Roger Frie is the son of Germans and grew up bilingually in Canada and Switzerland. He attended university in England and was educated at the University of London (BA) and Trinity College, Cambridge University (MPhil, PhD), where he studied history, philosophy and social theory. After living for 10 years in England and Germany, he moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he taught for several years in the History of Science Department at Harvard University and volunteered at Cambridge Hospital.
His interest in working with people and in understanding the nature of human experience led him to pursue further training in psychology. He moved to New York City and became a clinical psychologist (Psy.D.). He completed a five-year training program at the William Alanson White Institute of Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis and Psychology, where he received his certificate in interpersonal psychoanalysis. Dr. Frie worked for many years as an Assistant Clinical Professor of Medical Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and was a Senior Attending Psychologist at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York. In addition, he held academic appointments in psychology departments at Long Island University in Brooklyn and at the New School.
After living and working on Manhattan’s Upper West Side for 15 years, Dr. Frie returned with his family to Canada. He is currently Professor of Education at Simon Fraser University and Affiliate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. He also maintains active links with New York, where he is a faculty member and supervisor at the William Alanson White Institute and an associate member of the Columbia University Seminar on Cultural Memory. Dr. Frie has a private practice in psychotherapy and psychoanalysis in Vancouver and supervises and teaches a wide range of mental health professionals in the practice of psychotherapy.
Dr. Frie’s scholarship reflects his interdisciplinary interests. He has written numerous books, articles and chapters. His current area of interest is historical trauma, cultural memory and moral responsibility related to mass racial violence, genocide and the Holocaust. He has also written extensively on such themes as human interaction, psychoanalysis and social theory. He is invited to give lectures and hold workshops nationally and internationally for professional and general audiences alike. He speaks frequently in Germany, Austria, England, France, Israel, Japan and the United States.
Dr. Frie has received many honours for his work, including a national book award (the Canadian Jewish Literary Award) for his memoir exploring the unspoken Nazi past in his German family, and a lifetime achievement award (Otto Weininger Memorial Award) from the Canadian Psychological Association’s Section on Psychoanalysis. He has also received numerous fellowships and visiting professorships. He was most recently a DAAD Visiting Professor in Berlin, Germany (2021) and a Visiting Professor of Psychoanalysis at Kyoto University, Japan (2022).
Beyond his professional life, he enjoys travelling; different musical genres such as classical, folk and jazz; hiking and skiing on the west coast mountains; and undertaking renovation projects, skills he learned when he worked in construction before and during university. He divides his time between Vancouver and New York and has two children who attend McGill University in Montreal.