Alumni Profiles

Claudia Sheftel Luiz | PsyaD, Cert. Psya, EdM

Graduate,  Doctor of Psychoanalysis

After training at BGSP, while enjoying a successful private practice and raising two daughters with my husband, I started writing an advice column for The Daily News Transcript called “Claudia Confidentially.” Essentially, it was about navigating emotions. And it was a fresh perspective, because most self-help tells you what’s “best” and I never did that. For example, I wrote that sibling rivalry could be helped by talking to your children about what was going on—telling a story about their story and even getting them to add to the story. Apparently, nobody had ever said that before, and that particular column got very widely distributed. Ultimately, I won an award for that writing from Writer’s Digest in 2008.

I also won the Phyllis W. Meadow Award for Excellence in Psychoanalytic Writing in 2006 for a clinical paper I had written, and it was starting to look and feel like I was developing a writing career. I credit my personal analysis for the tremendous creative freedom I was enjoying, as well as for the stability of raising a family.  At BGSP, when you learn about emotion, you start with yourself, and it pays off personally as well as professionally.

Wanting to bring this rich, multi-level educational and personal experience to bear in a commercial arena, I started reading self-help extensively, to see where I might fit in. I was completely appalled reading self-help, by the expectation that we can just push a button on ourselves to get better. There are way too many parts of our minds that are still unknown to us. My education at BGSP had taught me how to access those unknown parts of ourselves, and I applied the method to a set of stories that could best communicate this to the general public.

To date, my book, Where’s My Sanity? Stories that Help, has been getting a lot of acclaim. Currently it is listed on Amazon next to Love’s Executioner as well as Man’s Search for Meaning because it is doing so well.

I look back on my training at BGSP with gratitude, and return there regularly for the stimulation and depth of conversation. I hope to enjoy my connection to the school for a long, long time.

My latest book is The Making of a Psychoanalyst, published by Routledge press, 2018

To learn more about Dr. Luiz’s book, Where’s My Sanity? Stories that Help, please click here.