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The Couch, the Clinic, and the Scanner: Stories from Three Revolutionary Eras of the Mind

The Couch, the Clinic, and the Scanner is an insightful first-person account of psychiatry's evolution. David Hellerstein—a psychiatrist who has practiced in New York City since the early 1980s, working with patients, doing research, and helping run clinics and hospitals—provides a window into how the profession has transformed. In vivid stories and essays, he explores the lived experience of psychiatric work and the daunting challenges of healing the mind amid ever-changing theoretical models.

The Couch, the Clinic, and the Scanner: Stories from Three Revolutionary Eras of the Mind

Maybe you are one of the more than 45 million people in the United States who is currently struggling with depression. Maybe anxiety keeps you from truly enjoying your job, your relationships, your life. Maybe every change you have tried to make seems to have failed and you are beginning to feel as if change is simply not possible.

Author David J. Hellerstein uses the term New Neuropsychiatry to refer to a dramatically different approach to help people who have depression and anxiety disorders. Unlike Old Psychiatry, which often focused on early life issues, the New Neuropsychiatry focuses on improving present-day life and on achieving long-term remission of symptoms. Heal Your Brain combines the advances of neuroscience and medicine with the art of the storyteller to show how the New Neuropsychiatry can alter the course of your life.

Dr. Hellerstein, a psychiatrist at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, puts this new form of psychiatry to the test. Depression and anxiety disorders damage the brain, but as Dr. Hellerstein explains, the right treatment can change the patterns of brain activity, brain cell connections, and even the brain’s anatomy. To illustrate, he relates the stories of people as they travel through various phases of New Neuropsychiatry treatment, from evaluation to therapy to remission, and illustrates how this approach can help you progress through each phase as well.

The book’s compelling narrative demonstrates that, in many cases, it is possible to achieve a stable recovery and return to—or even experience for the first time—a life free of crippling anxiety and depression.

From Library Journal:
As Hellerstein recounts his family history--the story of five generations of physicians--it evolves into something larger: a chronicle of the changes in medicine from the 19th century to the present as seen through the experiences of his family. His narrative begins with Marcus Rosenwasser in 1864 and ends with the medical career choices of four of Hellerstein's siblings, who confront the dilemmas and opportunities of contemporary medicine. Along the way, Hellerstein presents much medical and social history, encompassing the dramatic technological and educational metamorphoses that transformed the practice of medicine from a craft to the medical science of today.
- James Swanton, Albert Einstein Coll. of Medicine, New York

Stone Babies

A novel available at Amazon.com in print and Kindle versions

Having just finished training as an infertility specialist, Dr. Jay Sones looks forward to opening a lucrative private practice in Manhattan. Just as his new life begins, disaster strikes. His partner is attacked and nearly killed, and he is caught up in a vicious malpractice suite. To make ends, Dr. Sones starts work at a hospital in the South Bronx. Stone Babies is at once a thriller, a love story, and a black comedy about medicine in America today.

Battles of Life and Death

A collection of 13 award-winning essays about becoming a physician

Psychiatrist and freelance journalist David Hellerstein, son of a medical family, vividly and with considerable literary flair portrays the patients he treated during the stages of his internshipsurgery, neurology, etc.and his residency in psychiatry, which he chose as a specialty because "facts give way to feelings." The author, a graduate of Stanford University Medical School, leaves unnamed his training hospitals. His ingrained faith in medicine was shaken by seeing cases in which patients died from side effects of treatments intended to cure them, and by his realization that, despite modern technology, on occasion illnesses could not be diagnosed until after death. Other hopeless cases, he notes, though correctly diagnosed, foiled the efforts of even the most skillful doctors. Almost unbearable are his accounts of burn victimsone of the most effective chapters in this story of the making of a physician.

Loving Touches

A comic first novel

A comic first novel by an author known for his powerful and moving accounts of medical training, Loving Touches is set in 1990s New York. The story explores the love Dr. Pete Roth feels for two very different women: his wife Sarah, a Wall Street lawyer, and Celine Walters, a former girlfriend who has been admitted to the hospital where he works. First year psychiatric resident, Dr. Pete Roth is torn between his love for his wife and Celine, a fragile-seeming suicidal graduate with whom Pete had an affair two summers earlier.