About Dr. Ellen Siegel

August 31, 2009

Dr. Ellen Siegel, licensed psychologist
Dr. Ellen Siegel is a clinical psychologist working with a full range of adult patients, both individuals and couples.  She practices primarily from a psychodynamic perspective: in other words, she works to help patients emerge from their life-struggles primarily through the development of a supportive relationship, through review of how their lives so far have affected their current situations, and through the development of insight (by both therapist and patient) into the patient’s conflicts and interpersonal difficulties. Dr. Siegel also integrates tools and techniques from other theoretical perspectives, as appropriate to the individual circumstances. For instance, in a given case, she might draw upon focused behaviorally-based interventions to address depression or low self-esteem.

Dr. Siegel has special interests in, and experience with, issues of loss, grief and bereavement; medical illness (including terminal and chronic illnesses); trauma (including physical, sexual and emotional abuse); depression; anxiety; relationship issues; attachment issues; chronic mental illness; and personality disorders. In her work with patients, she attempts to help them live happier, more focused and satisfying lives through a process based on understanding (and then restructuring) their anxieties and their self-defeating interpersonal behaviors.

Dr. Siegel is a firm believer that “we are all more human than otherwise” — she does not start from a position of thinking that she has all the answers, but believes she and her patient are both experts who will find answers together.  Moreover, holding that each of them is subject to human frailties and foibles, she recognizes that at times she and her patient will need to work through an impasse and learn from it together, and that it is often from resolving such impasses that progress and growth in therapy comes.

Dr. Siegel is a Clinical Instructor in Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and a former staff psychologist at Cambridge Health Alliance.  She is now in private practice, with offices in Cambridge and in Newton, Massachusetts.