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Dr. Eryn Oberlander (MD)
Psychiatrist Guide to the Journey for Love: Preparing yourself for Love,
Couples Therapy to cultivate first-rate Love, Divorce recovery and renewal
Eryn L. Oberlander, M.D. is a Yale and Columbia educated, Board Certified Psychiatrist with private practices in Midtown Manhattan and Great Neck, Long Island. She is also a Certified Health Coach trained by the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. Dr. Oberlander believes that people are happiest when they are vital in health, purposely productive in their work, and securely connected and fully authentic in their love relationships.
Dr. Oberlander has always been interested in the creative and healing force of love. Her undergraduate thesis, a Summa Cum Laude work at Amherst College, was on Sacred and Profane Love: The Conversion of Eros to Agape. Writing her thesis was fueled by the heart-tugging emotions of dissolving her own first love romance; de-cathecting invested psychic energy from the relationship back into herself and her projects. We learn from the school of life and love, however struggling those lessons are. It is through being fully with another, daring to generously love; and sometimes separating from them, that we add to and define ourselves, and evolve ourselves toward an even-better-quality love. Our soulmate is sometimes not our easiest company; but the person who shines a flashlight deep into our emotional recesses, trumpeting that it is time to rise and develop. Relationships are our makers; they stir and highlight our emotions. We are changed and internally enriched by everyone we love.
Bonding and attaching to mother’s love conjures our infant self into being. Touch and affection primes and develops our human nervous and immune systems. We first discover that we exist by the mirrored feedback of our parents, and their facial responses back to us. We are social animals, and our need for love is primal. Love is our physical and psychological foundation.
We walk and become free to explore the world, but go only so far as we feel secure to return to our secure person of love. We continue to want variety and autonomy balanced by a secure home and hearth. We want validation and unconditional love, but sometimes we are unseen or criticized. Our parents were too problematic or distracted to give us the pure uninterrupted love we needed. Early childhood’s emotional milestones seldom roll in smoothly; we are born into an imperfect world. Is it any wonder most of us emerge marred by shame, self-doubt, self-rejection,, mistrust, insecurity, addictions, destructive habits, obsessions, sabotage, and fears. Then questing for love does takes us into vulnerable territory. We don’t believe we are good enough or ready. We fear losing ourselves in gaining another. We fear being naked physically and emotionally, revealed as our baby self beneath our adult demeanor. As a psychiatrist and personal coach, I can support you toward emotional maturation beyond this vulnerability.
“Intimacy is a difficult art, “ wrote Virginia Woolf. The instant ‘chemistry’ we feel for another, sometimes predicated on a signature physical feature that symbolically whispers to us that standing before us is the ‘Chosen One’ who, in sharing our love, will take us to the brink of early emotional triggers. We are compelled to master sensitivities so that we will feel complete. Present romantic relationships telescope us back to the emotional child of our past. Sex is adult play; we feel the exhilaration and joint adventure of going out to romp unstructured in the park with a mate who sets free our bodily imagination. Like Russian stacking dolls, our bigger adult selves are housed around smaller, younger inner selves. But, we are flesh and not wood; and these inner selves cry out dynamically. I can help you translate this emotional language, and re-direct it into creating more satisfying Love relationships.
We live in confusing times, with changing gender roles and assignments. Women are expected to be Amazons professionally, but they forget –or never learn- how to be magnetic personal Courtesans and Muses. Schools educate us cognitively, but we learn the social and emotional from equally confused peers. Women must re-embrace their feminine essence and the slow seductive. Our allure is in our speech, gesture, facial expression ("le regard"), dress style, and the way we move through space. Historically women have been the civilizers; who pace the course and destiny of relationship. How this is done is indirect – the opposite of the way we get it done at the office! Men do best as pursuers; who are inspired, wanting and willing to work for a goal. Women blossom when they feel desired; their self-esteem as women plummets when dragging a passive-aggressive man into relationship. I can help successful women feel personally worthy enough to transform the romantic.
Relationships are a true spiritual practice between people: We develop better in a feedback loop than in self-imposed isolation. My webiste demonstrates that much of my professional practice concerns health optimization through nutrition. Working with women with eating disorders, we discover that the “hungry heart” is less about food; and more about being love-starved in relationships. Bulimia and binge eating is a ravenous sensual campaign to incorporate the outside world in; and then a rejection of that intake because the eating was done in a way that produces shame and bloat, without providing true spiritual nourishment. Anorexia is a complete removal form the energy exchange of the world , food, and love; because engagement feels too dauntingly and dangerous. The ascetic tries to live without food or love. Teaching and trying a new way of eating, finding one’s voice and one’s choice, inevitably results in a healthier way of doing life and love. I support people to move beyond making love to their refrigerator.
Love is the basis of all healing. The word heal means “to become whole” and to come home to the self. We rate doctors by their 'bedside manner'. Psychiatrists can help facilitate healing by listening to personal narratives and shifting emotional blockages preventing people from loving and caring for themselves. Once this emotional facilitation is done, often the body has the inner wisdom and biological template to heal itself. When we feel healthy and vital, we are at our best to engage in life with a loving perspective. Health promoting habits like mouth care, skin care, exercise and nutrition are the basis of cultivating self-respect. Tending to ourselves daily reminds us and concretizes for us that we love ourselves. Then we come from a place of bounty to extend our orb of love to others.
As Psychiatrist and Health Coach, I can facilitate your readying yourself for relationship. Once 'The One' is found, Couples Therapy can help grow and orient the relationship into a first-rate connection. Relationships are living breathing organisms and they sometimes need to be aired out or shifted in the sun to grow straight and strong. Keeping a finger on the pulse of relationship prevents a silent death or a sudden explosion. Most matters can be constructively addressed given the proper emotional environment. Where impossible impasses exist, and separation is necessary; I can help you deal with this transition. It is hard to let go of one trapeze bar not knowing when your next leap-of-faith is coming. The void of loss can feel terrifying. Divorce is best reframed as a learning experience from which we can absolutely renew and recover. It is never healthy to live in bitterness and constriction. Lady Liberty, keep your torch on!
I have gone to the prom, exalted in first love, gotten married as a lovely bride; birthed, nursed and raised three daughters; survived a challenging divorce, relate constructively with my former, been desired and rejected, attracted and created love again. Love to me is as basic and necessary as breathing! True to my physician orientation, I approach all things as a scholar with ethical integrity. I’ve read many, many books. Love and people matters though, are best tried and applied in the arena of life. Call upon me as an altruistic expert “doctor-girlfriend” in your adventurous journey to destination Love.
Eryn L. Oberlander, M.D.
Dr. Eryn Oberlander
Dr. Eryn Oberlander
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