Obituary: Leigh McCullough (1945–2012)

In Memoriam

Photo of Leigh McCullough (1945–2012)Leigh McCullough passed away on June 7, 2012, after suffering for several years with ALS. Two days after turning 67, with her closest family around her, and with the assistance of hospital staff, the respirator was gradually disconnected, and Leigh died peacefully at her hospital room in Boston.

Leigh received her PhD in clinical psychology from Boston College in 1982. Leigh was an Associate Clinical Professor at Harvard Medical School, Director of the Psychotherapy Research Program at Harvard's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and a visiting professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Trondheim, Norway), as well as the Research Director at Modum Bad Psychiatric Center.

She was the 1996 Voorhees Distinguished Professor at the Menninger Clinic and received the 1996 Michael Franz Basch Award from the Silvan Tomkins Institute for her contributions to the exploration of affect in psychotherapy.

She is the author of several books, including Changing Character: Short-Term Anxiety-Regulating Psychotherapy for Restructuring Defenses, Affects, and Attachment, and Treating Affect Phobia: A Manual for Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy.

Leigh was hired as the Research Director at Modum Bad, a Norwegian Psychiatric Hospital, in the fall 2007. She was a fearless therapist, providing nurturance while facilitating exploration that changed lives. Therapists from all over the world came to Modum Bad to work with Leigh and learn the Affect Phobia Model. Through her efforts, the relatively modest research institute at Modum Bad has been the recipient of several research grants, including the Process Mapping Project, funded by the Research Council of Norway.

Leigh and her husband John Roosevelt Boettiger, served as informal ambassadors to Norway, creating a nexus at Modum Bad for conversations spanning psychology, politics, social justice, and life. Evening conversations with Leigh and John were the highlight of many people's visits to Modum Bad.

Leigh was born on June 5, 1945. She is survived by her husband John, her daughter Kelly McCullough, her son Scott Hudspeth, her mother Lena Colson, and her brothers Jon and Doug Colson.