Mind Stuff

As a psychiatrist, I spend an entirely too much of my existence thinking about minds. That bleeds into aspects of my improv and writing but in addition, being a psychiatrist has played an outsized role in what I write about (i.e., psychiatrist characters, psychiatric hospitals, suicide, etc.)

So, who am I as a psychiatrist? Well I had the good fortune to train in New York City, which in the 21st century was probably one of the last bastions of psychoanalytically-oriented psychotherapy training while also learning psychopharmacology and the “harder” aspects of neuroscience.

I was able to practice in that milieu for a number of years before re-locating to Ontario, as I realized that I am a generalist when it comes to psychiatry–I like seeing the spectrum of mental illness, a role that doesn’t fit well into the super-sub-specialized world of Manhattan. I’m also not much of an entrepreneur, so a universal healthcare system is more sustainable and rewarding.

That said, I am triple-boarded currently in adult and forensic psychiatry, and addiction medicine. I spend much of my time in emergency and urgent care psychiatry so acuity is probably my specialty as much as anything.

Past interests

Sadistic Personalities

Portrayal of psychiatry and mental illness in media

The impact of media on the experience and development of mental illness

More recent interests

13 Reasons Why from a cultural and analytical perspective

Coherent systemic approaches to addiction treatment across the spectrum of recovery

Brief Contact Intervention and the impact of telephone calls on fixed suicide risk

Mental Illness vs. Mental Un-wellness

The role of time in psychiatric diagnosis, treatment, and response


Butler J, Hyler S: Hollywood Portrayals of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Treatment:  Implications for Clinical Practice Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Clinics of North America, July 2005

Butler J, Kleinman S:  An International View of the PTSD Stressor Criteria.  American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law Newsletter, January 2007

Stone MH, Butler JR, Young KM:  Sadistic Personality Disorder.  Oxford Textbook of Psychopathology (ed. Millon T).  Oxford University Press, London, 2008