Marvin Margolis, M.D., Ph.D.


by Dale Boesky, M.D.

We are taking this occasion to honor our distinguished colleague and friend, Dr. Marvin Margolis, for his unique contributions to the Michigan Psychoanalytic Center and its numerous (thanks to him) component organizations. For some fifty years there has been a close parallel between his growth as a psychoanalyst and our institutional growth as an internationally recognized model for psychoanalytic treatment, education and community service. This growth has been a labor of love for many, but it is fair to say that there is no other single person who has contributed so productively and selflessly to our achievements as has Marv.

You have to understand how much he loves psychoanalysis to understand him. He is selfless, indefatigable, endlessly resourceful and relentless in doing whatever he can to make psychoanalysis a better science for the world and in making the world a better place for psychoanalysis. He has achieved the unusual distinction of being both appointed as Chairman of the Board on Professional Standards and elected as President of The American Psychoanalytic Association. He is uniquely endowed with a mysterious combination of gifts that make him our preeminent psychoanalytic administrator. He is about as modest and free of arrogance as any person I have ever known; he is deeply informed about what really constitutes the essential core of the psychoanalytic process as distinct from religious cant and ritual. Marv really knows in a very real way the difference between a disagreement and a fight.

There is another quality that Marv possesses to an unusual degree that has won him so much affection and trust. He loves to help people to grow. He devotes countless unremunerated hours to young colleagues, friends, outreach programs, and committee work locally and nationally. He is a gardener actually and metaphorically and the best gardener we have ever had. It is therefore no wonder that he is equally at home in the greenhouse and in the fields.

Marvin is a master clinician. I would refer my loved ones or best friend to him for treatment. He is a teacher, author, husband, and devoted father and grandfather. Some of his friends call Marv “Moishe,” an affectionate form for the name “Moses the Law Giver.” One cannot really capture the essence of this man without accounting for the depth of his immersion in his Jewish identity. He was an ardent Zionist as a teenager, and as is his style, a Zionist who was and remains politically engaged and active. His knowledge of Hebrew and the Torah is formidable. He is deeply conversant with the nuances of Israeli history, politics and geography. Marv has a special genius for commitment and dedication to his family, to patients, and to his friends. These are the reasons we are honoring him. We want to thank him for the abundant gifts he has bestowed upon us all.

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