Once Havens had decided upon psychiatry as a career better suited to his goals than that of law, he then studied, wrote and lectured in an attempt to fully understand, distill and compare the contributions made by the researchers and physicians such as Pierre Janet, Jean Charcot, Emil Kraepelin, Sigmund Freud, Erik Erikson, Elvin Semrad, Harry Stack Sullivan and Paul Roazen.

“I undertook to review the whole history of psychiatry and try to figure out not people’s ideas, but what they had observed. That first book (Approaches To the Mind) was my attempt to re-tell the story in terms of facts and methods. And when I got through I thought I had come upon something that I had no idea about when I started and that was that the methods of the work, the psychological perspective from which you did your work was fundamental like a microscope. And so I set about and tried to understand how you work, how you talk, exactly and if you talk” (1996 interview)

In the links below we have included a selection of published journal articles by Havens discussing the contributions to the field of psychiatric thought and patient care of the above-mentioned theorists. While Elvin Semrad MD was an important influence on Havens for sixteen years, Havens didn’t write an entire article about him but often referred to his approaches within articles or other media. We are pleased to be able to make the following Semrad media available for the first time on the Web: a 1962 converted reel to reel audio tape with Dana Farnsworth MD, Havens, Francis D’Eseaux MD interviewing Semrad on Teaching Residents at Massachusetts Mental Health Center, a Havens Memorial speech about Semrad and Boston Psychiatry , and The Complete 1984 Cambridge Hospital Department of Continuing Education/Harvard Semrad Conference converted cassette audio tapes honoring Semrad’s impact on clinicians. The course directors were Douglas Jacobs MD and Susan Miller-Havens RN. The speakers were George Vaillant MD, Gerald Adler MD, Max Day MD, Terrance Maltsberger MD, Donald Gair MD, Harold Searles MD, Alan Siegel EdD, and Leston Havens MD.


Pierre Janet 

Jean Martin Charcot 

Emil Kraepelin

Paul Roazen

Sigmund Freud 

Erik Erikson 

Elvin Semrad

Harry Stack Sullivan