Michael Fayne, PHD

Michael Fayne, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst-in-training, and has been formally trained as a teacher of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR). Michael is in private practice in Manhattan, focusing on the integration of psychoanalytic and Buddhist/mindfulness-based approaches to psychotherapy. Additionally, he has a specialty in addiction and addiction-related issues, and serves as the supervisor of addiction treatment at the Freedom Institute in Manhattan. His publications include the chapter, “The Arrival of What’s Always Been: Mindfulness Meets Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy” in Mindfulness, Acceptance, and the Psychodynamic Evolution, (Ed: Jason M. Stewart, New Harbinger Publications, 2014)

"My first and most important spiritual teacher was my aunt, my father’s sister, a Franciscan nun, who throughout my childhood was cloistered – only able to interact with the outside world, including her family, on a very limited basis. In my early years she was an unreal and intriguing figure, this person we saw occasionally and under great constraints, but who exuded something, a kind of light from within, that I didn’t see anywhere else in my world. In my teenage years she became able to enter into our world more freely, and this unique light of hers filtered through our family’s very secular life in many ways. It was a sensing of the sacred in every moment, the felt belief that to live meant to live in the presence of God, always. This was not an academic pursuit nor an intellectual structure of ideas, but simply how she lived. And she had a way of being present to others, listening with her whole self to whatever they had to say, a silent listening that was often strangely transformative to the speaker. She was the most selfless person I’ve met and therefore the most unique and unforgettable. My experience with her is expressed in many parts of my life: my path into the helping professions, my interest in spirituality, contemplation and meditation of all sorts, and even the fundamental way in which these pursuits come together. For me, clinical psychology represents not only the opportunity to help, but also the wish to draw closer to the heart of human experience, which I do not see as different from the divine. And the only way a “spiritual life” makes any sense to me is in the context of other people, of drawing solace from their presence and of trying my best, given the ever-present limits of my desires and selfishness, to give solace."

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