History of the Anne Sippi Clinic
By Jack Rosberg, Founder of the Anne Sippi Clinic

The seeds of the Anne Sippi Clinic were sown long before its emergence in 1975. I began my career in 1954 supervised by John N. Rosen, M.D. in Bucks County, PA. Dr. Rosen was, along with Harry S. Sullivan and Freida Fromm Reichman, one of the earliest contributors to the psychotherapy of schizophrenia in the United States. He introduced a very active treatment form with the most severely regressed schizophrenic patients. His approach aroused the curiosity of the professional world. To quote Lawrence Kubie: "if nothing else, he rocked the professional world out of its complacency." Rosen had his professional practice outside of hospitals and his patients resided in houses in a farming community, which in those days and even today, represents a unique treatment setting.

I had the privilege of developing a treatment direction during my work with Rosen that I later called Direct Confrontation. When I left Dr. Rosen in mid 1957 and entered into private practice in dealing with patients diagnosed as schizophrenic in private hospitals in Los Angeles, CA., it became increasingly apparent to me that treatment with the serious mentally ill was severely hampered by the restrictions imposed by a staff that focused treatment with these patients on the medical model. The physical methods of treatment, such as Electric Convulsive Therapy, the growing emphasis on medication as a treatment of choice and the long periods of time spent in psychiatric hospitals were iatrogenic. Many great contributors including Eugene Bleuler, who coined the term schizophrenia, cautioned about the negative effects of long-term hospitalization. My primary interest was and is the psychotherapy of schizophrenia. I found, much to my surprise, quite early in my career, the different and innovative directions in treatment other than traditional methods disturbed the professional world around me and many obstacles were strewn in my path. However, despite this I continued working with patients actively with the growing realization that effecting a relationship and a shared belief system, led to a more positive and lasting outcome than the palliative measures used by the majority of the professionals in the world of mental health.

The developing course of my treatment direction stimulated the interest of professionals from the psychoanalytic to the reality oriented and even to the Orthomolecular world. These were mature individuals. People who could look at new ideas and treatment directions, without any preconceived ideas. Professionals, such as Martin Grotjahn, M.D. a distinguished training analyst. Psychiatrists, Humphrey Osmond, Abraham Hoffer, Harvey Ross and a host of those involved in other treatment directions, became supportive as they perceived my efforts influencing change with regressed schizophrenics. It was Dr. Harvey Ross who introduced me to Anne Sippi, a young woman, hospitalized at a small psychiatric hospital in Los Angeles. I was told by staff members that this woman was hopeless and that nothing could be done to help her. Dr. Ross asked me to do a consultation with Anne Sippi, who he had worked with for a considerable period of time. He believed that she could not be successfully treated and was about to recommend custodial care in a state hospital. I was the last stop it appears before that happened. I had developed a reputation of dealing with the most difficult population.
Anne Sippi had been sick, since childhood. She was treated and hospitalized many times with no significant relief from the ravages of her schizophrenic condition. She was violent much of the time and also restrained more often than not, in these hospitals. She was a terrified human being, when I met her. Her vocabulary had shrunk to several words. Her fear and resulting violence persuaded hospital staff to stay away from her as much as possible. In her terrified state, this woman, this human being, was left alone to deal with the nightmare of her existence. My first contact with her was a dynamic confrontation, which led me to believe that she was a very treatable person.