Helen Schucman, Ph.D.

LINKS:  BiographyCurriculum Vitae  |  Significant Dates | Bio by Ken Wapnick
Interview with Helen | Helen's Poetry

Biography

Helen Cohn Schucman, Ph.D. was born in New York City in the early 1900s. During the Depression years, she was brought up in a family that enjoyed all the accoutrements of wealth: maid, cook, and fulltime governess. Dr. Schucman spent most of her early years with her governess, well insulated from the rest of the family, consisting of her parents and a brother 14 years her senior. Although her parents were Jewish, she was encouraged to sample many faiths and to select for herself her own belief system. And she did, trying Catholicism, Judaism, Southern Baptist teachings, atheism and agnosticism before she was an adult, the latter of which she adhered to in her adult years.
           

After high school, Dr. Schucman attended New York University studying literature, music, and language. It was there that she met Louis Schucman, a compatible fellow student, who later became her husband. Louis owned a bookstore and during the early years of their marriage, Helen worked in it with him but grew increasingly restless about her own life. Something seemed to be missing from it, and in her early forties she decided to return to NYU to study psychology. In 1958 she earned a Ph.D.
           

Dr. Schucman held various prestigious positions throughout her life in the academic world, among them Associate Research Scientist, Instructor, Chief Psychologist at the Neurological Institute of the Presbyterian Hospital and Associate Professor of Psychology at Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons. Until her retirement in 1976, she taught, did research, supervised clinical work, and collaborated on the writings of articles and chapters for professional journals and books.
           

Throughout her career, Helen Schucman emphasized the strict disciplines of research and scholarship and had little tolerance for "soft" interests like spirituality. In 1958 when she met her longtime boss and friend, Dr. William N. Thetford, her life was inextricably altered.
           

Their joining together served as the "trigger" for Helen "to hear an inner Voice dictate" to her. As the reluctant scribe of A Course in Miracles, Dr. Schucman's role as its "writer" was not revealed ā€“ as she had requestedā€“ until after her death in February, 1981. Following her death, a collection of her poems, The Gifts of God, was published by the Foundation for Inner Peace.

 


LINKS:  BiographyCurriculum Vitae  |  Significant Dates | Bio by Ken Wapnick
Interview with Helen | Helen's Poetry