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This profile was last updated on 1/27/06  and contains information from public web pages.

Dr. Fred Levenson

Wrong Dr. Fred Levenson?

Founder

TheraDate
 
Background

Education

  • NYU
  • California Graduate Institute
  • Center for Modern Psychoanalytic Studies
  • New School
6 Total References
Web References
Worldview: Marketing news and other sick stuff
www.stayfreemagazine.org, 27 Jan 2006 [cached]
Explained TheraDate's founder, Dr. Frederick B. Levenson, "Similarity throughout the literature promotes compatibility.
Today's News
www.prnewswire.com, 8 Mar 2004 [cached]
Dr. Fred Levenson, a New York psychoanalyst of 30 years experience treating hundreds of patients, has developed an online dating system that aims to dig deeper into the psyches of prospective romance-seekers.With an eye on the current 50-percent divorce rate that plagues America, Dr. Levenson says that "simply getting married" isn't the only goal.He believes that people are seeking bonding on a level that sustains couples for a lifetime and the best way to achieve that is to ask questions that more closely follow the kind of revelations that can appear in therapy.
Dr. Levenson, who created TheraDate.com to help nurture such in-depth findings, has worked out a number of new techniques that includes an online version of the Rorschach Inkblot tests (called "CompataBlots") and a therapy-session type of questioning that aims to reveal how people view the world and life's pleasures and difficulties.It will seek to find out how men and women relate to others and how they view themselves.
The service will offer individuals three choices in participation, designed to put them at the level of involvement they wish.They can choose to meet and chat casually, they can seek a long-term, more serious relationship, or they can choose to have their completed data matched by mental health professionals on the TheraDate staff.
Internationally known psychoanalyst, Dr. Fred Levenson is a published author whose works include "The Causes and Prevention of Cancer, The Anti-Cancer Marriage" and numerous papers and articles.He is a graduate of NYU, the New School, California Graduate Institute, and the Center for Modern Psychoanalytic Studies.For over 30 years he has worked as a Clinical Director, Adjunct Professor, Supervising Psychoanalyst and psychoanalyst in private practice, with experience in relationship problems, drug treatment, anxiety and cancer.He has appeared on radio and television programs including Good Morning America, Fox News, CBS, WINS 1010, NPR and "The Radio Chick" on Q104.3.His work has been reported in The New York Times, AP, New York Daily News, Psychology Today, NY Observer, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle and The Chicago Tribune.
New York Resident
www.resident.com, 7 Feb 2003 [cached]
If the singles scene makes you feel a little crazy, Manhattan psychotherapist Dr. Frederick Levenson suggests finding a like-minded mate: someone with similar obsessions, defense mechanisms and even nervous tics.
Sounds offbeat?Exactly.Levenson is the founder of TheraDate, a matchmaking service for people who are voluntarily in therapy.The program pairs singles based on confidential questionnaires completed by the people who supposedly know them best: their therapists.
Currently, close to 300 applicants each in New York and Los Angeles have consented to have their analysts submit their information to TheraDate, which is based in New Jersey.When the pools reach 750, the matching will begin, provided that the professional backlash that the service interferes with therapy does not deride the controversial program.Clients pay $800 for eight matches; Levenson anticipates a future annual $2,000 membership fee.
For the 57-year-old Levenson, a native New Yorker who has been in private practice for more than 30 years, TheraDate is the answer to much more than just bad dates.It's a preventive measure against a U.S. divorce rate of 50 percent.
"We don't know how to be successfully long-term married as a people anymore, and this is the most serious problem facing the country," said Levenson, a nationally certified psychoanalyst.Resorting to sarcasm to make a point, he added, "If you rely on just chemistry and hormones to get married in the United States, you should also be keeping a divorce attorney on retainer."
Levenson sees the country's high divorce rate as a call to action.Since mental health professionals deal extensively with relationship issues, they are the most qualified to set up lasting matches, he reasons.
...
"Every therapist I have ever supervised has had patients who have said, ëDon't you know someone you can introduce me to?'" said Levenson, who has worked at a drug rehabilitation program and a state hospital and has also taught at Hofstra University.The seeds for TheraDate were sewn over the years by Levenson's patients, who often asked him to try his hand at matchmaking.
"I couldn't do it," said Levenson."I would have been in a dual role of playing matchmaker and therapist, which is unethical."
Levenson is convinced that TheraDate's division of labor steers clear of the ethical minefield.A client's personal therapist only fills out informational forms and does not engage in matchmaking.That process is left to the TheraDate staff, who, in turn, are not involved in therapy of any kind.
Some mental health professionals view TheraDate as dangerous to the therapist-patient relationship.
...
"Matchmaking is as old as human beings, but [Levenson] is trying to make it more scientific than intuitive," said Dr. Jacobson.
...
Levenson, however, is undeterred, and his sense of urgency is fueled by his belief that bad relationships are actually a physical health hazard.
"America is a very carcinogenic country, and it corresponds to the divorce rate and crummy relationships," he said.
Levenson has authored two books, "Causes and Prevention of Cancer" and "The Anti-Cancer Marriage: Living Longer Through Loving," both exploring the psychosomatic aspects of cancer.The best bet against cancer, Levenson believes, is healthier relationships.Levenson himself has been married for more than 30 years to a fellow psychoanalyst and has three children.
Levenson claims that the matching system performed wonderfully in blind tests, and if TheraDate is successful, he plans to expand to every major metropolitan area and possibly to the gay and lesbian communities.If it fails to hit its applicant target by next April, those already signed up will get their $800 fee back.
