Dale Boesky, M.D.

October 3, 2021

Our friend and colleague, Dale Boesky, 91, of Birmingham, Michigan, died on 03 October 2021. He was a Training and Supervising Analyst, past Treasurer and Secretary, chair of numerous committees, and frequent instructor at our Institute.

The Funeral was held at Graveside at Clover Hill Park Cemetery, 2425 E. 14 Mile Rd, Birmingham MI 48009 on Tuesday, 05 October 2021 at 2:00 PM .

Dale Boesky—psychoanalyst, editor, author, teacher; devoted husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, died at his home in Birmingham, Michigan on Sunday, Oct 3 at the age of 91. He lived a full life, and will be deeply missed.

Dale was born in Detroit in 1930, the older of two sons born to Albert and Belena Boesky. With the exception of a 2-year stint doing army medical reserve training in San Francisco, Dale lived his entire life in the greater Detroit metro area. Yet given frequent professional commitments and his devotion to children and grandchildren living in the Pacific Northwest, Chicago, New England, Atlanta, and New York, Dale was a frequent (and enthusiastic) traveler. He loved visiting. He was adept at discovering the finest off-Broadway plays, destination restaurants, museums and galleries, and the most interesting concerts. He had a great eye and was passionate about photography. His jazz and classical music collections were vast and he patiently adapted thousands of recordings to each new audio format as it emerged. He loved sharing what he discovered with friends and family.

In his early teens Dale was given a volume of Freud by a family friend and from that point determined he would become a psychoanalyst. He studied at the University of Michigan both for his BA (where he won a Minor Hopwood award for an essay on music) and for medical school and residency in psychiatry. At 23, he met Elaine Berlow, an undergraduate from Chicago studying clinical psychology. They married in November 1953 and remained together for almost 40 years, until Elaine’s death from breast cancer at 59. They raised three daughters: Sara, Amy, and Julie.

Dale gained rapid eminence as a psychoanalyst, publishing over a dozen articles that contributed in profound ways to the shape of the field. His colleague Aisha Abbasi describes him as “razor sharp, with a formidable clarity and an incisive way of challenging his own thinking and that of others. . . clear, witty. . .” As a clinician, not only did he have a brilliant mind; he also had a deeply loving and generous analytic heart. In his 1989 paper The Questions and Curiosity of the Psychoanalyst, he wrote “Questions the analyst asks of the patient are a powerful but neglected aspect of the theory of psychoanalytic technique.” These and many other aspects of Dr. Boesky’s ideas and his clinical technique, will live on for generations in the minds of his patients, and in the ongoing clinical work of analysts he analyzed, and students and supervisees with whom he taught and worked.”

His colleague Warren Poland writes: “His mind was restless, a place where passion and precision were one. Those qualities were broadly recognized, leading to his being appointed a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute, editor in chief of The Psychoanalytic Quarterly, as well as to his repeated invitations to lecture across the United States and Europe. His book Psychoanalytic Disagreements in Context was reviewed as break-through and courageous as well as innovative and important.”

The tragedy of Dale’s middle life—losing Elaine—gave way to the fortune of finding in Judy Fisher a companion who filled the remaining three decades of his life with love, conversation, and culture. Their home was always open to friends and relatives, and was filled with visitors, flowers, music, and laughter.

Dale is survived by his wife Judy; his brother, Roger; his daughters Sara, Amy and Julie; sons-in-law Geoff Glass, Jacques Perold, and Jonathan Shapiro; his grandchildren Jennifer Glass, Rachel Glass, Sacha Perold, Libby Perold ,Maddy Shapiro, Ben Shapiro and their spouses and partners—and his great-grandson Luca Horowitz. Dale is also survived by Judy’s sons Mark and Scott Fisher, their spouses Julie Fisher and Sara Fisher, and their respective children Sarah, Olivia, Joel, and Gabe.

Those who wish to further honor Dale’s memory may do so by making a contribution to:

Mel Bornstein Clinic
For Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy

32841 Middlebelt Road, Ste 403
Farmington Hills, MI 48334
(248) 851-7739


Friendship Circle’s Soul Café
Meer Family Friendship Center

6892 West Maple Road
West Bloomfield, MI 48322

Send a personalized card to the family by donating to the Michigan Psychoanalytic Foundation

Place a tribute ad in the 2021 Benefit Adbook.

Our sincere condolences go out to Dale’s family and friends.

Share your memories of Dale here:

One Response to “Dale Boesky, M.D.”

  1. Dr. David Dietrich

    Dale was an exceptionally talented clinical
    analyst as well as a marvelous supervisor, special mentor, inspiring psychoanalytic teacher, gifted thinker and writer on analytic topics, respected colleague and loved friend.

Leave a comment