Paul Wachtel


Main Affiliation


Areas of Expertise/Research

  • Materialism and its Psychological Causes and Consequences
  • Psychotherapy Psychoanalysis


North Academic Center





Paul Wachtel

Biography & Education

Paul L. Wachtel is a Distinguished Professor of Psychology at CCNY. He did his undergraduate studies at Columbia and received his doctorate in clinical psychology at Yale. He is a graduate of the New York University postdoctoral program in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy and is an adjunct faculty member there. He was a cofounder of the Society for the Exploration of Psychotherapy Integration (SEPI) and is a past president of that organization. He has lectured and given workshops throughout North America, South America, Europe, and Asia both on clinical matters and on the applications of psychological theory and research to the pressing social problems of our times. He is a Fellow of Divisions 12, 29, and 39 of the American Psychological Association and was the winner of the 2010 Hans H. Strupp Award for Psychoanalytic Writing, Teaching, and Research, the 2012 Distinguished Psychologist Award by Division 29 (Psychotherapy) of APA, the 2013 Scholarship and Research Award by Division 39 (Psychoanalysis) of APA, and the First Annual Sidney J. Blatt Award for Outstanding Contributions to Psychotherapy, Scholarship, Education and Practice in 2018.

Syllabus: Practicum IIIA: Integrative/Relational Approaches
Syllabus: Theory I: Integrative Approaches to Psychotherapy
Syllabus: Theory VI: Basic Science and Clinical Practice

Degree/Date: A.B. 1961
Institution: Columbia University
Specialization: Psychology

Degree/Date: M.S. 1963
Institution: Yale University
Specialization: Psychology

Degree/Date: Ph.D. 1965
Institution: Yale University
Specialization: Clinical Psychology

Certificate in Psychoanalysis
Institution: New York University
Post Doctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis



Research Interests

The psychology of greed and materialism.
Integration of psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, systemic, and experiential/emotion-focused approaches to therapy.
Applications of psychological theory and research to issues of race relations, materialism, inequality, and climate change.
Vicious/virtuous circles and reciprocal causal processes in personality, psychopathology, and psychotherapy.
Implications of the findings of behavioral economics for understanding of personality dynamics.


Recent Publications:

