It is with great sadness that we share that Dr. Jack Rachman passed away on September 2, 2021 at the age of 87.
Dr. Rachman was a faculty member in the Department’s clinical area from 1982 until his retirement in 1999, when he became Professor Emeritus. He was internationally renowned for his work on behavioural (and later cognitive-behavioural) theories and interventions for anxiety-based disorders. His impact on his field and on the Department was profound.
January 19, 1934 – September 2, 2021
Stanley (Jack) Rachman was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Witwatersrand and initially took a lectureship at Witwatersrand. At 22 years of age, Jack was the youngest lecturer in the University. Jack completed his PhD at the Institute of Psychiatry at London University under the supervision of Professor Hans J. Eysenck in 1961. Jack continued at the Institute and was involved in the pioneering studies of exposure and response prevention for obsessive compulsive disorder. During his time at IoP, he started the Institute’s clinical psychology training course, the first in England. Jack moved to the University of British Columbia in 1982 where he was tasked with building the clinical program. Jack remained the Director of the Clinical program until 1987 and retired from the UBC Psychology Department in 1999 where he maintained Emeritus status. He was also Emeritus Professor at the Institute of Psychiatry, London University.
Jack was a prolific researcher. His areas of focus over the years were in the anxiety disorders, fear and courage, and broadly cognitive behaviour therapy. Jack was most well-known for his work in obsessive-compulsive disorder, approaching it from a behavioural perspective early in his career, but transitioning to more of a cognitive focus in his later work on obsessions and contamination concerns. According to Google Scholar Jack received 46636 citations on 577 articles for a H-index of 107. Jack was a firm believer of the scientist-practitioner model and the importance of having clinical work inform research and vice versa. It was in his clinical work that Jack identified and honed his more recent ideas on mental contamination in OCD. As was the case for many ideas he initiated, it stimulated research worldwide.
Behaviour Research and Therapy (BRAT) was formed by Professors Eysenck and Rachman and was one of the first behavioral journals in psychology. Jack was Associate Editor from 1963-1978 and Editor-in-Chief from 1978-2002. Under Jack’s watchful eye, BRAT became the pre-eminent journal to publish work in behaviour therapy and later cognitive behaviour therapy.
In addition to his many contributions in the science and practice of cognitive-behaviour therapy, Jack worked with and trained many of the world’s leading CBT researchers and practitioners, many of whom became close and lifelong friends. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and received a lifetime achievement award from the British Psychological Society.
Jack was a father to 4 amazing children and 7 grandchildren of whom he was extremely proud. He was married to his best friend Clare Philips for 50+ years. Jack was a consummate academic with a broad range of interests including music, politics and world history. He was a voracious reader, a connoisseur of the finer things in life and a well-known oenophile. His wit was legendary and he was quite fond of a good practical joke. To say that he will be missed is an understatement.
Research interests include behavioral medicine; behavior therapy; abnormal thinking and behavior; forensic psychology.