Modern Psychoanalyst -New York City Psychoanalysisny

Dr. Mark Sehl


Modern Psychoanalysis New York City


Letter to the editor of the New York Times regarding licensing of psychoanalysts in NY State


Mark Sehl

Videos-What Makes for a Good Therapy Session


Couples Counseling

Psychotherapy Videos


Latest Research in Psychotherapy:

"The Efficacy of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy"
Jonathan Shedler, PhD
University of Colorado Denver
"Empirical evidence supports the efficacy of psychodynamic psychotherapy. Effect sizes for
psychodynamic psychotherapy are as large as those reported for other therapies that have been actively promoted as “empirically supported” and “evidence based.” Additionally, patients who receive psychodynamic therapy maintain therapeutic gains and appear to continue to improve after treatment ends."

Why see a Modern Psychoanalyst?

Modern Psychoanalysis is helpful with many problems including depression, phobias, anxiety, and relationship problems. Through developing certain skills one can become assertive and achieve more gratification in life.

Modern Psychoanalysis grew out of the teachings of Dr. Hyman Spotnitz. He saw people's problems stemming from the inability to have a release for bottled up feelings. All children need to have comfort, emotional support, and understanding. However, instead of this kind of nurturing environment, many people have experienced verbal/and or physical abuse, indifference, emotional and/or physical abandonment during childhood. When a child’s basic needs are overly frustrated a rage reaction occurs. For instance, if a child is scolded over and over again for reaching into the cookie jar it will feel it is bad for needing. The child ends up attacking itself, feeling worthless and inadequate. It may withdraw from contact with others, not being able to ask for things, feel it is not worth loving, experience confusion of thoughts, do poorly in school and later on have blocks in achieving goals. This pattern continues on in adult life. Modern analysts have a particular way of working to help resolve these problems.



59 West 9th St. Bell #2

My office is conveniently located near the A, F, C, Q, V, 1, 9, and 6 and 4 trains as well as near the PATH train at 6th Ave. and 9th St.

I invite you to call
212-228-3467 or  email me
to arrange a consultation.

Calling is recommended, but I will reply to your email. If emailing please include "therapy" in the subject field.


Video What Makes for a Good Therapy Session _Difference between Classical and Modern Psychoanalysis





Transference/resistance group for therapists forming now.

Expand your awareness of thoughts and feelings that are often suppressed with clients. Discover motives for resistance to expression of feelings so you can help clients who have similar problems. This group is a way to develop assertiveness and creativity in your work with clients. Dr. Sehl has over 15 years of experience with this kind of experiential group. Contact Dr. Sehl by email or call 212-228-3467.


How is Modern Psychoanalysis different?

Many classical analysts have the idea that a treatment can not be defined as psychoanalysis unless it is carried out 3, 4, or 5 times a week and rely primarily on the intervention of interpretation.

Modern psychoanalysts may see patients at various frequencies up to 3 or 4 times a week, but do not have any set frequency of sessions as a requirement to be in psychoanalysis. That is because the essence of psychoanalysis is seen as working with resistance and transference which was Freud's perception of an analyst's work.

Modern analysts often see patients on a weekly basis because many patients feel too stimulated and anxious by visits more frequent than once a week. Since interpretation is often experienced by many patients as criticisms, modern analysts have an approach that resolves the blocks to emotional communication without relying primarily on the use of interpretation.

The techniques of modern psychoanalysis are informed by the teachings of Dr. Spotnitz, a Freudian himself but who formulated an approach geared to working with people who were viewed as untreatable by Freud and some of his followers. Although Spotnitz introduced new interventions he saw the foundation of analytic work as focusing on understanding transference and resolving resistance.

My training comes from the best of both worlds: through the Institute for Modern Psychoanalysis under Dr. Gerald Lucas, and through the Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research where the classical approach to psychoanalysis was taught.

What is psychoanalysis like?

The analyst wants to hear what brings you to analysis. It could be some crisis, or a long standing problem that repeats itself. Sometimes people don't feel well and just can't put their finger on what's wrong. An analyst listens without judgment.

The sessions are not intrusive. You talk about what is on your mind. This is your time.You don't have to talk about any one thing unless you want to. The analyst responds when you have questions.

Many people have the idea they have to talk about the past. This is not true. It might be good not to talk about the past. Someone once came to me and said she never came to therapy because she thought she had to talk about the past. I said no, just come and talk about whatever you want. She talked about the past much later because her past was relevant to her current problems. And as a child there were many things she "had" to do or else. She was not asked what she wanted to do.

The analyst is there to help you understand what blocks you from having more joy and satisfaction in your life. Modern analysts are trained to help you eventually resolve those blocks so that you can have a more fulfilling life.



Professional presentations:

“Modern Psychoanalysis and Effective Interventions in Psychotherapy:     Working With The ‘Difficult’  Narcissistic Preoedipal Patient” sponsored by the Metropolitan Society of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapists- The David Wachstock Clinical Series, May 2, 2010

"Problematic Substance Use and Patient Retention: The Role Transference and Countertransference Play in Forming Effective Interventions" presented at the NAAP 37th Annual Conference- Thriving in Turbulent Times: How Relevant is Psychoanalysis Today? - Desmond Tutu Center, Oct. 24, 2009, NY.

"Living With Chronic Illness"-In Search of a Cure for Mast Cell Disease-2009 Annual Conference, The Mastocytosis Society, Oct. 1-4, 2009, Tenafly, N.J. Talk Oct. 2, Mast Cell patients group moderator, Oct. 4.

Harm Reduction 101 and 102
Nov. '06, Oakland, CA, 6th National Harm Reduction Conference

The Multiple Meanings of Substance Use And the Therapeutic Relationship
Nov. '04, New Orleans, 5th National Harm Reduction Conference

TV and Radio appearances:

TV. Dr. Sehl appeared on NBC's Last Call with Carson Daly TV show, July, 2004.

Radio talks: Discussed Phobias on Rachel Quimby's show "Grey Matters" - WKCR FM NY, February, 2006.

Work With the Community

Grief Counseling for a lower manhattan corporation following the aftermath of the 9/11 attack. Dr. Sehl facilitated a group of 60 employees and their managers, and provided counseling to staff members

Dr. Sehl was a grief counselor at the Aaliyah Memorial at Cipriano's. Aaliyah, a promising R&B singer-actress, died a tragic death at the age of 22 in an airplane crash. Aaliyah recorded "One in a Million" and was cast in Romeo Must Die.

Presentation of What Leads to Problem Drinking -How to Help, on Alcoholism Awareness Week at The Juilliard School



Sehl, M. (1994). Stalemates in therapy and the notion of gratification, Psychoanalytic Review, 81 (2), 301-321.

Sehl, M. (1998). Erotic countertransference and clinical social work practice: A national survey of psychotherapists’ sexual feelings, attitudes, and responses, Journal of Analytic Social Work, 5 (4), 39-55.

Sehl, M. (2002) One Woman's Struggle for Dignity. In A. Tatarsky (ed.), Harm Reduction Psychotherapy: A New Treatment for Drug and Alcohol Problems. New York: Aronson, 2002.