HomeEducation/TrainingErikson Scholar Program

Senior Erikson Scholar

John P. Muller, PhD

John P. Muller, PhD, Staff PsychologistDr. John P. Muller is the former Director of Training and a staff psychologist at the Austen Riggs Center. Before coming to Riggs in 1975 he was Chair of the Department of Human Services, Sinte Gleska College, at the Rosebud Sioux Reservation in South Dakota, consultant for Indian and Migrant Head Start Programs at the Office for Child Development, and member of the Poverty and Minorities Subcommittee of the Membership Committee of the National Association for Retarded Citizens.

Dr. Muller is the author of Beyond the Psychoanalytic Dyad: Developmental Semiotics in Freud, Peirce, and Lacan (New York: Routledge, 1996). He coauthored (with W. J. Richardson) Lacan and Language: A Reader’s Guide to Ecrits (New York: International Universities Press, 1982), and (with W. J. Richardson) Ouvrir les Ecrits de Jacques Lacan, a translation of Lacan and Language by P. Julien ( Paris: Eres, 1987). Dr. Muller co-edited (with W. J. Richardson) The Purloined Poe: Lacan, Derrida, and Psychoanalytic Reading (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1988) and (with J. Brent) Peirce, Semiotics, and Psychoanalysis ( Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000). Dr. Muller twice received the Felix and Helena Deutsch Scientific Award from the Boston Psychoanalytic Society. He was the Erikson Scholar at Riggs in 1992-1993.

Dr. Muller graduated from the Boston Psychoanalytic Institute and received his PhD from Harvard University. He has published over 40 articles and chapters in the field of semiotics and psychoanalysis. He is coordinator of the Lacanian Clinical Forum, and has presented his work nationally and internationally. He is a founding member of the Berkshire Psychoanalytic Institute.

Vamik D. Volkan, MD, Senior Erikson Scholar-Emeritus

Dr. Vamik Volkan, founder of the International Dialogue InitiativeDr. Vamik D. Volkan, MD, is emeritus professor of psychiatry at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, an emeritus training and supervising analyst at the Washington Psychoanalytic Institute, and a past president of the International Society for Political Psychology, the Virginia Psychoanalytic Society, the Turkish-American Neuropsychiatric Society, and the American College of Psychoanalysts. He holds Honorary Doctorate degrees from Kuopio University, Finland and from Ankara University, Turkey.

For nearly three decades, Dr. Volkan has led interdisciplinary teams to various trouble spots around the world and has brought high-level ‘enemy’ representatives together for years-long unofficial dialogues. His work in the field has resulted in his developing new theories about large-group behavior in times of peace and war. Dr. Volkan was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008, supported by letters from 27 countries. He has authored or coauthored forty books and has edited or co-edited ten more. His recent projects include clinical teaching on subjects like mourning and technical issues in psychotherapy, books on psychotherapeutic technique and large group identity, an authobiographical account of his international work, and the formation of the International Dialogue Initiative. Dr. Volkan began his yearly visits to the Center in 2003. 

Vamik’s Room, a film about his life and work, directed by Molly Castelloe, PhD, won the Gradiva Award for Best Film given by the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis (NAAP). It also received the Sidney Halpern Award "for furthering the discipline of psychohistory through the medium of documentary film."