Board of Directors. Harriet had faith in me and my writing, and she read all of my books and articles on the Object Relations approaches to clinical treatment, and she was using them in her teaching at the ORI.
Those of us who knew Harriet Wald during all her years as a devoted Board Member, committed clinician, supervisor, advisor, and supportive faculty member for the Object Relations Institute, will always remember Harriet with much appreciation! We miss her, and have missed her since her retirement. We remember her with love.
Susan Kavaler-Adler, PhD, ABPP, D.Litt., NCPsyA
Harriet had a generous spirit and was truly dedicated to ORI. I will always remember her warmth and the many ORI parties and meetings she hosted at her home. She brought us together! She will be missed.
Ann Rose Simon, LCSW‑R
Harriet left an indelible impression as she was a warm, caring person who always treated others with respect, compassion and humility. I was fortunate to be part of a group supervision Harriet facilitated for ORI for several years. Harriet provided the most supportive holding environment possible. I always felt safe and could be vulnerable to explore clinical learning.
Harriet also had a great sense of humor, remembering when she told the group that a client (of hers) told her that she’s gotten better (as a therapist) over the years. “It’s true,” Harriet said as she tilted her head back to laugh at herself. Harriet’s laugh was infectious. She was a profound and profoundly insightful person. When I once commented that I wanted to know the truth (about how to best help my client), Harriet calmly, matter of factly, responded, “I don’t know if there are any truths” and shrugged her shoulders. I’ve been thinking about this remark for a decade. I have nothing but gratitude, love and adoration for Harriet and wish her peace and comfort always.
Marla Guglberger, LCSW
Harriet’s non-judgmental attitude encouraged her supervisees to try out their clinical intuition and reflect on their contributions to their patients’ growth.
May she rest in peace.
Uri Amit, Ed.D.
I knew Harriet as a friend and, at one remove, as a therapist (she and my wife trained at the same post graduate institute in New York City). She was naturally gifted as a therapist – both warm and shrewd, giving her patients the sustenance they needed, while spotting their defenses and internal contradictions.
As a friend she was a delight. Though she could not tell a joke, she was one of the funniest people I ever met: her laugh consumed her, and she had a wonderful vein of silliness (example: the word ugly-bugly, which, she explained, is thirty thousand times uglier than just plain ugly). She took pleasure in your joys, and was always up for something new. More: she was as generous as she was loyal. She stuck by her friends through illness or disappointment, and gave of herself to help them through it.
She was sorely tried in her last years, by assaults to her body and to her mind. That is now over. I will miss her dearly. Rest in peace, Harriet.
I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Harriet Wald. I will always remember her as playing a pivotally important role in my training experience as my group supervisor, teacher and resource. Her sense of humor and personal warmth were infectious, and the gatherings in her home for the institute’s holiday parties and meetings were always so engaging and gracious. She will be missed!
Martha J. Klein
Harriet Wald was one of the sweetest, most generous psychoanalysts I have known. Even in the throes of Parkinson’s, Harriet’s sly, witty, warm humor was always there. In matters professional and personal, her understanding and wisdom was tops. As a colleague and friend, I feel fortunate to have known Harriet.
Dear Family, I am so sorry to hear of Harriet’s passing. She was indeed a warm and generous human being. Harriet served the NYS Society for Clinical Social Work as Met Chapter President in the ‘80s and taught for many years. We will miss her.
I was fortunate to have Harriet Wald as a clinical supervisor when I first began my training at the Postgraduate Center for Mental Health. I was assigned a severely disturbed patient. Harriett provided excellent guidance to me on how to manage this elderly man. Her suggested interventions were right on spot, and this was so helpful to me. I cannot imagine what would have happened without her common sense approach. Her death is a great loss to our profession. I will miss her.
Harriet was a supervisor of mine after I graduated from Post Graduate Institute. Ken and I were in the same class and we all became friends. Together we shared the chance to be parents through adoption.
Harriet was intelligent, emotionally accessible and kind. In later years we lost touch. Both she and my husband were diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. I wish Ken and his children well while moving through this sad time.