NCSPP

Northern California Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology

IN MEMORIAM: DR. GARY LUCCHESE

"... he was just a warm man, dedicated to his work, but had a real sense of humor about himself and other people . . . a really lovely curiosity -- a kind of eagerness that had a youthful quality about it ..."

"A creative, enthusiastic spirit, it is so awfully sad to have lost him."

"He was a much beloved supervisor and teacher."


It is with great sadness that IMPULSE marks the untimely passing of Dr. Gary Lucchese, psychoanalyst and clinical psychologist, who died unexpectedly on January 11, 2007.

Dr. Lucchese received his B.A. in psychology from San Francisco State in 1969, his M.A. in psychology from the University of Portland in 1971, and his Ph.D. in clinical psychology in 1973 from the California School of Professional Psychology, San Francisco. 

Dr. Lucchese's career speaks of the breadth of his professional experience and the many lives he touched. There are far too many of his accomplishments and titles to mention here. Just a few of his many professional positions included Staff Psychologist as well as Co-Chief of Alcohol/Drug Program at Kaiser Permanente's Department of Psychiatry, and consultant to ARIA School for Exceptional Children in San Francisco. In 1989, Dr. Lucchese went into fulltime private practice. He was clinical faculty at the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology in Palo Alto and clinical supervisor for The National Asian American Psychology Training Center Community Mental Health in San Francisco.

In 1994, Dr. Lucchese began his formal training in psychoanalysis at SFPI&S, and he graduated from that institution in 2001. His life and interests encompassed other disciplines, as immediately upon graduation from SFPI he shared his love of fine art by generously donating his time as a docent at the De Young Museum in San Francisco. He also served as clinical supervisor at the Boyer House Foundation in San Rafael, clinical supervisor at the Wright Institute, faculty member at the Institute for Psychoanalytic Studies in San Francisco, and clinical supervisor at CPMC in San Francisco. Since graduating from SFPI&S, Dr. Lucchese joined the institute's faculty in 2006 and taught in SFPI&S Extension Program. He was very involved as chairman of the institute's Post-Graduate Education Committee from 2005 onward and became instrumental in the development of programs for that group. He was said to have revitalized that committee's work significantly, was always well organized and looking to see how he could be of use to post graduates. 

At the time of his death he was working on a paper about Lucien Freud's paintings and was very involved in developing a writing program at SFPI&S, where had invited poets and writers to speak. He was also very interested in developing group process awareness at SFPI&S and was in the midst of bringing that idea to fruition. SFPI&S will remember him as quite enthusiastic, imaginative and creatively and vividly involved in their society.

In other professional capacities, Dr. Lucchese was coordinator of the psychoanalytic group therapy program at California Pacific Medical Center. In that capacity he taught a course in group psychotherapy, supervised psychology interns and psychiatric residents and coordinated all aspects of the group therapy program. He was in the process of expanding that program and had successfully added an additional group in this academic year. He brought "an incredible amount of skill, intelligence, humor, dedication and generosity to the program" at CPMC and was known as a much beloved supervisor and teacher there.

His all-too-early death is an enormous loss to the psychoanalytic and psychological community of the Bay Area and he will be remembered as innovative, creative, spirited and kind, with broad interests and talents. It is a tragedy to lose someone so bright, engaged and forward thinking. The board and members of NCSPP would like to extend their heartfelt and sincere sympathies to Dr. Lucchese's family, friends and colleagues at this sad time.

Drew Tillotson, Psy.D., President-Elect, NCSPP