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Harry Wilmer, Founder of the Salado Institute

Also see:
Obituary for Harry Wilmer
Notes About Harry Wilmer

Harry A. Wilmer, a psychiatrist, scholar and writer, and his wife, Jane, founded the Institute in 1980. After many years of      teaching, Dr. Wilmer decided to create a public forum to foster discussion on important issues. The Institute for the   Humanities gained a national reputation for its work under the direction of Dr. Wilmer who served as its director for 17 years. Even after his retirement from that position, he was a driving force in its continued success. Dr. Wilmer retired from his posts as Senior Psychiatrist at Scott and White Clinic and Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center in San Antonio. Prior to coming to Texas, he was Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California at San Francisco and Stanford University.
While at the Health Sciences Center in San Antonio, Harry did pioneering psychotherapeutic work with schizophrenic Vietnam veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. While there, he also founded and directed four annual International Film Festivals that brought in speakers from all over the world to discuss important medical and human issues. The Institute for the Humanities at Salado was an outgrowth of these conferences in San Antonio.
Besides the film festivals and conferences, during his career Dr. Wilmer also produced films, plays, a PBS documentary, and wrote more than 200 articles and sixteen books. Some of his books include: How Dreams Help, Nuts and Bolts of Jungian Psychotherapy, Understandable Jung-The Personal Side of Jungian Psychology, and Huber the Tuber.
His book Social Psychiatry in Action was made into a made-for-television movie entitled, People Need People. This highly acclaimed, docu-drama illustrated Dr. Wilmer’s groundbreaking contributions to psychotherapy in the United Sates. Dr. Wilmer had a major role in bringing group therapy to this country. He pioneered this new kind of therapy in the U.S. through his work with psychiatric servicemen who were patients at Oakland Naval Hospital during the Korean War. Although this form of therapy is common today, fifty years ago, it was revolutionary, and paved the way for many advances in the treatment of psychiatric patients.
Dr. Wilmer graduated from The University of Minnesota medical school. He trained in psychiatry at the Mayo Clinic where he was also on the staff. He also has been on the faculty of Johns Hopkins University, Stanford, and the University of California, where he was professor of psychiatry before coming to Texas. He received his Jungian analyst training in Zurich on a Guggenheim Fellowship. From 1955-57, he served as a Captain in the US. Navy, assigned to the U.S. Naval Hospital in Oakland California and the National Naval Medical Research Institute, in Bethesda, Maryland.
Harry and Jane had five children: John, Jim, Mary, Tom and late Hank Wilmer.


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