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Christoph Mathew Heinicke ’48

A picture of Christoph Heinicke

Christoph Mathew Heinicke ’48, June 17, 2012, in Santa Monica, California. Born in Germany, Christoph and his mother and stepfather fled the Nazi regime and settled in Portland in 1936. His brother, Thomas L. Frazier [né Ulrich Heinicke] ’42, followed later. Christoph earned a BA from Reed in sociology, an MA from Northwestern, and a PhD in social psychology from Harvard, graduating summa cum laude. On a four-year Commonwealth Fund Fellowship, he did child analytic training in London with Anna Freud and British psychologist John Bowlby. Christoph was a pioneer in mother-infant attachment research and was highly regarded as a teacher and supervisor; he was noted for his sensitivity to the therapeutic relationship and his commitment to teaching. In 1972, he joined the faculty at UCLA; he never retired. Christoph coordinated UCLA’s clinical practicum for child psychiatry fellows and codirected the resident child psychotherapy clinic. His studies of mothers and young children, done in order to determine the essential features of a preventive, relation-based therapeutic intervention to help foster child development, became the foundation of the UCLA Family Development Project, which he directed for over 25 years. He received the Lester Hofheimer Prize for best research in psychiatry from the American Psychiatric Association, the departmental teaching award from the UCLA psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences department, and the Bowlby-Ainsworth Award from the New York Attachment Consortium, among others. Christoph and Sally R. Ritchie married in 1958. They had three sons, including Andrew M. Heinicke ’83. In 1979, Christoph wrote, “From the vantage point of a full professor in a medical school, as well as a practicing psychoanalyst in the Los Angeles community, I do feel that Reed was the most important educational experience in what is, I hope, a creative career.” Survivors include his wife, sons, and three grandchildren.

Appeared in Reed magazine: December 2012

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