Wachtel, P. L. (2014). Cyclical psychodynamics and the contextual self: The inner world, the intimate world, and the world of culture and society. New York: Routledge.
Wachtel, P. L. (2014). Psychoanalysis and its social context. Psychoanalytic Perspectives, 11, 58-68.
Wachtel, P. L. (2014). Introduction to Japanese translation, Therapeutic communication: Knowing what to say when, Second Edition. Tokyo: Kongo Shuppan.
Wachtel, P. L. (2014). Review of “Obama’s Race’ by M. Tesler & D. O. Sears. Political Psychology, 35, 1, 125-127.
Wachtel, P. L. (2014). Depth, perception, and action: Past, present, and future. Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 24, 332-340.
Wachtel, P. L. (2014). On the limits of theoretical fundamentalism. Journal of Psychotherapy Integration, 24, 95-98.
Wachtel, P. L. (2014). An integrative relational point of view. Psychotherapy, 51, 342-349.
Wachtel, P. L. (2014). When the context is in the room: Extending the relational paradigm. Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 24, 419-426.
Wachtel, P. L. (2015). Reflections on relational psychoanalysis and psychotherapy integration. In J. Bresler & K. Starr (Eds.), Psychotherapy integration and relational psychoanalysis (pp. 282-302). New York: Routledge.
Wachtel, P. L. (2015). Cyclical psychodynamics. In E. S. Neukrug (Ed.), Encyclopedia of theory in counseling and psychotherapy, Vol.2 (pp. 264-268). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Wachtel, P. L. (2015). Symptoms, character, and context. Journal of Psychotherapy Integration, 25 (3), 187-195.
Wachtel, P. L. 2015). Still crazy after all these years. The Integrative Therapist, 1 (1), 2-3.
Wachtel, P. L. (2016). Psicodinamica ciclica: Il mondo esterno, il mondo interno, e il loro rapporto attraverso l’azione. Psicoterapia e Scienze Umane, 50 (2), 189-206.
Wachtel, P. L. (2016). Psicoanalisi e psicoterapia: teorie, pratiche e contesti multipli. Psicoterapia e Scienze Umane., 50 (3), 617-624.
Wachtel, P. l. & Abernathy, A. (2016). Cyclical psychodynamics and group psychotherapy. The Group Circle, Fall 2016, 1-6.
Wachtel, P. (2016). Personalities of Psychology. E-mental: Electronic Journal of Mental Health. 4 (3-4), pp. 46 - 53. ISSN 1339 - 4614 [Osobnosti psychológie. E-mental: Elektronický casopis o mentálnom zdraví. 4 (3-4), pp. 46 - 53]
Wachtel, P. L. (2016). Preface to Japanese edition. In P. L. Wachtel, Inside the session: What really happens in psychotherapy? Japanese translation. Tokyo: Kongo Shuppan
Wachtel, P. L. (2017). The more things change, the more they remain the same: The poverty of affluence in 2016. In P. L. Wachtel, The Poverty of Affluence, Revised edition. Brooklyn, New York: Ig Press.
Wachtel, P. L. (2017). Psychoanalysis and the Moebius strip: Reexamining the relation between the internal world and the world of daily experience. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 34, 58-68.
Wachtel, P. L. (2017). Principles of change in individual and couples therapy. In E. F. Wachtel, The heart of couple therapy (pp. 245-268). New York: Guilford.
Wachtel, P. L. (2017). Psychotherapy integration and Jeffery Smith’s structured interview. The Integrative Therapist, 3 (2), 5-6.
Wachtel, P. L. (2017). Cyclical psychodynamics. In A. E. Wenzel (Ed.), The Sage encyclopedia of abnormal and clinical psychology, Vol. 7 (p. 947). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. DOI:
Wachtel, P. L. (2017). Attachment theory and clinical practice: A cyclical psychodynamic vantage point. Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 37 (5), 332-342.
Wachtel, P. L. (2017). The ambiguities of neutrality: Comment on Gelso and Kanninen (2017). Journal of Psychotherapy Integration, 27(3), 342-349.
Wachtel, P. L. (2017). The relationality of everyday life: The unfinished journey of relational psychoanalysis. Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 27, 1-19 DOI 10.1080/10481885.2017.1355673
Wachtel, P. L. (2017). A procedural, contextual, action-focused understanding: Response to Renn and Westerman, Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 27 (5), 546-556. DOI 10.1080/10481885.2017.1355685
Garcia-Leeds, C., Schneider, L. 7 Wachtel, P. L. (2017). Abordaje sistémico en familias latinas sobrevivientes de violencia doméstica en Estados Unidos (Systemic Approach in Latino Families Surviving Domestic Violence in the United States Revista Propósitos y Representaciones, ISSN 2307-7999, Jul.-Dic. 2017, Vol. 5, N° 2. En prensa e-ISSN 2310-4635.
Wachtel, P. L. (2017). Beyond silos: Toward a more a comprehensive foundation for the theory and practice of psychotherapy. In Opazo Castro, R., Psicoterapia integrativa EIS: Profundiazando la Comprension Potenciando el Cambio (pp. 34-39). Santiago, Chile: Chilean Institute for Psychotherapy Integration.
Wachtel, E. F. & Wachtel, P. L. (2018). Integrative couple therapy. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association (DVD).
Wachtel, P. L. (2018). What must we transcend to make progress in psychoanalysis?: Tribal boundaries, the default position, and the self-defeating quest for purity. In Axelrod, S., Naso, R. & Rosenberg, L.(Eds.), Progress in psychoanalysis: Envisioning the future of the
profession (pp 36-55). New York: Routledge.
Wachtel, P. L. (2018). Pathways to progress in psychotherapy integration. Journal of Psychotherapy Integration, 28 (2), 202-212.
Wachtel, P. L. (2018). The corrective emotional experience: Inside and outside the consulting room. The Integrative Therapist, 4 (3), 26-27.
Wachtel, P. L. (2018). Toward a more fully integrative and contextual relational paradigm. In Aron, L., Grand, S, & Slochower, J. (Eds.) Decentering relational theory: a comparative critique (pp. 73-91). London & NY: Routledge.
Wachtel, P. L. & Gagnon, G. (in press). Cyclical psychodynamics. In J. Norcross & M. R. Goldfried (Eds.), Handbook of Psychotherapy Integration, Third Edition. New York: Oxford University Press.
Wachtel, P.L. (in press). Multiple wishes, multiple fears: On parallelism in neural processing and the relation between person-centered and interpersonal explanations. Journal of Psychotherapy Integration

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