Eric Bermann, Associate Professor Emeritus of Psychology, passed away June 10, 2023 at the age of eighty-seven.
Professor Bermann received his B.S. degree from Queens College in New York in 1956 and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Michigan in 1957 and 1963, respectively. He joined the University of Michigan faculty as a lecturer in psychology in 1964. From 1965-67 he was an instructor in the Department of Psychiatry in the Medical School, and within that department was promoted to assistant professor in 1968 and was named chief of the Psychology Division, Children's Psychiatric Hospital, in 1969. Within the Department of Psychology, Professor Bermann was promoted to associate professor in 1972 and was granted tenure in 1975.
Professor Bermann was a dedicated, supportive, and brilliant mentor and teacher for generations of doctoral students in clinical psychology. He also taught in the Department of Psychiatry and provided clinical supervision for students in many different agencies. Professor Bermann chaired 48 doctoral dissertation committees and co-directed a pioneering interdisciplinary program in child abuse and neglect that created unique training opportunities for his students. He served as clinical area chair for 12 years, selflessly guiding fundamental changes that led to the development of the current program. Professor Bermann situated children’s distress and impairment in the context of broad familial and community-level processes. A relatively novel theoretical perspective at the time, he was instrumental in bringing family systems and community mental health perspectives into the curriculum. His publications range widely and cover such topics as determinants of marital choice, children at risk due to family, community, and media violence, family assessment and family therapies, death fears, and children in substance-abusing families. He is widely known for his award-winning book Scapegoat: The Impact of Death Fears on an American Family.
Professor Bermann is survived by his loving wife, Sandy Graham-Bermann, stepson Kenneth E. Frazee and daughter-in-law Andra, stepdaughter Sarah M. Schomer and son-in-law Fred, as well as brother-in-law Robert Lieberman and his wife Janice. Father to Marc, Kara, Sol, and Ted Bermann, Eric had 11 grandchildren. His family, colleagues, students and friends will cherish their memories.
Donations can be made to the Eric Bermann Graduate Student Research Award Fund.