American psychiatry, in its commitment to biological determinism, is in danger of dehumanizing the patient it is attempting to cure. To heal itself, psychiatry must change its philosophical assumptions. I believe that Brendel is absolutely right that it needs to adopt a skeptical, pragmatic, pluralistic outlook. This is an important contribution to the philosophy of psychiatry.
Healing Psychiatryby David Brendel, M.D., Ph. D Endorsement by Arnold H. Modell, M.D., Ph.D. Clinical Professor of Psychiatry Harvard Medical School
Mental illnesses such as anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder cause real pain and suffering. Many people suffer for months or years because these illnesses remain undiagnosed or improperly diagnosed.
There is a community of mental health professionals in Boston-- including psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, and others -- who understand the pain and suffering that mental illnesses cause, and who are devoting their professional lives to helping people like you or someone close to you.
Psychiatry as a field continues to make significant scientific and clinical advances. It has been my good fortune to train and work for many years in internationally known centers of excellence in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, and McLean Hospital. I have published my thinking about how to get the very best results for patients in dozens of articles and in my book, Healing Psychiatry: Bridging the Science/Humanism Divide, which was published by the MIT Press. I currently serve as the Medical Director of Psychiatric Services at Walden Behavioral Care (Waltham, Massachusetts) and see patients in private practice in Belmont, Massachusetts.
With a very broad range of clinical and academic experience as a psychiatrist for more than a decade, I now focus primarily on treating patients and consulting with other mental health professionals dealing with complex cases. I continue to teach and lecture on mental health and related issues in many different settings, but my true passion remains the work I do with patients and their loved ones. I became a psychiatrist to help you and others who are suffering needlessly with highly treatable mental illnesses. I work with local patients from the Boston area, but I also work with many international patients who come from countries such as Canada, Philippines, Saudi Arabia and England, where they may not always be able to get the care they need in a timely manner.
Where to Start
Over the past several decades and especially in recent years, psychiatry has become a much stronger medical discipline due to the introduction of improved diagnostic tools and treatment methods. These scientific advances and clinical breakthroughs should provide real excitement and hope to patients and their loved ones, as mental health professionals now have many more options to relieve emotional pain and suffering.
However, with the explosion in neuroscientific knowledge and treatment methods (such as medications and talk therapy), psychiatry has become incredibly complex and confusing. Patients and family members need a highly trained psychiatrist to help them find the right diagnosis, identify all the relevant treatment options, and navigate a complicated mental health care system in order to get the best care possible. I have devoted my professional life to being just this kind of psychiatrist.
From so many patients and family members who are frightened and confused about mental illness, I often hear the question "Where do I start?" My years of clinical practice have made it clear to me that establishing a close and trusting alliance with a well-trained, highly experienced psychiatrist is exactly the place to start. The psychiatrist, trained as a medical doctor and specializing in mental health issues, has the knowledge and experience required for the difficult task of diagnosing mental illness, recommending treatment options (including medications), and coordinating a team of professionals to assist in diagnosis and treatment.
Much of my past professional experience and current practice has been devoted to performing evaluations and consultations for patients and their loved ones who are just getting started in the process of finding appropriate mental health care. In some cases, I meet with patients on a short-term basis to establish a diagnosis, suggest an initial treatment plan, and provide referrals to other clinicians. In other cases, I form long-term treatment relationships with patients that focus on managing illness, promoting wellness, and reaching the goal of optimal functioning.
Please feel free to contact me directly if you wish to discuss the possibility of setting up an appointment. My office telephone number is (617) 932-1548, and my email address is ForPatients@DrDavidBrendel.com.
Patients I See - My Practice
If you think you or a family member or friend are suffering from any of the following, please contact me:
- Depression and other mood disorders
Depression is very common and is one of the most prevalent forms of mental illness. Symptoms of depression include persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" feelings. Other feelings can include pessimism, guilt, worthlessness and hopelessness. Depression can also cause fatigue and decreased energy, insomnia, and a loss of interest in activities that are pleasurable. Depression is highly treatable. I treat many patients with depression. Please see my page on Depression for more information.
- Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder (also called bipolar depression and manic depression) is a mood disorder characterized by unusual shifts in mood from a manic or extremely happy mood to a depressed mood. These intense periods are referred to as manic or depressive episodes. Bipolar depression is also treatable, usually with a combination of medicines and therapy. Please see my page on Bipolar Disorder for more information.
Public health officials estimate that more than 40 million American adults suffer from a form of anxiety each year. This is approximately one in five adults in the United States. The anxiety referred to by psychiatrists and public health officials is unlike the relatively mild and brief anxiety felt everyday by millions of people who are going to a job interview, a first date or speaking in public. Anxiety disorders are more intense and can last longer – generally at least 6 months. There are many new treatments for anxiety. Please refer to my page on Anxiety for more information.
- Borderline personality and other personality disorders
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is characterized generally by instability in moods, self-image, and personal relationships that is pervasive. This instability can be disruptive to the patient's work and family relationships. BPD is more prevalent than other well-known disorders such as bipolar disorder. Public health officials believe PBD affects 1 out of 50 adults in the United States.
