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General News

"He created options for treatment where there were almost none..."

[This commemoration of Bruce Hauptman is taken from Special Times, Winter 2018, Volume 1, published by the Community Therapeutic Day School, 187 Spring Street, Lexington, Massachusetts. It is re-published with the permission of Nancy Fuller, Executive Director of the Community Day Therapeutic School, and Dr. Hauptman's wife. The title quote and quote immediately above are taken from appreciations by current and former children, staff, parents and siblings printed in the Special Times].

A memorial service will be held at the Community Therapeutic Day School barn on April 8th 2-3:30 pm


Bruce Hauptman MD, died peacefully and suddenly Saturday November 11, 2017, at the age of 79 with his wife Nancy Fuller by his side. He was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1938, the son of Dr. Hyman and Toba Hauptman. His family was deeply committed to the pursuit of understanding in medicine and child development. Bruce lived a wonderful life. He graduated Union College in 1959 and went on to pursue a medical career in psychiatry at New York Medical College. He completed his internship at Michael Reese Hospital and Medical Center, Chicago and a Psychiatry residency at Hillside Hospital, New York. He was a Lt. Commander in the US Navy during the Vietnam War from 1967-1969. “I ran a recruit evaluation unit as my primary responsibility and it sensitized me to the complexity of diagnosis as well as prognosis needing to make quick decisions regarding the disposition of new recruits who often exhibited emotional issues.“


Bruce spent two significant years at Tavistock in London from 1968-1970 studying with renowned teachers in the field of psychiatry, John Bowlby, Anna Freud, Arthur Hyatt-Williams, Murray Parkes and in particular Donald Winnicott, MD.


It was Winnicott whose teachings have profoundly influenced Bruce’s entire career.

“I found myself in an educational environment that exceeded my expectations. Winnicott provided a constant stream of evocative questions, ideas, insights and reflections. I found myself eagerly awaiting each of the Tuesday evening meetings in Donald Winnicott’s livingroom; I would not allow anything to get in the way of attending them. The underlying theme of the meetings was a presentation of children from a book he was preparing: Therapeutic Consultations in Child Psychiatry (1971). Each week brought discussions and what mattered was that one felt oneself part of an ongoing process-an exploration seeking knowledge, and attempts to understand human nature. Winnicott’s openness, his lively mind, and dedication to his work was constantly refreshing. During my stay in London I was fortunate to be able to visit several Winnicottian influenced educational establishments. Visiting these programs had a profound impact on me: a direct and vital application of Winnicott’s work to educational/therapeutic environments. The idea that the intervention of a group of people properly trained, educated and supported who were not the child’s parents or actual parent substitutes but were capable of taking on the essentials of a parental role could provide a pattern of consistent loving care, understanding, management, control, education and therapy. The therapeutic process was able to unfold that was efficacious in a way that other forms of treatment were not- that is, realization of therapy through a child’s living and specialized school environment, medical and special education provisions, supporting the parents and integrating all aspects of intervention, hence creating a holding environment, a heavily therapeutic one, but a holding environment nevertheless.“


Bruce Hauptman cared deeply about the process of helping children and families to heal. He was an exceptional diagnostician.


He was a training fellow in Child Psychiatry at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center and Boston Children’s Hospital from 1970-1971. He then became an instructor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Mental Health Center from 1971-1987.


In 1974, recognizing the paucity of therapeutic services for young children, he founded, with his wife Nancy Fuller, and with a group of dedicated clinicians and educators, a school program: The Community Therapeutic Day School (CTDS), originally located in Boston with funding through the National Institute for Mental Health and under the auspices of Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School and the Mass Mental Health Center. CTDS moved to Lexington in 1986.


CTDS is a therapeutic organization for children with neurologic and psychiatric disabilities that today is a thriving multi-disciplinary clinical and educational program serving over 200 children and families a year.


“At CTDS many of Winnicott’s papers were used to teach staff a way of conceptualizing the child’s condition and helping a family deal with their own distress. Winnicott’s language gives parents as well as clinicians powerful tools to understand their children and to become partners in their child’s treatment and education. Winnicott maintained humility in the face of difficulties. Winnicott’s writings and principles are sustained with a philosophic underpinning acknowledging the school as a holding environment.”


“Winnicott’s openness, encouraging others to think, his creativity and his writings, which suggest, but do not dictate ways of conceptualizing and working with difficult life problems have been “metabolized” by me and by those with whom I work. They provide a way of thinking about human nature, without dictating its boundaries, but by establishing ways to work with children and their families that offers hope.”


Bruce infused his clinical work embedded by the teachings of Winnicott.


He also had an active private practice in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Bruce continued to love his work and work with love. Bruce was always on a deep quest for understanding. He pursued many interests spanning science, history, medicine, literature and the arts. He brought all he sought to his work with others to alleviate their suffering and to help them move ahead in their lives. Bruce showed humility and deep compassion to others, he opened doors so that others would grow. He trusted the process of curiosity, questioning and wonder.


Quotes in text above from:

Donald Winnicott and John Bowlby, Personal and Professional Perspectives: by Judith Isroff, with contributions from Christopher Reeves and Bruce Hauptman (Karmac Books, 2005)

brucehauptman nancyfulerBruce Hauptman and Nancy Fuller


Would you like to buy this book? The first print run has been sold out, and the author is wondering whether to print again. Read on...



