TIL that “celebrity psychiatrist” Dr. Isaac Herschkopf manipulated a patient into cutting off his family, giving him his home, signing over his bank account, and amending his will to leave everything to the doctor’s wife. Yet Dr. Herschkopf still maintains his medical license in New York City today.

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There’s a recent podcast about this guy! It’s called “The Shrink Next Door”, really popular and well reviewed. It was #1 on the Apple podcast charts a few months back. Definitely recommend if you’re into true crime podcasts, although I will say it’s a bit of a slow burn. Dr. Herschkopf is such a sick and manipulative man, certainly one of the most unethical doctors I’ve ever heard of. It completely boggles my mind that he still has his license to practice medicine! Btw, it wasn’t just that one patient–other patients have come forward with similar allegations. He manipulated a female patient into amending her will to leave everything to HIS kids! So sick. I’m a big believer in therapy so it sucks that this guy has made people question whether they can trust their mental health professionals. Also, I just can’t comprehend how his actions are not illegal, much less unethical.


Someone just left a comment saying it’s not a big deal because it was the patient’s fault for making dumb decisions and regretting them afterwards but they deleted it before I could post this reply: ​ I totally get where you’re coming from. Like someone else said, I definitely wanted to shake the patient at times when I was listening to his story. He is not an unintelligent man by conventional standards; he graduated from Wharton and was educated in business. He was, at least at some point, a millionaire. I see why it’s hard to view him as a victim, honestly. However, he was also emotionally vulnerable, socially isolated, and mentally struggling. No partner, no friends, few family. I think the reason people are horrified is that this guy’s own DOCTOR took advantage of his vulnerable state. Yes, what Marty did was naive at best and extremely stupid at worst. No, it couldn’t have happened to “just anyone” because many people would indeed say “fuck off” when their therapist (or anyone really) starts suggesting they hand over their assets. However, we’re talking about a highly educated and experienced PSYCHIATRIST trained in the science of mapping human emotions who identified this wealthy, vulnerable, isolated man, and sucked him dry almost to the point of bankruptcy over 27 YEARS while charging him $3 MILLION in “fees” for the therapy. Even if you think it’s SOMEHOW not due to the doctor’s influence that his patient decided to give him access to his bank account, to use his house as if it were his own, and to revise his will to leave everything to his psychiatrist’s family, it’s absolutely immoral that the doctor at the VERY least did not REFUSE his patient’s obscenely generous “gifts”. Few mentally and emotionally stable people would “gift” their therapist their entire life. Ike Herschkopf was this guy’s doctor, not some random acquaintance or unscrupulous relative. And he has faced little to no concrete consequences–professionally, legally, and financially–for his abhorrent pattern of behavior over several decades. His patient’s agency does not excuse his own agency. So I understand your perspective but I think you may be missing the larger point about the ambiguity of ethics in the field of psychiatry, the confusion of boundaries in the doctor/patient relationship, the lack of repercussions for doctors who mistreat their patients, the lack of transparency in the legal followup for professional misdeeds, the lack of translation from ethical guidelines to legal consequences, etc. All of that stuff makes this more than a story about some dumb dude and some predatory dude who took advantage of him.


This is very similar to what happen to Beach Boy Brian Wilson for decades. Except his quack of a doc also kept him super drugged up on anti psychotics during that time.


“Celebrity Psychiatrist” Isaac Herschkopf manipulated a patient into cutting off…..” Oh dear. “…his family” Pheeew!


I referred a friend and I go to the same therapist. We talk about it openly and see each other in the waiting room sometimes and say hi in front of her. She won’t acknowledge his existence to me or mine to him. That’s how seriously she takes her ethical responsibilities. She’s actually pretty normal for the industry in my experience. This guy has a slightly different approach when it comes to ethics.