Leonardo Tondo: Introduction

Leonardo Tondo: Interviews with pioneers                            

INTRODUCTION - Leonardo Tondo

With this presentation, I am initiating the publication of a series of interviews with outstanding psychiatrists collected mainly between 1987 and 1992, with the unifying theme of their interests and contribution to the topic of clinical depression.  Of all potential interviewees, all but one consented to participate and authorized publication of the edited interviews.

In the intervening years, Dr. David Healy published a series of books based on his taped interviews of well-known psychopharmacologists (Healy1996, 1999a,b, 2000, 2002).  This work provided additional stimulus to prepare my interview material for publication.  Moreover, research collaborator, Prof. Ross J. Baldessarini of Harvard Medical School and McLean Hospital in Boston, has encouraged me to publish the project deeming the material of considerable value, particularly since most of the participants were becoming elderly at the time of the interviews, and many are now deceased.  He also provided valuable assistance in editing the final manuscripts. 

The first three interviews have been published and will be revised to be included in this program (Tondo 2011a,b, 2012a,b).

The series begins with Sir Martin Roth, with whom I have spent several hours having lunch together and during a lift to Pisa Airport on a sunny and chilly day in January 1992.  His wife, Ms. Constance Heller, was also with us for the entire interview.  The main theme of this interview was about Roth’s support of a differentiation between depressive disorders and neurotic disorders in opposition to unitarian approaches by Adolf Meyer and Aubrey Lewis.  From this starting point, the interview dealt with the identification of some anxiety disorders, namely agoraphobia and panic disorder, and their differential diagnosis from atypical depression.  During the interview, Professor Roth expresses his not so favourable views on the taxonomy of DSM-III and on the future of psychiatry.



Organization and transcription of the primary audiotapes for editing and publication was made possible years later with the generous assistance of Ms. Anne Farmer. 



Healy D. The Psychopharmacologists Volume 1. London:  Chapman & Hall; 1996. 

Healy D. The Psychopharmacologists Volume 2. London: Chapman & Hall; 1999a

Healy D. The Psychopharmacologists, Volume 2. Second edition. London: Arnold; 1999b

Healy D. The Psychopharmacologists. Volume 3. London: Arnold; 2000.

Healy D. The Psychopharmcologists. Volume 1. Second edition. London: Arnold; 2002.

Tondo L. Closer Looks. John Bowlby. Clinical Neuropsychiatry 2011a; 8: 159–71.

Tondo L. Closer Looks. Lothar Kalinowsky. Clinical Neuropsychiatry 2011b; 8: 303–18.

Tondo L. Closer Looks. Roland Kuhn. Clinical Neuropsychiatry 2012; 9: 138-54.


Leonardo Tondo
November 5, 2015