Psychiatrist’s New Novel About Psychotherapy

Psychiatrist Publishes Debut Novel

While case studies and clinical research papers can give one a factual insight into the hardships of those suffering under the yolk of mental illness, a local authdror and doctor is seeking to cast a revealing light upon such maladies in a far more accessible way to the general public.

Dr. Jeffrey Deitz, whose family lives in Massapequa Park, is a licensed psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who has been practicing in Connecticut and New York city for 30 years and counting. His debut as a fiction author, Intensive Therapy: A Novel, was published on June 16 by Greenleaf Book Group out of Texas. The book is currently available both in print and digital forms online via marketplaces such as Amazon and at select brick-and-mortar retailers nationwide such as Barnes and Noble.

According to Deitz, it’s a story about the seriousness of mental illness and how it can destroy lives, as well as how life-affirming the relationship between a therapist and their patient can

“The relationship, when it works, can be life-saving,” he said. “A lot of people have misconceptions, that they just go in and talk to a therapist, but that’s not true; illness can kill and therapy can save lives.”

The way that is illustrated in the book, according to Deitz, is by showing the relationship between a woman and her doctor over a number of years and how, by working together, they can save both her and her family.

Deitz’s novel, while a work of fiction, nonetheless draws heavily upon his many years of experience in the treatment of mental disorders. After writing several research papers on psychology throughout his career, he said that the idea to actually compose a fictionalized tale arose after being exposed to a new audience by writing and publishing several newspaper articles.

“My audience stopped being professionals and I started talking to everyday people,” he said. “My writing changed. My interest in the brain and the mind didn’t change, but who I was writing to did, so that meant learning how to be more journalistic and out of that grew a natural urge to tell a story of mine. The fiction medium, as opposed to simply writing case histories, allows the writer the liberty of getting inside the mind of the patient and the therapist and their relationship that you can’t do in any other form.”

However, actually learning how to craft a dramatic tale—as opposed to a detached, factual case study—took some effort and learning on his part, Deitz said. His book, from start to finish, took him a number of years to compose, refine and complete.

“Literally, it’s not just having the story, but learning how to tell the story,” he said. “You have to be coherent, have points of view, technique of how to give people backstories.”PsychologistBook_070315C

What initially attracted Deitz to the world of psychotherapy as a career in life was an early interest in chemistry and the mind, he said.

“I wanted to learn how the mind and brain worked and it seemed to me that if I was going to be a doctor, the field of study that was going to be the most natural for my interest would be the treatment of the brain,” he said. “The treatment of the brain and emotional disorders takes you right into psychiatry and it’s been beyond fulfilling for me. For someone that has interest in the biology of the brain and the psychology of the mind, to be able to put those two together…I get paid to do something that I’m intrinsically interested in and that I enjoy.”

Thus far, early response to his novel has been wildly positive, Deitz said, with rave reviews coming both from the mental health community and casual readers alike. “Professionals are saying that it’s a great insider’s peek into how therapy really works,” he said. “As far as readers go, one review notes ‘I got lost in the story, I didn’t want it to end, I’m sorry that I had to leave the characters, and I learned a lot about myself.’ They get vicarious therapy by reading this book. People are finally getting it.”

Deitz has been on the promotional circuit locally, doing book signings and readings to help get the word out about the novel. In addition, he is already laying the groundwork for a sequel that would mark the return of the protagonist in his debut, Dr. Jonas Speller, but this time the story would be told from the viewpoint of one of his patients as opposed to his own.

But regardless of where his newfound career path takes him in the future, Deitz hopes that his book is not only entertaining and engaging for readers, but that it may belay some misconceptions about the role of psychotherapy in treating mental illness and, as a result, prompt people on the fence to seek out help that they may have been avoiding otherwise.

“I’m not just proud…to me it’s exactly what I had hoped for,” he said. “I worked hard along with the publisher on every aspect of the book and I feel a deep sense of satisfaction that I was able to do this and make it a reality.”

To find out more, visit

Bookcon: Psychiatrist Explores Psychotherapy


 Intensive Therapy: A Novel by Jeffrey Deitz to be available for first time at Bookcon, New York City, May 29-30, 2015

 How Close is Too Close?



Set amid the thriving medical communities of historic Philadelphia and New York City, Intensive Therapy: A Novel, the debut fiction offering by psychiatrist Jeffrey Deitz, provides an intimate picture of the often complex relationship between analyst and patient. Written in a vein similar to modern classics such as The Prince of Tides and Ordinary People, Intensive Therapy is a close character study as well as a gripping, cultured read.

            Following the relationship of Dr. Jonas Speller and Victoria Schone-Braun over twenty years, the first third of Intensive Therapy sways back and forth in time between the early 1980s, when both are becoming adults and professionals, and 2004, when Victoria contacts Jonas because of a family crisis.

As a young woman, Victoria’s toxic relationship with her parents threatened her college education and her life, and Jonas helped her find the independence and strength to start anew. In return, her candor and insight helped the fledgling doctor see the flaws in his perceived character and training.

When Victoria and Jonas reunite during the final months of 2004, Jonas is struggling with family issues himself. From the time the two reengage until the novel’s end, the reader is immersed in Jonas’s and Victoria’s complex and compelling stories as tragedy nearly claims the lives of both her children. Jonas must act quickly to save Victoria’s family and her marriage, but can he do so without endangering his own?

“Psychotherapy is a very potent treatment. Unfortunately, a very common misconception is that people in emotional distress will be helped by simply ‘talking to someone,’” says Deitz. “That someone,” Deitz notes, “needs to be a highly-skilled empathic listener who can tease apart the many factors that contribute to any given patient’s condition. People who are seriously mentally ill or suicidal often deny the seriousness of their condition or enter treatment to mollify others. It takes a seasoned clinician to appreciate the clinical situation in its entirety.

