Dr. Michael M. Miller, 67, a prominent Washington area psychiatrist who was internationally known for his pioneering treatment of alcoholism, died Aug. 11 after he suffered a heart attack while playing tennis at Glassboro State College in New Jersey.
Dr. Miller was semiretired at the time of his death, but was serving as director of the New School of Psychotherapy here and conducted a part-time private practice in Pittman, N.J.
A graduate of Ohio State University and the University of Vienna Medical School in Austria, Dr. Miller practiced psychiatry in the Washington area for 32 years. During that time he served as a consultant to the Montgomery County Juvenile Court, Boys Village in Cheltenham and the Maryland Department of Mental Hygiene.
Known widely in medical circles for his work in therapeutic hypnosis, Dr. Miller pioneered the psychiatric technique of hypnoaversion wherein hypnosis is used to create an aversion to smoking, drinking or over-eating. He used this method to treat alcoholism and obesity.
Dr. Miller founded the first court clinic for alcoholism in Cleveland in 1939, and was frequently lauded for his efforts to have alcoholism recognized as an illness rather than a crime. In 1946, he opened the first clinic for alchololics in the nation's capital.
A teacher, researcher, author and lecturer, Dr. Miller taught at the Howard University School of Medicine and lectured on group psychotherapy and hypnosis at universities in Spain, Austria and Italy as well as in this country. In the early 1940s, he was resident psychiatrist at St. Elizabeths Hospital here.
The author of "Sunday's Child: How to Bring Up a Mentally Healthy Child," Dr. Miller published two other books in the field of psychiatry and had been preparing two other books for publication at the time of his death. He also had written more than 30 original scientific papers in the fields of alcoholism, hypnosis, psychodrama, social psychiatry and other subjects.
Listed in "Who's Who in World Medicine," Dr. Miller's career included service as medical director of the Cleveland House of Corrections, consultant at Crownsville State Hopsital in Maryland and research director of the Psychiatric Institute at Columbia University. He also co-founded the American Journal of Social Psychiatry.
A director of the Washington Psychodrama Theater, Dr. Miller was a fellow of the American Society of Psychoanalytic Physcians and the American Society of Group Psychotherapy and Psychodrama.
Dr. Miller is survived by his wife, Sarah F., of the home in Pittman, N.J.; two sons, William, of Lansdale, Pa., and Ben, of Pittman; two daughters, Wendy and Melanie, both of Glen Echo Heights; four sisters and two grandchildren.