Posted March 5th, 2016
It is with profound sadness that I bring to you the news of the passing of our esteemed colleague and friend, Diana Siskind. Diana’s generosity of spirit and love of her work have contributed in incomparable ways to our field and to all of those whose lives she touched as master clinician, teacher, friend and “neighbor on the street.”
~ Donna Tarver
It is with great sadness that I acknowledge the passing of one of our most esteemed members, Diana Siskind, who has for years served as the Book Review Editor for the AAPCSW newsletter. Diana was a well-respected author of any number of articles and, of course, her books – among them: A Premier for Child Psychotherapists; Working with Parents; Understanding Adoption; Child Patient and the Therapeutic Process. She encouraged all of us to write and so elegantly showed us how this could be done. The sheer beauty of Diana's prose was her ability to speak to, whether they were lay persons or clinicians, in plain English, without resorting to meta-psychological jargon. Once, Diana sent me a paper she had written about the problems that parents unwittingly inflicted upon their children when those parents were unwilling to act as authoritatively mature adults in a manner attuned to their children's needs. I'm sure that this paper was published somewhere and you will forgive me for not doing the search that would give it its proper attribution.
In honor of her memory, though, I'm sure she would be pleased that I would share it with you and that you would read it. This paper exemplifies the fine writing, strong intellect, compassion for the child and the parents, and sound clinical sensibilities which Diana exemplified. To you, Diana, in setting such an extraordinary example for us all, we remain ever so grateful.
~ William S. Meyer, MSW
This listserv is the vehicle through which Diana Siskind responded to my request for readers in 2013. Diana responded with grace and sensitivity.
Her kindness endures -
~ Risa M. Mandell, LCSW
A great loss to our organization and to the clinical profession. Diana had many gifts, and leaves behind a lasting legacy through her published work and those she mentored over a lengthy and distinguished career.
~ Jerry Brandell
I join Jerry and Bill and others in remembering and treasuring Diana Siskind's legacy. She was a generous and generative person. She helped so many of us to begin to write: encouraging, editing, promoting. As a clinician, she touched and aided her many patients, especially children and parents. As a writer, she gave us indispensable books used by clinicians, teachers, and students. Diana's books are classics and will live on, teaching us the essence of child therapy, working with parents, and adoption. We will miss her as a colleague, teacher, and friend.
~ Susan Sherman
At Diana's memorial service, her son aptly lauded her as a “superhero,” who lives on forever. We were reminded of how her trauma of her early childhood pre-WWII, escaping from Europe through many continents, prepared her as a child psychoanalyst to connect with children and their difficulties. She exhibited great dignity and grace during her life and at the end of her life. Her colleagues spoke of her generosity and friendship. Sue Sherman spoke of the mentoring and friendship relationship they developed and being encouraged by Diana to write by just “starting the first sentence.”
I met Diana over 13 years ago when she was chair/co-chair of the call for papers for the AAPCSW national conferences and then she was a committee member and presenter at the NY local chapter. She dedicated herself to AAPCSW with vigor, determination, and warmth. As book/film editor of our newsletter, she noted that more and more of the books reviewed are written by our members. Her personal communication to me was for us to continue to serve families and individuals through psychoanalytic practice. When we met last, she told me about what it was like terminating with her long-term patients in the fall of 2015. She will be missed as a colleague and contributor to our field.
~ Penny Rosen