Home PageBlogPhilip Barretta (1928-2015)

BarrettaPhotoPhilip F. Barretta, born July 29, 1928 in Camden, New Jersey, went to his final post surrounded by members of his loving family on the afternoon of May 7th, 2015.

Philip, or “Filippo,” as he was known, joined the Marine Corps during the Korean Conflict. He worked at the Pentagon and served as the Legal Chief at Camp Le Jeune in North Carolina. He graduated from Rutgers University, received a master’s degree from California State University, Long Beach, and completed the credits for a Ph.D. (all but dissertation).

phillipbarrettaBarretta taught at Georgetown Day School in Washington, D.C., where he is still legendary for the unique connection he had with students. For more than 20 years he served as a teacher, counselor, and administrator for the Torrance Unified School District (TUSD). Upon retirement, he entered into a partnership with his wife, Norma Barretta, Ph.D., and together they taught their own model of therapeutic intervention: competency-based brief hypnotic therapy. Recently, the couple received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis.

Barretta taught medical hypnosis to colleagues from Sydney to Siberia, and he was on the faculty of several Institutes in Europe, the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis, and The Milton H. Erickson Foundation.

Philip Barretta will be remembered for his remarkable communication skills, his beautiful smile, and his kind, gentle, playful, compassionate, optimistic, joyful, hilarious, and irrepressibly humorous outlook on life.

His children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren will remember him as their favorite playmate, as he always made them a priority. He lit up every room with his presence and was “the bubbles in the champagne” to his family and friends. He always had a funny story to bring laughter to every occasion. Philip Barretta was “un vero uomo del Rinascimento Italiano” — a real Italian Renaissance man.


Philip Barretta is survived by his wife, Norma, his children, Bruce, Peggi Barretta-Bongiovanni, and Jolie Barretta Keyser, as well as his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

A memorial celebration will be held in the garden of his home on June 14th at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to the Philip F. Barretta Fund at The Milton H. Erickson Foundation, 2632 East Thomas Rd. Ste. 200, Phoenix, AZ 85016.