About Me


I have a background in the arts, and began the process of career change in my mid-thirties.  I tried out a couple of alternate arts-related career paths, but gradually came to understand that the meaning as well as the joy in my experience of the creative process was intrinsic to the practice of psychotherapy.

For me, psychotherapy is fundamentally a creative process - and a collaboration with those I'm working with.  The ability to bring our authentic selves to a creative interaction with the outside world is a good description of emotional health, and in many ways, a goal of my work as a psychotherapist.

I got an MSW from NYU in 1997, began a private practice in 1999, and went on to become a certified Psychoanalyst.  While transitioning to full-time private practice, I worked in a treatment program for those with serious mental illnesses and addiction disorders, and then as a one-person EAP at Local 802, New York City's union for professional musicians.  Over the course of my career, I've worked with a wide range of issues including anxiety and depression, recovery from addictions, the challenges of finding one's way in early adulthood, relationship problems, and the many issues that confront those working in the creative and performing arts.

Learning is life-long, and I continually seek out new ideas, and a deeper understanding of the psychotherapeutic process.  I participate in professional supervisory and reading groups, attend conferences and workshops, and over the years I've studied and done training in a range of topics.  I have a particular interest in somatic and creative therapies.

I've had additional training in couples therapy, in programs that exposed me to a wide range of approaches, and I completed Level I of the more focused Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy (PACT).  Developed by Stan Tatkin, PACT is a creative integration of attachment theory, affect regulation, and neuroscience. That's a fancy way of saying it helps couples to know more about how they unwittingly trigger each others anger, and fear - what pushes them apart, as well as how to help each other feel loved and safe - what pulls them close.

I'm a supervisor and faculty member of the Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Study Center where I've taught Introduction to Object Relations.  In addition, I've taught the course Reading Winnicott for the Institute for Expressive Analysis.

Leslie Cardell, LCSW
  150 West 95th St., #1B New York, NY 10025 US
  [email protected]

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