William Auerbach, PHD
William Auerbach, Ph.D, is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology at New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis. He received his Ph.D. from the NYU Clinical Psychology Program and is a graduate of the NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis. He teaches Buddhism and Meditation at the Shambhala Meditation Center of New York.
"I think that being a psychologist and a meditation practitioner are life-long paths whose beginnings are found in my childhood. When I was in the first grade, I looked at a bulletin board with a picture of a man in the clouds. He had a large fluffy round face and blew wind and leaves from his open mouth. I thought, ‘That must be God!’ On another day I lay on the grass while gazing upward at the leaves silhouetted in the afternoon sun and saw a flash of ‘God’s” face. A thrill washed over me. On long walks with my beloved Dalmatian Patch along a wooded stream that meandered through the hills near my house, I sometimes felt lifted outside of my ordinary experience, that I was part of a boundless natural world. When as a teenager I felt an absence in my heart, I longed to be filled by something larger than myself. For a long time I told no one about these experiences, perhaps, because I was afraid they would not understand. Looking back, I see how often I sought out transcendental and sensuous experiences of a world larger and richer than my everyday life.
As an adult, I realized that the profound experiences of transcendence and space I sought as a child in nature, could also found in subjective experience. In psychoanalysis, I learned to sustain a deep curiosity about inner experience and to appreciate first-hand learning about deeply etched patterns of mind, emotions, and relationships. I came to see that if I had the patience and steadiness to go to the places that most unsettled me and my patients, then even the most painful situations could be transformed into understanding and insight. My view of psychotherapy is guided by the conviction that such therapeutic conversations help us realize our deepest freedom. And, that in the process, we can recognize the profound and loving relationship we share with other living beings. I think that this recognition not only relieves neurotic suffering, but also is a gateway to genuine and profound happiness."