Themes related to Intensive Therapy: A Novel explores include:

  • The realities and myths of the psychiatrist-patient relationship
  • The stigma associated with the term “mental illness”
  • The many forms of therapy – some of which can make a person worse when improperly medicated or administered
  • The widespread prevalence of mental illness and the high risk every individual bears of experiencing  either a mood disorder, anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, or substance-abuse disorder sometime during the course of his life
  • The fact that mental illness kills. When left untreated, major depressive episodes carry a 10% risk of suicide.
  • How psychiatrists are normal, flawed people with the same issues as everyone else;
  • Why psychotherapy should be a very interactive exchange and many contrary – even comical – myths need to be debunked.


“No book I’ve ever read goes so deeply into the minds of therapist and patient to flesh out the psychological effects one has on the other,” says Deitz. “My goal is to help clarify the many misconceptions about what therapy is or isn’t.”


Dr. Jeffrey Deitz is a psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, and writer who has contributed widely to professional psychotherapy literature, while also publishing articles in the New York Times and The Huffington Post on topics including sports psychology, sleep deprivation, and the power of psychotherapy. He has also contributed regularly to the New York Times blog about horse racing, one of his lifelong interests. In addition to his private practice, Deitz is an expert witness in the field of childhood sexual abuse. He is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at The Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine of Quinnipiac University, where he teaches second and third year medical students. He also supervises psychiatrists-in-training at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City. Deitz received his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and his medical degree from the University of Maryland School Of Medicine. He currently lives in Connecticut with his wife JoAnn. Intensive Therapy: A Novel is his first book.


Learn more about the book and connect with the author at, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Goodreads.

 Intensive Therapy (Greenleaf Book Group) is available in paperback and Kindle at, Barnes&, and select additional online retail outlets and local bookstores. 



Psychiatrist signs novel about psychotherapy

Booksigning June 13 – Author Jeffrey Dietz

Submitted by elmstreetbooks on Fri, 06/05/2015 – 3:57pm

Stop by Elm Street Books on Saturday June 13 12noon – 2:30 to meet and chat with local author Jeffrey Dietz. He will be signing copies of his novel about psychotherapy: “Intensive Therapy: A Novel”

Intensive Therapy is a good read.  The characters are genuine and compelling.  You care about them from the first page of the book.  The story is complex and interesting and reflects how messy life can be, for all of us.  And not only is this a great book to read it inspired me to think about myself and my interactions with family and friends, to look inside and ponder.  I was sad for this book to end and happy knowing I am better for having read it.  Jeffrey Deitz has crafted a fine novel that you will want to read and have a hard time putting down.” —Lori Lebas, Executive Walt Disney

Event date:
Saturday, June 13, 2015 – 12:00pm to 2:30pm
Event address:
Elm Street Books
35 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT 06840
ISBN: 9781626341869
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Greenleaf Book Group – June 16th, 2015

Indie Review Top Book Pick: Intensive Therapy


Transformation over twenty years in: INTENSIVE THERAPY: A NOVEL

By Jeffrey Deitz

Rating:  star star star star star

IR Verdict: INTENSIVE THERAPY: A NOVEL is an excellent read with very good pacing; so much so that at times it’s difficult to put down.

“Author Jeffrey Deitz, a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst himself, uses language and terminology that is credible and illuminating.”


Book Reviews, IR Approved, Literary Fiction  •  Aug 07, 2015

“INTENSIVE THERAPY: A NOVEL follows the relationship of a doctor and his patient from their first therapy sessions in the 1980s, then shifts to 20 years later to demonstrate how that therapy has transformed and affected them both.

In the story, a young beautiful woman in her twenties named Victoria Schone comes in for treatment to help her cope with being bi-polar, and to deal with her parents, mainly her demanding mother, Lorraine.   She receives treatment from Dr. Jonas Speller, a young handsome doctor of similar age, who is refining his treatment skills that include aspects of breaking the barrier between patient and therapist.  The treatment is so successful that not only is the patient helped by the therapist, but the therapist is helped by the patient.

This aspect of people helping each other through their contact with one another is the crux of this family novel.  Throughout the novel the reader sees examples of how the various close interactions with others helps one to make or remake themselves.  In the novel there is an exchange between Victoria and Jonas, which seems to sum this up completely:

“You changed my life, Jonas,” Victoria said. “I wouldn’t be me if it weren’t for you.”

“You changed my life, Victoria,” Jonas echoed.  “I wouldn’t be me if it weren’t for you.”

INTENSIVE THERAPY: A NOVEL focuses on this interplay that occurs between people throughout life, and the type of effect this interplay has on them.  Author, Jeffrey Deitz, a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst himself, uses language and terminology that is credible and illuminating.  The reader gains a great understanding of what goes on in the mind of a therapist as they’re listening to the thoughts and dreams of a patient as recounted by Dr. Speller through his analysis.  It’s quite an education in itself of just what comprises psychotherapy.

The author’s use of description is quite vivid, as in the example that occurs when recounting an accident in which a young man receives brain damage from a head injury; it is both enlightening and frightening at the same time.  The pacing in these scenes is quite intense and believable.  It’s also gratifying to see doctors at work, and doing their best to save a patient under extreme circumstances. Dr. Jonas Speller’s philosophy of life and psychotherapy are exactly what one would hope for from a doctor, caring and hopeful.

INTENSIVE THERAPY: A NOVEL is an excellent read with very good pacing; so much so that at times it’s difficult to put down.


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