Who Am I?
I was born in 1948, in Boston, Massachusetts, and lived in Lexington, Massachusetts, most of my life, except for two and a half years in Nashua, NH, and a year in Andover, Massachusetts. (My sister still lives there with her husband, but my brother, who lived most of his life in Houston, Texas, now lives with his wife in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.) I came to Munich in 1972 to get married to an Austrian, who lived here, and have lived here ever since. I go back to visit my friends and relatives in the US several times a year, so that I have maintained extensive contact with American culture and out-look. I also have many American friends living here and belong to an American church in Munich. My two children, a son, born in 1982, and a daughter, born in 1981, have both grown up here, attended Bavarian schools and the university, and feel just as much at home in America as in Bavaria. I have been fortunate to be able to find many wonderful German friends here and also feel at home in both Munich and the USA.
My Education: I changed my major a lot as an undergraduate, starting out in zoology, then becoming an art major for two years, and finally settling on psychology in my senior year. (I still like to paint in my spare time.) In 1970-71 I did my first practical work with patients in a state mental hospital in Western Massachusetts and then received a full fellowship to the doctoral program in Psychology at the University of Chicago in 1971. I became very interested in how the brain works and spent the first of my graduate studies investigating the ways drugs and alcohol effect the brain. I left the University of Chicago, with a master’s degree, in order to marry and move to Munich. There I was able to continue my research at the Max Planck Institute for Psychiatry and received my doctorate for this research in 1979 from the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich.
Working Experience: I was able to continue doing research at the Max-Planck-Institute for Psychiatry after graduation, which led me to an interest in the physiological regulation of emotions. I did some of the first research ever done into the function of endorphins in governing affect. I continued doing research at the MPI, until the birth of my first child in 1981. While raising my children I published my research free-lance and later worked with alcoholics in a clinic of the American Military (McGraw Casern, Munich) until the military left Munich in 1992. In 1992 I received a grant from the University of Munich to study the origin of eating disorders and personality disturbances at the Institute of Clinical Psychology, which belongs to the psychology department of the LMU. From September 1997 until June 2002 I worked as an assistant at the Psychiatric Clinic of the University in the Nussbaum Straße, Munich.
I completed a five year program of scholastic and clinic work, including supervised practice, in psychotherapy in February of 2001 at the Bayerische Private Akademie für Psychotherapie in Munich. (BAP, also known as CIP, or The Center of Integrative Psychotherapy. Please also see www.cip-medium.com for further information.) The kind of integrated psychotherapeutic work which I do, commonly referred to as Affective-Cognitive-Behavioral-Psychotherapy, targets the human psyche on the various levels of thought, emotion and behavior. For traditional reasons German insurances and licensing recognizes the therapy I do as “Verhaltenstherapie”, short VT (Behavioral Psychotherapy), to distinguish it from Psychoanalysis. In 2008 I completed a course of training in Medical Hypnosis at the Center for Applied Hypnosis, Mainz. (See also www.renartz.de for more information.) The application of this training has made hypnosis an effective addition to my practice.
Private Practice: I have had a private practice here in Munich since 1997 and do individual and couples counseling. I find that being able to speak both German and English fluently is particularly helpful when counseling couples with one English-speaking and one German-speaking partner. Also, I am, myself, familiar with the culture-shock that some people feel, when they come to Germany to live. Otherwise, my practice counsels people with many different problems, including depression, anxiety, panic-disorders, phobias, substance-abuse, eating disorders, situational problems, problems with work and family relationships, with post-traumatic stress disorders and many, many others as well. Some people come to me, because they find it is simply helpful to talk to a therapist in an effort to further their own personal growth or to help them relax or find more contentment in their own lives.