I have been in the solo practice of psychotherapy for over 35 years, and in that time have helped hundreds of people to recognize and confront the issues that frustrate them, and to courageously make the changes needed to live more satisfying lives. I am personally guided by compassion, understanding, and the search for the humor that can lighten life.
My career began in the hospital-based treatment of alcoholism and drug addiction in the late 1960’s. I was introuced to the devastation that heroin addiction can create while in my early 20's, having obtained my first out of college job as a counselor for the then new Methadone Maintenance Treatment Program, which centered at Beth Israel Hospital in New York. I spent a year working in the detox unit at The Morris Bernstein Institute, and went on to become the youngest person to supervise a satellite clinic, at St Luke's Hospital on the upper West Side. Coincident with working as a Psychologist for public and private programs, I took advanced degrees in Psychology and Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling at Columbia University Teachers College, along with specific training in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy at the Washington Square Institute for Psychotherapy and Mental Health. I did all of academic work while being employed full time. I was awarded the Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology much later in my life at the age of 50, in 1996, from The Union Institute Graduate School. I have many published articles on various mental health issues to my credit, and have participated in numerous Continuing Education programs.
I am a Certified Couple Therapist through the Westchester Center for the Study of Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy.
One doesn’t become a psychotherapist for no reason. The role of helper/caretaker is one practiced early in the lives of those in my profession, as their families-of-origin have been in various levels of pain. Not infrequently, children who become therapists play a therapeutic role in their families, protecting, hearing or distracting from family pain by becoming high achievers. This observation became the subject of my doctoral dissertation, The Development of Empathy in the Male Psychotherapist. My findings suggest that the family picture of an aggressive father and a more passive mother creates the role of protector for the child who later becomes a psychotherapist.
My life is a satisfying blend of seeing patients in my Katonah and New York City offices, staying fit through cycling and speed skating, and practicing jazz piano as a soloist and to accompany my own vocals. I am married and am a father and grandfather.
Written Works by John GersonUnderstanding Secure and Insecure Attachment
Dr. John Gerson ReachesBedford NY