Clinician Spotlight: Ariel Lachman, PhD

Innerwell Team

Let’s start with something easy. Can you tell us a little about your professional background and areas of focus?

I'm a New York State and NJ licensed clinical psychologist. I obtained my Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Pacific Graduate School of Psychology at Palo Alto University and a pre-doctoral internship at Robert Wood Johnson Medical Schoo/UMDNJ. I attended Boston Universtiy for his undergraduate degree in pre-medicine and psychology. I have extensive experience working with depression, anxiety, and disorders resulting from trauma in adults and adolescents. My training included the Palo Alto Veterans Administration in the traumatic brain injury unit and Stanford University School of Medicine: psychiatry department in schizophrenia. The vast majority of my psychotherapy training was conducted at community mental health clinics working with a diverse range of ethnic and cultural minorities in English and Spanish. In addition to the above training and experience I have also developed a special interest and is working toward specialization in chronic pain issues. I have trained for over three years at nursing and rehabilitation homes toward this goal.

More recently I have developed experience in psychedelic treatments, in particular Ketamine-assisted-psychotherapy (KAP) and received training in MAPS MDMA research rating. In addition I have taken coursework in psychedelic treatments at Fluence.

How would you describe your approach to therapy?

My treatment philosophy is an integration of cognitive-behavioral, psychodynamic, and humanistic-existential psychological theories. Despite what you may have read there is no "one right way" or form of psychotherapy that works better than any other for every psychological issue. The most sophisticated and recent research conducted to date indicates that most psychological orientations work about equally for most symptoms/disorders and that the "therapeutic agents of change" (the reason it works) is common in all psychotherapies. What are they? Elements of the relationship between the patient and therapist, such as; being experienced as trust-worthy, non-judgmental, and to be working together on established goals. Some forms of psychotherapy highlight and emphasize certain aspects of the work more than others and will work better for some patients, but not all. Finding the right fit for you is critical, and that might mean finding a therapist who you work well with and/or a type of psychotherapy that aligns with your view of the mind and world.

What would your patients say about you?

That I am consistent, empathetic, and willing to challenge them when appropriate. I may come across as a bit serious too, but once you get to know me my sense of humor seems to show up eventually!

How did you become interested in working with psychedelics including ketamine?

Hearing a talk by James Fadiman in Palo Alto many years ago opened up my eyes to the power and potential of psychedelics in general. Later through further reading I came to learn that Ketamine was being used to make great therapeutic gains legally.

What excites you most about the future of psychedelics?

The possibility that a very significant population which has suffered with myriad psychological/psychiatric issues despite going through many different treatments might finally have a truly powerful option to heal.

Enough about work! Let’s try some rapid fire questions;
  • First, Where do you live? - Brooklyn, NY
  • What's a perfect afternoon? - Doing something physically engaging, spending time with a friend out in the sun (if there is any), and reading something interesting.
  • Favorite food? Pizza/Pasta - Roast Chicken
  • Describe yourself in two words. - Open-minded and patient

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