Oral Histories

Interview of Ivan N. Mensh

UCLA professor of psychiatry and bio-behavioral sciences. Psychologist at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute.
UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute and Hospital: Ivan N. Mensh
UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute and Hospital
Science, Medicine, and Technology
UCLA and University of California History
UCLA Research Centers and Programs
Biographical Note:
UCLA professor of psychiatry and bio-behavioral sciences. Psychologist at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute.
Balter, Michael S.
Mensh, Ivan N.
Supporting Documents:
Records relating to the interview are located in the office of the UCLA Library's Center for Oral History Research.
4.75 hrs.
Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
Series Statement:
This series was made possible by support from the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute and Hospital and documents the history of that institution.
Mensh's family background; schools and universities attended; financing his college education; family's emphasis on education; working for a wholesale drug company; Mensh works as a psychiatric aide at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Washington, D.C.; transferred to the experimental ward of St. Elizabeth's women's buildings; interviews patients at venereal disease clinics to improve patient education; joins the navy; is transferred to the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery; psychology program and faculty at Northwestern University; completes his dissertation under Edward Lester Clark; works at Washington University; relationship between psychology and medicine at Washington University; Mensh begins to do psychotherapy; Mensh's own research; serves on numerous boards and committees to UCLA; conflict between Norman Q. Brill and Donald B. Lindsley; Mensh disagrees with Brill on his position and duties; Dean Stafford L. Warren's role in Mensh's decision to come to UCLA; Brill's personality; Mensh and Brill disagree over who should be allowed to practice psychotherapy; Marion Davies offers her home to house the Neuropsychiatric Institute (NPI); building the new NPI building; NPI faculty and programs when Mensh arrived; conflict between psychoanalytically-oriented and nonpsychoanalytically-oriented faculty; Alexander C. Rosen; Brill's desire to have a psychology training program at NPI; relationship between UCLA and the Veterans Administration Medical Center, West Los Angeles; more on why Mensh decided to come to UCLA; Marion Davies; incidents with patients at NPI in the 1950s; studies of LSD at UCLA; Philip R. A. May; controversy over the relationship between the Brain Research Institute and NPI; Brill's contribution to NPI; events leading up to Brill's dismissal as director of NPI; George Tarjan's effectiveness as an administrator; Dean Sherman M. Mellinkoff; Louis Jolyon West is appointed director of NPI; question whether Tarjan or Henry H. Work was ever offered the job of director; Mental Retardation and Child Psychiatry program; restrictions on NPI faculty earning outside income; NPI is transferred from the California Department of Mental Hygiene (DMH) to UCLA; constraints on NPI when it was under the DMH; Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute decides not to become part of University of California, San Francisco; the transition from DMH to UCLA; the problem of faculty doing research rather than teaching; West as director of NPI; the founding of the preventive psychiatry program; the future of institutes; the future of NPI.