My work has been devoted to understanding the nature of emotion, suffering and well-being, and helping people cultivate a healthy mind:
• as a behavioral neuroscientist leading research on emotion, memory, learning and models of mental illness at New York University, Columbia University and the New York State Psychiatric Institute
• as a dedicated student and practitioner of mindfulness and meditation for over 30 years and as a trainer of clinicians in the use of mindfulness in mental health treatment
• as a therapist working with individuals, families and groups at community mental health clinics and West Side Psychotherapy, LCSW, PC
These 3 streams of experience have contributed to a view of how people can become more aware and effective in their lives, experiencing greater health and well-being. These three perspectives have informed my work with clients, and my research:
- Neuroscience perspective: we all have innate, adaptive abilities that support emotional and social health — these abilities are susceptible to both error and adaptive enhancement.
- Mindfulness perspective: we have a fundamental warmth and clarity of mind, which can be obscured by exaggerated and inaccurate concepts, emotional reactions and habits.
- Therapy perspective: we can be free from counterproductive thoughts and habits, and heal from emotional injuries, through greater awareness of the present experience of thoughts, moods and emotions. This can be brought about by mindfulness, cognitive and behavioral techniques, and insight-oriented relational therapy.
The naturally healthy adaptable mind
Getting unstuck: Methods for rediscovering natural health
Resources and supervision
I benefit from ongoing collaborations with my colleagues in clinical and neuroscience research, and am privileged to practice under ongoing supervision by outstanding psychotherapists. I work in close collaboration with physicians to coordinate care and medications as necessary. My study and practice of mindfulness and meditation continues under the guidance of eminent teachers, enriching my ability to be effective in understanding and helping myself and others.