Dr. David Brendel

MD, PhD


  • Board Certified Psychiatrist
  • Harvard Trained
  • Author of Healing Psychiatry (MIT Press)

With a very broad range of clinical and academic experience as a psychiatrist for more than two decades, I focus primarily on diagnosing and treating patients with complex cases. After doing a thorough assessment, I describe in detail a wide range of treatment options that might include medication and psychotherapy. Particular emphasis is placed on sleep hygiene, exercise, nutrition, and healthy management of one’s living situation, education, and career development. I frequently consult with families and other physicians about challenging cases. Most of my patients are from the Boston area, but I also see patients from around the U.S. and the world who come to receive health care that they can’t access locally. My practice adheres to the highest standards of privacy, confidentiality, and discretion.

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For Patients


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.

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For Families


Families often struggle to convince loved ones that they need to see a doctor for evaluation and treatment of their mental health needs. In many such cases, I consult with family members to discuss the situation in depth and explore options for supporting their loved one in seeking help. Later on I might see the patient too, as long as there is transparency about my initial consultation with the family and if the patient expressly chooses to pursue an evaluation with me.

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For Doctors


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.

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