An Interview with Dr. Philip Hicks

Psychiatrist to Allen Ginsberg

In 1955, Allen Ginsberg began attending weekly therapy sessions at the Langley Porter Clinic in San Francisco. His therapist was a young psychiatrist named Dr. Philip Hicks. It was in these sessions that Allen related to Hicks his dissatisfaction with his job in advertising, and his desire to write poetry instead; his worry that he might be “crazy” like his mother, Naomi; and his homosexuality—which at the time, was considered a disorder by the psychiatric community. To his surprise, Dr. Hicks reassuringly encouraged him to pursue his own path. “Dr. Hicks gave me permission, so to speak, to be myself.”

In this interview with Kip Steinberg, recorded live during 2015’s Beatnik Shindig, Dr. Hicks speaks for the first time about his sessions with Ginsberg, and their continued friendship.

Full interview is 1 hour, 7 minutes.

You must be a Beat Museum Member to see this content.

Already a Member? Please Login >
Memberships are valid for one year from date of purchase.