Theodore Feldberg

Age 88: Psychiatrist and Johns Hopkins Medical School instructor was a pioneer in the use of patient group therapy.

May 31, 2008|By Jacques Kelly | Jacques Kelly,Sun Reporter

Dr. Theodore M. Feldberg, a retired psychiatrist who was an early advocate and teacher of patient group therapy, died of cardiovascular disease May 23 at his Cross Keys home. He was 88.

Born in Newark, N.J., he earned a bachelor's degree at Drew University and initially studied at the New York and Richmond schools of social work. From 1942 to 1946, he served in the Army as a clinical psychologist and social worker.

He then moved to Baltimore and earned a degree at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, where he also did his internship and residency in psychiatry.

He established a private practice in 1956 and had an office for many years at 11 E. Chase St. in Mount Vernon.

"He was a wise and generous man," said a colleague, Dr. Paul Roberts of Baltimore. "He was an outstanding teacher who was also a gifted and patient listener. He was a pioneer in this area of establishing group psychiatry."

Group therapy involves several patients and a doctor who moderates the session.

Dr. Feldberg taught at the Hopkins Medical School from 1970 to 1994, when he became a professor emeritus. He also supervised medical psychiatric residents at Sheppard and Enoch Pratt and Sinai hospitals for many years.

"He was a very sincere person who was interested in others," said Dr. Irvin H. Cohen, a fellow psychiatrist and friend of four decades. "In every sense of the word, he was a gentleman."

Dr. Feldberg was also associated in the 1960s with what is now Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center and in the 1970s with the Washington School of Psychiatry. He was the 1966 president of the Maryland Association of Private Practicing Psychiatrists.

His family said that Dr. Feldberg was interested in liberal political causes and in the health of the environment. He also enjoyed gardening, tennis and music.

The Maryland Psychiatric Society awarded him its Lifetime of Service Award this year.

Dr. Feldberg donated his body to the State Anatomy Board. Plans for a memorial service are incomplete.

Survivors include his wife of more than 57 years, the former Sorelle B. Ginsburg; a son, Alan I. Feldberg of Chambersburg, Pa.; two daughters, Lisa Beth Feldberg of San Jose, Calif., and Cara Anne Feldberg of Newton Highlands, Mass.; and five grandchildren.

jacques.kelly@baltsun.com

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