Michael Brustein, Psy.D

Michael Brustein View Specialties

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Do you worry chronically about life events such as work, health or relationships?
Worry and anxiety can make you feel extremely uneasy and effect your concentration, sleep, memory and confidence. You may be unable to relax, be indecisive and prone to think the worst-case scenario will occur. People who chronically worry often find that even when they get relief from one issue another one spouts up like a weed. Chronic worry may indicate a generalized anxiety disorder.

How I Can Help with Chronic Worry

I can teach you mindfulness skills to help you let go of worry. You will learn techniques to help you to decrease unrealistic fears. You will learn how to better manage the unknown and make decisions. I will teach you skills to help improve your concentration and quiet your mind. You will gain insight regarding the underlying causes and triggers leading to your anxiety.
 
About Dr. Michael Brustein, Psy.D
 
My specialities are anxiety, depression and relationships and couples therapy.
 
I am clinical psychologist and published author in private practice in New York City.  I received my doctoral degree at Ferkauf Graduate School (Yeshiva University) and completed my pre-doctoral internship at Harvard Medical School.  I have served as an assistant professor at the Albert Einstein Medical School, and have taught courses on psychotherapy techniques at Brooklyn College. I was also a supervising psychologist at the James J. Peters VA Medical Center, where I participated in suicide prevention studies and mentored medical residents and psychology interns. 
 


 
My Approach
 
People are very complex and often benefit from a combination of approaches. I utilize my expertise in mindfulness, CBT and psychodynamic therapy to fit your specific needs. Mindfulness and CBT can help you learn skills to manage negative feelings or acute symptoms of depression or anxiety. For more in depth issues such as understanding relationship patterns, I use a combination of mindfulness and psychodynamic therapy. By mindfully exploring patterns in and outside of the therapy room people can achieve psychological growth.
 
Mindfulness
An overwhelming amount of research illustrates how effective mindfulness can be in managing negative emotions. You cannot completely eliminate negative moods states and thoughts. However, learning mindfulness can help you by changing your relationship to your feelings/thoughts. For example, when you are mindful thoughts such as I am a “loser” are not seen as facts about who you are. Rather you learn how to label a thought as just a thought or feeling state that does not define you. By being mindful you can learn to watch your feelings without acting on or becoming/fusing with them. Mindfully being aware of feelings without amplifying them and making them larger than the moment can alleviate depression, anxiety or other negative affective experiences. Mindfulness can also help by providing you with the skills to manage negative emotional experiences (ex: anger or anxiety) that can impact relationships.
 
Cognitive Behavior Therapy

Cognitive Behavior Therapy helps you to examine thought patterns. The major concept of CBT is that thoughts trigger feelings. Often when people are depressed or anxious their thoughts are illogical or distorted leading to distress. People with anxiety for example tend to believe the worst will happen. Looking at thoughts in a more logical and realistic fashion can reduce distress.
 
Psychodynamic Psychotherapy
At times one’s relationship style can be problematic and lead to depression or anxiety. For example, a person may unconsciously sabotage intimate relationships to avoid being hurt or rejected. In relational psychodynamic therapy you work with the therapist to understand how you relate with others by examining both the relationships you have with significant others and even the therapist. At times, how you relate to the therapist can provide data about how you interact with the world. With the insight you gain from understanding your interpersonal style and defenses, you can develop new more adaptive patterns that can be more satisfying. Additionally, in relational psychoanalysis your self-concept and how it developed is explored as this greatly impacts relationships and major life decisions.
Mindfulness can be applied when engaging in psychodynamic psychotherapy. As mentioned, mindfulness is striving to focus on an experience in an accepting and non-judgmental fashion. When examining your relationship style, motivations and defenses, doing so mindfully with less judgment or from a more neutral perch, can open you up to new discoveries and feedback expanding your perspective on relationships and yourself.
 


Dr. Michael Brustein Reaches

Monmouth County NJ