My name is Douglas J. Van der Heide, M.D. I am a psychoanalyst and psychiatrist; my office is located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
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 fosters a unique conversation and relationship which, while uncovering the secret driving forces of the mind, allows for real change and growth to occur.