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Notification of the passing of Peter Buirski, PhD

12/28/2022 6:03 PM | Denise Wagner (Administrator)

It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of Peter Buirski, PhD. Peter passed away on Monday, December 26th.

He had been a valued Society member since 1991 and Institute faculty member since 1994. He will be missed.


Peter Buirski was born February 7, 1944 in New York City. He spent his early life in both New York and Johannesburg. He received his PhD in clinical psychology from Adelphi University in 1969 and immediately joined the faculty at John Jay College of Criminal Justice (City University of New York) where he served as Chairman of the Psychology Department from 1979-1983. Concurrently he completed Psychoanalytic Training at the Postgraduate Center for Mental Health in New York City where he served as Dean from 1983-1988.

In 1991, Peter was recruited by the University of Denver to become the Director of the Graduate School of Professional Psychology. In 1993 he became the first Dean and served in that role until 2012. He was also on faculty of the Denver Institute for Psychoanalysis. He especially enjoyed teaching and supervising and forged many close relationships with students and faculty. Peter taught and lectured both nationally and internationally. Early in his career, Peter studied and wrote about animal behavior. He worked with baboons in Kenya and chimpanzees with Jane Goodall in Gombe. In his private practice, Peter cared deeply for his patients.

As a clinician, his scholarly work has focused on Intersubjective Systems. He published many journal articles and several books and is the co-author of Making Sense Together, which has been translated into other languages.

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Hello All!

We are collecting funds to create a memorial in honor of Peter outside of the Graduate School of Professional Psychology building on the DU Campus. We hope to put these funds toward a stone and inscribed plaque in one of the gathering areas outside the building where he brought so many people together.

We want to thank Peter for all he taught us and for all his support and encouragement. May his spirit, wisdom, and legacy live on through us all!

If you would like to share a contribution, please do so here: https://gofund.me/b2a1add4 and also please feel free to pass this email along to anyone you think may want to be a part of this. Thank you!

With all my warmth,

Emily and many others ❤️

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