Who am I as a Person?

Drew Clemens on a sailboat

O wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!
– Robert Burns

I find this part a challenge, because I’m a serious and rather private person, although I lead groups and meetings well and enjoy a good bit of humor.

I work hard, too hard for the good of self and family at times, for the causes I value deeply. I am hopeful about the future of our world and our profession, but know that fulfillment of those hopes rests upon vigorous effort on the part of those who care about that future. Psychoanalysis has profoundly affected my life and that of my family and my patients, so I am devoted to preserving it and seeing it flourish as a live, evolving science and mode of changing people’s lives.

I was a French major in college and loved literature and the arts, but also was keenly interested in science and medicine. I did well scholastically all along the way, but I was well served by great teachers as well as generous scholarships. This reinforced the message I learned from my minister father about giving back to others when one has been fortunate. After searching to find my future path, I hit upon psychiatry as a way to use all I had learned. I have never regretted that decision.

After six disillusioning years in academic medicine, I went into private practice while still working part time for the department of psychiatry at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine, running the clerkship program for medical students and directing a program of continuing education for clergy. I had a successful private practice in a full-service out-patient facility staffed by University Hospitals physicians and have always enjoyed the close proximity to other fields of medicine. At the same time, I also work closely with psychologists, social workers , and counselors, whose special kinds of expertise I value highly – the more so as I help to train them to become psychoanalysts. I closed my private practice in 2011 but continue to teach, supervise residents and psychoanalytic candidates, write, and serve in psychoanalytic and psychiatric organizations.

I love to sing and spent eleven thrilling summers singing bass with the Cleveland Orchestra’s Blossom Festival Chorus. Since 1975 my wife and I have sung with the Choral Arts Society of Cleveland, for which I am president of the Board of Trustees. Other pastimes are nature travel, photography, reading, writing for publication, tennis, biking, canoeing, and until last year, sailing – especially sailing on Lake Chautauqua, where we’ve had a cottage since 1972. Julie and I recently celebrated our 55th wedding anniversary. One son is a computer scientist, the other an architect, and we have four grandchildren. Julie is an expert maker of art quilts, connoisseur of old books, and a dedicated volunteer lepidopterist who monitors butterflies of all kinds and raises and tags Monarch butterflies to track their migration.

Julie and I are unrepentant liberals. We share passionate concern about preserving our earth’s environment, confronting the threat of global warming, access to quality health care for all, a woman’s right to control her own reproductive functions, gun control, ending the barbaric use of capital punishment, responsible use of public funds, and respect for cultures other than our own.