According to a recent review, Charles Bevan's Monkton Wyld School: The history of a progressive school in Dorset, 1940-1982 " takes you through the history of the school; you'll get to learn about the founders, teachers and hear some really interesting reminiscences of some of its earliest pupils."

The author:

"Charles Bevan spent his early childhood in Nigeria. In 1958 at the age of 11 he was sent back to school in England. It took him quite a while to adapt to life in England, and sadly his scholastic acheivement at MWS left much to be desired, so his parents moved him after three years to a school with more traditional teaching...

"Charles never forgot his years at MWS, and despite the relatively short time he spent there is certain that many of the values he holds dear to this day were instilled into him there. Writing this short history has been a way of putting this on record, and saying thank you to the founders of the school. He hopes that in doing so he also speaks for many of his fellow ex-students."


If you are interested in the book, and would like to encourage a second print run, please email Mr. Bevan using the following email address:

monktonwyldbook(at)  [substituting @ for (at)]

(PETT is not involved in the publication, but is providing a forwarding email address as part of its long tradition of support for research and for sharing  the history and heritage of this too-ephemeral field].


If there is enough interest, Mr. Bevan will feel able to go into a second print run.


The cost of the book the first time around was £21.95.




i n v i t a t i o n

Braziers’s iu is looking for self experimenters to participate in two weekends in June 2016 thinking about Settlement (in the sense of place)

I would like to invite you to take part in this educational experiment.


The weekends will be convened by myself, Aggie Forster, using ideas that I have been developing with learning activities for adults in a changing world. I will be helped by previous iu scholars and, of course yourself, should you choose to take part, as the weekends will be totally immersive and experiential, with little emphasis on tutor and student, but rather learning collectively.

We had our minds truly expanded as we were led to explore methods for alternative, experimental education through an outdoor session with Braziers educationalist Aggie. In small groups we shared and considered methods of integration, different forms and modes of consciousness and activity within group and solo activities – to begin to unravel (in a small way) the ways in which groups can function and how we function within these groups. As I and as U. True learning is most often in the review and reflection after the event.’ Braziers’s Supernormal artist’s residency 2016


We will start with a skeletal programme and collectively flesh it out.

    •  I hope that people who have first hand experience of migration or homelessness will take us up on the invitation.
    •  As we will be camping, we will document our decisions around choosing where to pitch our tents and the forming of a new community through self-made questionnaires and possibly film.
    • We may play ‘homestead’ a game I have invented to explore how groups deal collectively with change and we will invite new learning materials to increase others’ understanding of settlement issues.
    • I am hoping to create an opportunity for individuals to be transported to some unknown place with the minimum of kit: a small tarp, some tent pegs, a ball of string, their sleeping mat and bag, a torch and some water to spend a night of sleep or vigil in a place they have not seen by daylight.
    • In the intervening weeks between the two weekends we will research according to our individual interests and both share our research on line and devise learning materials for the group during the next weekend.
    • On the second weekend, it will be possible to take part in a building project at Braziers Park


Braziers Park, Ipsden, Nr. Wallingford, S. Oxon. OX10 5AN, where we will camp in the orchard and use the renovated cowshed as a classroom and base. (Not that we really need a classroom)


Friday evening 3rd June – Sunday 5th June and Friday evening 17th  June – Sunday 19th June (one or both weekends, but both preferred) Short notice I know, sorry.


Because we want to want to change the world through helping people think of certainties differently.

In the summer of 2015, Braziers’s iu’s Open Ended Learning camp concluded that subsequent camps should:

‘Increase understanding of (the subject matter) within a community experiment that seeks to test the efficacy of pedagogical methods that generally challenge the contemporary knowledge economy and explore libertarian learning for adults and routes to self-agency.’

Paulo Friere’s ‘Pedagogy of the Oppressed’ inspired us in its treatise of liberating the thinking of the ordinary person to recognise when the status quo is not working for them. Freire’s notions of critical consciousness are, we think, increasingly pertinent on our failing, post capitalistic world.

How libertarian and anarchist educational ideas of the twentieth century could inform pedagogy for grow-ups (or andragogy) also informs our ideas especially around community, self determination and play – although we recognise play can be a strange idea in an adult context.


Synthesising ideas on adult transformative learning like those of contemporary, Danish educationalist Knud Illeris, ‘A comprehensive understanding of human learning’ recognising the importance of content, community incentive and environment in creating change within.  We camp communally, cooking and eating together. This matters very much to us as it forms the community of practice (Lave & Wenger) in which we can create situational ‘strangeness’ that de-scaffolds existing learning and liberates ideas.

How Much?

Braziers’s iu need to cover costs, but it also needs people willing to take part. To this end there is a standard charge of £80/weekend. However we know that some people offer to pay more in order to support our projects; this ‘philanthropic’ rate is £144/weekend. We also offer a much reduced rate of £35/weekend for those who need it. But experience is priceless.


This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The Braziers Park website

Zagreb 12th June 2015


To book or for more information contact: Mai Tassinari This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.