Watson, Andrew S., 1920-1998

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Watson, Andrew S., 1920-1998

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Watson, Andrew S., 1920-1998


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Andrew S. Watson, M.D., was a pioneer in bringing together the fields of psychiatry and law, helping to establish an interdisciplinary approach in the discipline. Watson brought his training as a psychiatrist to bear in legal cases, using psychiatry to explain both criminal behavior and the legal negotiation process. He was also interested in the lawyer-client relationship and was a critic of traditional law school training, challenging the profession to think differently about educational methods.

Watson's published work includes Psychiatry for Lawyers, The Lawyer in the Interviewing and Counseling Process, chapters in books, and numerous articles in scholarly journals.

Watson was born on May 2, 1920, in Highland Park, Michigan, and received his undergraduate degree in zoology from the University of Michigan in 1942, subsequently serving as captain in the U.S. Army Medical Administrative Corps from 1942-1946. Upon leaving the Army, Watson went on to obtain his medical degree from Temple University in 1950 and completed postgraduate training at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate Hospital and Temple University. He continued his psychoanalytic studies and graduated from the Philadelphia Psychoanalytic Institute in 1960.

While completing his graduate training, Watson served as a special instructor at the Bryn Mawr School of Social Work from 1954-1959, while also serving as Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Law at the University of Pennsylvania. Watson came to the University of Michigan in 1959, and attained full professorship status in both law and psychiatry in 1966. Watson spent the remainder of his career at the university, retiring in 1990 with Emeritus status in both law and medicine.

In addition to his teaching appointment and private psychiatry practice, Watson served in a number of consulting capacities at the state and local levels. From 1959 to 1970, Watson served as consultant for the Michigan Department of Corrections, while also serving as consultant for the Veterans Administration Hospital in Ann Arbor from 1959 to 1960 and the Washtenaw County Juvenile Court and Department of Public Welfare from 1961 to 1966. Watson also served as a witness in a number of high profile criminal cases throughout the country, including Jack Ruby, Twiggs Lyndon and John Norman Collins.

In 1967, Watson was honored as the Robert S. Marx Lecturer by the University of Cincinnati's College of Law. He received the Isaac Ray Award from the American Psychiatry Association in 1978, and later received the Association's Seymour Pollack Distinguished Achievement Award in 1989.

Watson passed away on April 2, 1998, leaving behind his wife, Joyce, and four sons.

From the guide to the Andrew S. Watson papers, 1952-1998, (Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan)



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