Harold Van Colle
BORN LONDON, FEBRUARY 17, 1915. DIED LONDON, JULY 16, 2007, AGED 92.
ASELF-TAUGHT FOUNDER of the National Council of Psychotherapists and a therapist for 35 years, Harold Van Colle stressed personal experience over conventional science, writes Stephen Games.
Hie treated British and foreign royalty and tabloid celebrities at his suburban house in Wembley, Middlesex, helping them give up smoking and drinking and dealing with phobias.
He came to therapy in his 50, after being shown how to use water-divining rods. This gave him the idea of a link between thinking about an object and the object itself. After short courses in hypnotherapy and psychotherapy, he started to practise, eventually dropping hypnotherapy.
Born in Stamford Hill, he went to Grocers Company School, Hackney. In his early 20s he travelled to Brazil and organised wrestling bouts in London. Urged by his father, he studied pharmacy and chiropody at the Northern Polytechnic, London, opening a pharmacy in Wembley in the mid-1930s.
After the war he set up as a businessman, working from home. He invented devices, exported his own medicaments and built up a fine collection of coins, stamps and postmarks.
He lived off his collections for three years while researching extra-sensory perception. He made significant archeological finds, harnessing his discoveries to psychotherapy and writing three books. He loved music, which he composed and improvised, and accompanied shows at Wembley shul.
His wife, Miriam, died in 1995. He is survived by his daughter, Susan.