BPD is often misdiagnosed or under-diagnosed. It is often accompanied by other conditions such as depression. Treatment regimes for BPD patients can be complex. I manage, and consult on, a large number of treatment regimes for BPD patients. For more information, please go to my page on Borderline Personality Disorder.
- Substance abuse
Substance abuse is prevalent today. To public health officials, substance abuse generally means substance dependence. Substance dependence is diagnosed when a patient persists in the use of a substance (drug or alcohol) even in the face of known harm to his or her relationships, work, family activities, or health. Repetitive use can also result in tolerance to the effects of the substance and withdrawal symptoms when use is reduced or stopped. For more information, please refer to my page on Substance Abuse
- Eating Disorders
Eating disorders are characterized by extremes in eating behaviors. A person is considered to have an eating disorder if he or she experiences severe disturbances in his or her eating behavior, including extreme reduction in food intake or overeating. Some patients experience feelings of extreme distress about their body image, including weight or shape. The three primary types of eating disorders are Anorexia, Bulimia and Binge-eating disorder. There has been a lot of research into the causes and treatments of eating disorders. For more information, please visit my page on Eating Disorders.
- Psychotic Disorders
There are a number of different types of psychotic disorders, including brief psychotic disorder, schizophrenia, and delusional disorder. Psychotic episodes can also be seen in certain types of major depression and bipolar disorder. For more information on psychotic disorders, please visit my page on Psychotic Disorders.
- Attention Deficit Disorder
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is also referred to as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). It is believed that 8 million people in the United States have some form of ADHD. ADHD can begin in childhood and continue into adulthood. There are a number of different types of ADHD which doctors diagnose based on the types of symptoms present. For more information, please refer to my page on Attention Deficit Disorder.
- Sleep Disorders
Sleep disorders are extremely common today. I treat a number of different types of sleep disorders. Sleep disorders can also occur as a result of a number of mental illnesses, including depression and anxiety. Mental illnesses can also contribute to sleep disorders. Please visit my page on Sleep Disorders.
- Medical/Psychiatric Disorders
Certain medical conditions may cause psychiatric disorders or complicate the health status of an individual undergoing psychiatric treatment. Expert care is required to diagnose and treat "co-morbid" medical and psychiatric illness. Please visit my page on Medical/Psychiatric Disorders.
Patients Visit from Many Countries
My practice includes treating people from around the world. Some of my patients come from outside of the United States, including Europe, the Middle East, and some Asian countries. Although my practice is based outside of Boston, Massachusetts, many of my patients come from other states in the US.
Dr. David Brendel - M.D., Ph. Dfull credentialsdownload CV
Any mental health worker would do well to read this book and take note of the main theme--patients come before theory
An important part of my practice involves providing expert consultation to other physicians and mental health professionals on challenging and complex cases. After learning about the case from the patient's clinician and reviewing any relevant medical records, I meet with the patient (and often with his or her loved ones) for at least one or two sessions. This information allows me to form a diagnostic impression and suggest treatment approaches. The patient then works along with the referring clinician to implement my recommendations as they deem appropriate. In many cases, I remain available over the long term for ongoing consultation and assistance with treatment.
Over the past decade, I have provided consultations and treatment to thousands of patients from the Boston area, across the United States, and other countries including many in Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and Asia. In addition to my work in private practice for over a decade, I served as Associate Medical Director of the Pavilion at McLean Hospital in Belmont, MA from 2003 to 2010. In that role, I led a diverse team of mental health professionals providing comprehensive evaluation and treatment services for people with the full spectrum of psychiatric illnesses, including mood disorders, anxiety syndromes, psychosis, substance abuse, and eating disorders. My ongoing work in private practice continues to build on this foundation of knowledge, experience, and passion for the work.
If you wish to learn more about referring a patient to me for consultation, please call me at (617) 932-1548 or email me at David@DrDavidBrendel.com.
I am happy to provide medical information for educational purposes to prospective patients, their family members, friends and loved ones. This information should not be used as medical advice for any particular person. If you believe that you or someone you care about is suffering from a mental illness, please call me or another psychiatrist. It is crucially important that you or the person suffering from the mental illness see a trained medical professional who can help.
As noted above, I treat patients with mental or psychiatric illnesses from around the world. Patients visit from Europe, the Middle East and Asia, as well different states in the United States. In New England, I have treated people from Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Maine.
In Massachusetts, I primarily treat patients with mental or psychiatric illnesses from the metro Boston area, including the following towns and cities:
- Boston, MA
02116, 02108, 02111, 02210, 02115, 02114, 02215, 02118
- Cambridge, MA
02138, 02139, 02140, 02141
- Brookline, MA
02445, 02446, 02447, 02467
- Lexington, MA
- Belmont, MA
- Newton, MA
02456, 02458, 02459, 02460, 02461, 02462, 02464, 02465, 02469
- Waltham, MA
02451, 02452, 02453, 02454, 02455
- Wellesley, MA
02457, 02481, 02482
- Weston, MA
- Lincoln, MA
- Sudbury, MA
- Concord, MA
- Burlington, MA
- Arlington, MA
02474, 02475, 02476
- Andover, MA
- Winchester, MA
- Needham, MA
- Dedham, MA