He is hardly worried about his professional reputation.In fact, Levenson seems to take a certain amount of pride in being called, as he puts it, an "unethical sleazebag" by some colleagues.
"When Lister said to surgeons, ëWash you hands before you cut into people,' he was almost drummed out of his medical society," he said.
TheraDate matches up folks who are in therapy
www.azstarnet.com, 9 Sept 2002 [cached]
TheraDate's Frederick Levenson believes singles in therapy are drawn to others of like experience.
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
NEW YORK - Undeterred by the qualms of many experts, a New York psychoanalyst is trying to create a dating service in which men and women would be matched up by people who know them intimately - their therapists.
The service, which is signing up clients but not yet pairing them, is open only to people undergoing psychotherapy.In contrast to standard, self-composed dating pitches - "great sense of humor, loves the outdoors" - clients of TheraDate will be assessed on such factors as obsessiveness, defense mechanisms and nervous tics.
...
TheraDate's creator, Frederick Levenson, is convinced such data, obtained from confidential questionnaires completed by a client's therapist, can be the building blocks for compatible long-term relationships.He also believes that people in therapy are attracted to others with similar experiences.
"The smartest people are the ones in therapy," he said."They're wonderful people, very bright, very funny."
TheraDate would operate initially in New York City and Los Angeles, and possibly expand later - assuming enough clients enroll.
More than 200 people in each city have applied since March, but Levenson says matchmaking won't begin until the two pools of singles reach 750.Charter members are paying $800 each, to be refunded if too few clients join, and the annual fee would be $2,000 for those signing up after operations start.
TheraDate, which plans to offer up to eight dates annually, is for people who have undergone therapy within the past two years.They must gain the cooperation of their therapist, who fills out the questionnaire and submits it to TheraDate therapists who do the matchmaking.
Some mental health experts suggest that assisting in matchmaking for a client, even indirectly, is an improper role for a therapist.
...
Levenson rejects any suggestion that TheraDate would be unethical, saying its questionnaires are comparable to forms that therapists routinely submit to clients' health insurance companies.
He attributes his peers' skepticism to excessive caution and contends that therapists should be more engaged in efforts to curb divorce and promote happier marriages.
A basic premise of TheraDate is that similarities attract, even if that means having similar problems.
"Statistically, 'opposites attract' is a myth," Levenson said.
"Similarity of psychodynamics is what makes for good chemistry, and other dating services have no way of getting at it."
All content copyright © 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 AzStarNet, Arizona Daily Star and its wire services and suppliers and may not be republished without permission.All rights reserved.Any copying, redistribution, or retransmission of any of the contents of this service without the expressed written consent of Arizona Daily Star or AzStarNet is prohibited.
NorthJersey.com - Family
www.bergen.com, 28 July 2002 [cached]
"There's bound to be a lot more compatibility among a group of bright, verbal high-achievers who value self-reflection and are smart enough to be using therapy to improve their lives," says TheraDate's founder, Frederick B. Levenson, a psychoanalyst in Manhattan."And who are better qualified to do this than therapists, who've devoted their lives to understanding relationships?"
TheraDate was started this spring with small advertisements in New York and Los Angeles magazines, a Web site (www.theradate.com), and letters of introduction to 20,000 therapists in Los Angeles and another 38,000 in New York.Since then, about 200 people have signed up for the service in each city, including a lot of therapists themselves, according to Levenson.
The program is open only to those who have been in therapy for at least two months, or who have been in therapy at some time within the last two years.It's also restricted to people trying to cope with more mundane difficulties, such as problems at work or in romantic relationships, not those with more serious problems, such as violent tendencies, emotional disturbances, or substance abuse.
No couples have actually been fixed up through TheraDate, Levenson says, because he is waiting until the service has a large enough pool of patients - about 500 or so - to make compatible matches.
Membership will cost $800 a year for eight matches. (Levenson initially set a rate of $2,000, but has since dropped the rate to $800 as part of a "summer price special.")
Working with participating therapists, patients will fill out a confidential, 10-page survey that delves much more deeply than the usual dating service inventories, which may include embellished résumés - "Harvard MBA" - and preferences - "enjoys walks on the beach" - that don't reveal much about someone's character.
The survey asks questions about family history, birth order, parental relationships, education, sibling rivalries, and religion, as well as such questions as "What are your defense mechanisms?"and "What are your personality factors?"These more in-depth psychological profiles should result in better matches, according to Levenson, a certified psychoanalyst who has a doctoral degree from the California Graduate Institute in Los Angeles.The completed forms are reviewed by TheraDate counselors, who look for singles with complementary traits.
"For a relationship to endure," says Levenson, "people need to have similar psychodynamics - the notion that opposites attract is a myth."
Once patients have been matched with possible dates, both people are given each other's phone number, and the next step is up to them.
The TheraDate team has done some dry runs for training purposes and to see how the system works, mixing confidential surveys from clients, friends, and family with those of couples they know in successful marriages."We wound up matching these couples with each other almost 90 percent of the time," says Levenson, who believes that hooking up people who've been in therapy can reduce the divorce rate.
Not everyone, however, thinks that therapists are the best judges of someone's dating prospects.
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