Dr. Kurt Kastenholz

I have had a lifelong interest in the human mind. As an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I studied psychology and history, curious about both the workings of the human mind and patterns in the ways humans have interacted throughout time. I considered graduate study in psychology, but chose to enroll at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health so as to learn how to evaluate and treat patients in a comprehensive manner reflecting both psychology and the physiology of the entire human body. In medical school, I found that the field of psychiatry offered me the opportunity to engage in this sort of comprehensive evaluation, and the chance to make a significant impact on overall quality of life for people seeking care.

Following completion of medical school, I pursued residency training in psychiatry at Northwestern University. I was attracted to Northwestern particularly due to the strength of its training in a variety of psychotherapy modalities, in addition to a strong grounding in medical science. During training, I gained experience treating a broad variety of mental health problems in multiple settings, both inpatient and outpatient. I have been trained in numerous psychotherapy modalities including supportive, cognitive-behavioral, interpersonal, psychodynamic and family and couples therapy. Following residency, I completed two years of additional training in psychodynamic psychotherapy at the Chicago Psychoanalytic Institute. I also remain actively involved in teaching medical students and supervising residents in psychiatry at Northwestern University, where I am on the teaching faculty.

Clinically, I am greatly interested in mood disorders, both depressive and bipolar disorders. I also have a particular interest in working with patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder and other anxiety disorders. During evaluation and treatment, my focus is on developing an understanding of the patient’s symptoms throughout their lifetime, and the meaning and importance of those symptoms to the patient. This requires an integration of many different aspects of the patient’s life history, including relationships, cultural background, education and vocation, trauma, sexuality, and gender, among others. I work collaboratively with each patient to create a mutually agreed-upon treatment plan based on our shared understanding of the problem areas and therapy options. I believe that collaboration and mutual engagement in discussion strengthens our alliance, and enables a comprehensive and multidimensional approach to treatment.

Download my Curriculum Vitae in PDF format.

Dr Kurt Kastenholz