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David Campbell

Psychotherapist ;

Born: August 31,1927 Died: September 30, 2012

David Campbell, who has died aged 85, was a psychotherapist and former director of The Davidson Clinic for psychotherapy in Glasgow.

He was born in Glasgow, the middle of three children, and attended Hillhead School and Glasgow University, where he graduated as a doctor, training in obstetrics at the Coombe Hospital in Dublin. He the joined the Royal Army Medical Corps and was attached to the 2nd Parachute Regimunusual physical robustness and daring were well expressed.

Following his spell in the army, he worked in the Royal Edinburgh Hospital, where he specialised in psychiatry. He was drawn to psychotherapy, and after meeting Dr John Bowlby, internationally known for his understanding of attachment and loss, he went into psychoanalysis with Dr Winifred Rushford. It was she who invited him to become director of The Davidson Clinic in Glasgow, a position he held for the rest of his life.

For some years, he practised as an orthodox psychiatrist (and it was in this capacity, in the late 1960s/early 1970s that he appeared on television). His respect for Freud lessened only in the sense that he realised that the patient's body contained much of the truth about who he was and what happened to him to make him so. The doctor who brought him to this understanding was an American, Alexander Lowen, the new therapy known as bioenergetic analysis.

He married Marjorie, also a psychiatrist, and they had three children, a son, Roy, who predeceased them, and two daughters, Rosemary and Gillian. The marriage ended in divorce and years later, while lecturing on human growth and development at Jordanhill College, he met June, whom he married in California in 2001. From 1988 to July 2011, always in the company of June, he visited California each summer for bioenergetics workshops.

He had many interests outside his professional life, several of which enriched his work as a therapist and were enriched by it in turn. He loved judo and became a black belt, 3rd Dan. He loved good wine and malt whisky and was known by the staff in Oddbins as a connoisseur. He loved the theatre and the cinema and saw the latest Woody Allen film the weekend before he died. He had a great love of music, both classical and jazz. In classical music the piano repertoire drew him especially, his favourite composers being Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms and Tchaikovsky.

He had a most sophisticated appreciation of pianists and conductors. It was not unusual for him in his last years to ring up friends and ask them round to hear Furtwangler's performance of Beethoven's Firth, or Claudio Arrau's of the last Schubert sonatas. Although his last years were variously bothered and diminished by illness, his spirit did not surrender. His passionate interest in humanity remained. One of his greatest gifts – without which no therapist can function – was that of deep, creative listening.

He is survived by his wife June, his two daughters and his grand-daughter Frances.

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