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Robert Van de Castle


Robert L. Van de Castle made his transition from this world on Wednesday, January 29, 2014.

Dr. Van de Castle's life work was devoted to dreams and dream research. He received his B.A in General Psychology at Syracuse University in 1951, his M.A. in Clinical Psychology at University of Missouri in 1953, and his PhD in Clinical Psychology from University of North Carolina in 1959. He was a Professor Emeritus at University of Virginia Health Sciences Center (retired 1993) where he was the Professor of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry (1986-1992), Director of the Clinical Psychology Internship Project (1980-1992) and Director of the Sleep and Dream Laboratory (1967-1985).

He is the author of the book, Our Dreaming Mind, which was described as a "landmark" by Monte Ullman, a "masterpiece" by Henry Reed, and "a sweeping compilation unsurpassed in the literature for its scope" by Stan Krippner. With Calvin Hall, he co-authored The Content Analysis of Dreams, which became a standard reference book and a "how-to-do-it" manual for investigators wishing to examine dream content in a quantitative fashion that could be statistically evaluated.

In addition, he always felt that trying to familiarize the public with the fascinating realm of dreams was important. He discussed dreams on such national TV shows as Phil Donahue, Barbara Walters, David Letterman, Tom Snyder, and Mike Douglas. He also presented at two programs involving dreams hosted by Rita Dwyer at the Smithsonian Institution, spoke on the Voice of America radio show, and his articles appeared in prominent newspapers such as The Washington Post, USA Today, and Chicago Tribune and in a wide variety of popular magazines, such as Psychology Today and Ladies Home Journal. He also presented talks and workshops on dreams in Belgium, Canada, Latvia, Mexico and Russia, and attended and presented papers at most of the IASD conferences throughout the years, including those in Holland and Denmark.

He was most proud of his efforts to develop the IASD as an organization that represents a "rainbow coalition" of dreamers from around the world. He was honored to present at the first annual international ASD conference in San Francisco in 1984 and then become the next ASD president. He introduced active participation in dream workshops, the infamous Dream Ball, a Dream Telepathy contest, and sessions on lucid dreaming. He was the recipient of IASD’s first Lifetime Achievement Award. In addition, he was a Past President of the Parapsychological Association (1970). Most recently, he was on the Advisory Board of DreamsCloud, the world's foremost dream related website.

He is survived by his sons, Drake Cameron Van de Castle and Keith Dawson Van de Castle; daughter, Parker Mary York and daughter-in-law, Teresa Spigle Van de Castle. He is also survived by his sister, Mary Elizabeth Hinton; his loving partner of five plus years, Bobbie Ann Pimm, and three grandchildren.