Rachel Altstein, LP, JD
Psychotherapy / Psychoanalysis
60 West 10th Street, Suite 6B
New York, NY 10011
I am a licensed psychotherapist and psychoanalyst; my style is interactive and engaged - face-to-face - and I believe that the heart of the work resides in the therapeutic relationship. Within this relationship, I listen closely for how one’s past affects one’s present in ways that might be inhibiting, or might be creating patterns that seem to get in the way of contentment and generate a feeling of being stuck.
I understand that some people seek out therapy to address a discrete, well-defined issue, while others come out of a more abstract, gnawing sense that something in their lives could be different and better. In all cases, I invite collaboration in the process of reflecting on whatever issues are brought to bear in the treatment.
My training and licensure is grounded in psychoanalysis. Psychoanalysis, to me, simply means a particular way of listening deeply with another person. It does not necessarily mean having to go to therapy multiple times a week, or having to lay on a couch facing away from a therapist.
Issues that most commonly come up in my practice relate to career, relationship, anxiety, depression, parenting and trauma. As this is a second career for me - for many years I worked as a public defender before shifting to psychology - I also work very often with people in transition, transition of all kinds. Certainly, I carry with me a deep sense of advocacy for the individual from my legal background into my work as a therapist.
I see adults: individuals and couples. My office is in the West Village and the people I work with can submit my bills to their insurance carriers for out-of-network compensation. Feel free to call me at my office (347.581.7449) or email me at: to discuss a consultation for therapy.
more about me:
The National Institute for the Psychotherapies; License Qualifying Program
Certification in Adult Psychoanalysis, 2013
Brooklyn Law School, JD, 1996
University of Wisconsin-Madison: BA (Linguistics) 1989
Altstein, R. (2016a). Finding words: how the process and products of psychoanalytic writing can channel the therapeutic action of the very treatment it sets out to describe. Psychoanal. Perspect., 13.1: 51-70.
Altstein, R. (2016b). Ghosts and growth: reply to commentaries by anthony bass and steven kuchuck. Psychoanal. Perspect., 13.1: 89-95.
Altstein, R., (2017). The dice popper: How we describe what we remember. In Chayes, L.H. & Rosenblatt, T. (Eds.), Becoming a psychoanalyst: A Lifelong Pursuit: Finding One’s Analytic voice and Identity. New York: Routledge.
Altstein, R., (2017). The possibility and impossibility of teaching psychoanalytic writing: A review of Structure and Spontaneity in Clinical Prose: A Writer's Guide for Psychoanalysts and Psychotherapists: by Suzi Naiburg. New York, NY: Routledge, 2015. 273 pp. Contemp. Psychoanal., 53(1): 164-172.
Altstein, R. (2019). Life and death in loose threads: A tribute to my teacher, Lew Aron. Psychoanal. Perspect., 16(3):240-248.
NIP Case Presentation Series (October 2014). Paper Presented: “Internal Advocacy: Drawing on Themes from the Law and Legal Defense to Illuminate the Psychoanalytic Position.”
IFPE “Necessary Fictions” Annual Conference (October 2014). Paper presented: “Rethinking Process Notes: How We Tend To Make It Up As We Go Along And Why It Shouldn’t Be Any Other Way.”
NIP Fall Colloquium (September 2013). Paper presented: “Finding words: How Psychoanalytic Writing Inevitably Channels the Therapeutic Action of the Very Treatment it Sets Out to Describe.”
How to Read and Write Psychoanalytically
National Institute for the Psychotherapies, 2017 - 2018
Preparing for the New York State Licensing Test for Psychoanalysts (focus on writing required narratives)
National Institute for the Psychotherapies, 2015- 2018
Via private consultation, 2014 - 2018
AWARDS AND FELLOWSHIPS
Educators’ Award. National Institute for the Psychotherapies, 2013
Awarded to outstanding psychoanalytic scholarly paper entered by an NIP community member.
NIP Fall Colloquium Awardee. National Institute for the Psychotherapies, 2013
Granted to the author of a psychoanalytic scholarly work conducive to colloquium presentation.
Edward V. Sparer Public Interest Law Fellowship, Brooklyn Law School, 1994 - 1996
Grant awarded for purposes of supporting travel to and work for the Equal Justice Initiative, Montgomery, AL, to assist with defense litigation on behalf of death row inmates in the State of Alabama.
Judge Edward and Doris Thompson Award for Outstanding Performance in a Law School Clinic, Brooklyn Law School, 1996. Award earned for law student’s work in legal clinic designated to challenge New York’s then-imminent death penalty statute.
Kriendler Prize for Academic Excellence and Commitment to Public Interest Law, Brooklyn Law School, 1996
Licensure in Psychoanalysis, University of the State of New York (2013)
NY Licence No. 000908
Bar Membership. New York State, admitted 1997
Associate Editor, Issue Editor, Psychoanalytic Perspectives
Board Member, Beatrice Beebe Infant Research Board
Member, International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychology (IARPP)
Member, American Psychological Association Division 39 (Psychoanalysis)
Member, National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis (NAAP)
Private Practice, 2013 - present
Psychoanalyst; Psychotherapist. Ongoing psychoanalytically-oriented psychotherapy for individuals and couples.
National Institute for the Psychotherapies, 2008 - 2013
Psychoanalyst; Psychotherapist; Candidate. Worked in treatment center associated with NIP’s Adult Training Program in Psychoanalysis and Comprehensive Psychotherapy; completed NYS mandated supervision hours requirement.
Appellate Advocates, 1998 - 2004
Staff Attorney. Represented indigent criminal defendants in their appeals from state felony convictions, argued before the Appellate Division Court, Second Department; continued the defense to the New York Court of Appeals and to Federal Court via habeas corpus.
United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, 1996 - 1998
Pro Se Law Clerk. Drafted legal memoranda for all the Judges of the Court on matters in which one party was proceeding without counsel because of economic status or choice; provided advice to pro se litigants needing help navigating the Federal Court system.
New Visions for Public Schools, 1990 - 1993
Program Assistant. Assisted the director of a library-renewal initiative designed to create and renovate libraries in over 100 New York City public elementary schools.