About the Doctor

Early Influence

As a psychoanalyst and psychiatrist, I have a very personal link to this field. My father was a physician and psychoanalyst himself; receiving his psychoanalytic training in Vienna with Sigmund Freud in the 1920’s. It was the interest of Franz Alexander in psychosomatic medicine that made it possible for my father and his family to leave Europe on the eve of World War II to come to the U.S. to study. 

Years later, he would become the founding dean of a major institute of psychoanalytic training in Los Angeles. Psychoanalysis was my father’s passion and profession; what little I understood of his daily work represented, in the eyes of this young boy, a matter of the deepest mystery. I am happy to say that the mystery has gripped me ever since and the respect and love for psychoanalysis has never left.

Educational Development

Decades of work with patients combined with exposure to superb teachers and clinicians has allowed me to achieve the highest level of professional excellence. 

  • Graduated Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, 1976
  • Psychiatric Residency Cornell Medical Center, New York Hospital Payne Whitney Clinic, 1980
  • Board certified in psychiatry by the American Psychiatric Association, 1981
  • Graduate of the New York Psychoanalytic Institute, 1997
  • Certified in psychoanalysis by the American Psychoanalytic Association, 2005
  • Appointed Supervising and Training Analyst, Institute for Psychoanalytic Education affiliated with NYU, 2015

Scholarly Work

Teaching has been a priority in my life, only second to my clinical dedication and they are linked. I feel a responsibility to ensure that future clinicians will be familiar with core psychoanalytic theories of mind and will be able to use these tools for future patients who will need their help.

  • From 1988-1999 I taught basic analytic theory and the initiation of psychodynamic treatment to psychiatric residents at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine
  • Since 1997 I have taught the clinical dream course to senior candidates at New York Psychoanalytic Institute.
  • Since 2010 I have taught the clinical dream course to senior candidates at the Institute for Psychoanalytic Education (PANY) affiliated with NYU medical center.
  • From 2010, I have acted as a Psychoanalytic Development Supervisor to help young candidates find and commence their first training cases
  • From 2015 to the present I have supervised analytic candidates in conducting their first training cases. 
  • Since 2017 I have been engaged in teaching psychiatric residents, geriatric psychiatry fellows and psychoanalytic fellows.
  • In 2019 I was awarded the first PANY annual teaching award. 

Aside from teaching, I have via publications, and videos to extend our understanding of the world in which we live. For further information, you can view my bibliography and my YouTube channel.

Deep within each of us exists a hidden, albeit compromised, sense of who we wished to be; family issues, trauma, separation, and loss early in life interfere and confound that vision.

The capacity to embrace ourselves, enabling us to embrace those who love us, is the best way to ensure a life unfettered by anxiety and despair. This seemingly simple accomplishment allows us to live in the sun, to tolerate and even grow from the inevitable joy and pain, union and loss which accompany every life and which ironically give it meaning. 

Many bright and promising people suffer from symptoms of depression, anxiety, compulsions and somatic fears which make such a happy embrace of self and others impossible. From decades of training and treating patients, it is my conviction that Freud’s brilliant discovery of free association is the best path to self-understanding and satisfaction. 

This unique method of listening allows a highly trained clinician to hear the complex and powerful ways a person unknowingly repeats the patterns of the past. Inviting the patient to think, talk and self-reflect foster a unique conversation and relationship which, while uncovering the secret driving forces of the mind, allows for real change and growth to occur.


7 E 85th Street,
Suite GrB
New York, NY


[email protected]
(212) 772-6443

© 2019 by Dr. Douglas Van der Heide | All Right Reserved