Dr. Kleiner Joins AnxietyConnection

Dr. Kleiner Health Guide
  • Hello. My name is Dr. Steven M. Kleiner. I am a psychiatrist living and working in the Boston area. I have had the opportunity to spend much energy and time trying to help people with anxiety. I am thus excited to be part of the AnxietyConnection community and help you navigate many of the problems that surface for those struggling with anxiety issues.

    Prior to entering medicine, I studied and briefly worked in the field of international affairs. I learned early on that anxiety is ubiquitous in our world; it pervades all areas of society, whether in the group or in any one individual; whether as part of the challenges of everyday life or as a debilitating clinical condition
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    It is a gift to have the power to help someone in pain. International Affairs required an understanding of policy, trends in power and history. But it lacked the simple strength to help a single person in the here-and-now at any given moment. There is a quiet comfort from knowing that your handiwork is embedded in someone else’s well being.

    But idealism is one thing. Medical school is quite another. I attended Cornell University Medical College and enjoyed it immensely (I also learned first hand about anxiety!). Yet much of medicine is about acquiring as much knowledge as possible about a specific subject, then applying it to the situation at hand.  But this skill is different than actually spending time with patients and thinking about their lives and their personhood in a complex manner. Memorizing a lush algorithmic tree for treating an arrhythmia is worthwhile, but where is the lateral thinking brought to bear about the person in front of you? Psychiatry thus became a natural choice. It required the rigors of a defined knowledge base with the opportunity to think laterally about a patient’s life and personal experience.  I completed my residency at The Cambridge Hospital as part of The Harvard Medical School residency program. As part of my training, I became interested and worked at MIT Mental Health.

    Since that time I have been in private practice, and treating many patients with anxiety syndromes. In my clinical practice, I am not wedded to a singular therapeutic approach. (i.e., behavioral, psychodynamic or pharmacologic) While a singular model to treating anxiety may feel theoretically elegant, different situations require different approaches. I have used both different approaches to therapy as well as medication interventions in my work. Furthermore, I am interested not only in how we diagnose or categorize anxiety, but also why certain people become debilitated by it. Often there are underlying psychodynamic causes to a person’s anxiety. I have found that the issue or focus of a person’s anxiety can often be a proxy for a deeper underlying feeling of vulnerability.

    I hope to use this blog as a forum to be your “eyes and ears” for what is new in the field of anxiety. I hope to learn through your questions about what is uppermost on people’s minds. Please feel free to submit questions to me. No question is too simple or mundane. While I cannot make a specific consultation, I can answer general questions that speak to larger subjects that are likely to be of concern to the membership as a whole. I look forward to becoming part of the Community.
Published On: May 07, 2007