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About Me

Psychotherapist, Author, Blogger, Speaker...

But who am I really? And why do I write and teach about emotions?

Hilary Jacobs Hendel developer of the Change Triangle and author of It's Not Always Depression.

I have a passion for helping people become their authentic selves. Being "real," or authentic, just feels better. And it leads to all sorts of good things: connection, compassion, calm, creativity, courage and confidence. I often do this work using The Change Triangle® - a tool for finding the true Self. It helps people become reacquainted with core feelings like anger, sadness, fear, joy, and excitement. And to my own joy and satisfaction, it has helped many, many people recover a vital, more engaged, more authentic Self.

I grew up in New York City in a culture of "mind over matter." Raised by a psychiatrist and a guidance counselor, family time included analyzing our thoughts and dreams. Feelings were rarely mentioned (except perhaps to discuss how to get rid of them!) I thought I had total control over my emotions. But I was wrong. As an adult I learned from my own experiences with depression, anxiety, and shame, how ignoring emotions and their physical manifestations is problematic.


As an eager student of theories and methods of psychotherapy treatment, I began to study the incredible new developments  - many thanks to MRI and similar technology advancements - in the science of emotions. All of a sudden, things clicked! I began to understand myself in a whole new way and I began to feel a lot better too. Other people's actions started to make more sense. Since studying and practicing what I've learned I feel better about myself and I have prospered in many ways.


Now I want to share what I (and many psychotherapists and researchers) know about the new science of emotions. I want others to learn what I had the good fortune to learn: that core emotions provide a path to physical and psychological well being. Everyone can learn to deal with emotions effectively, channel them for the good of themselves and others, and improve how they feel and live!


I have a degree in psychoanalysis which I studied for many years. But, now, thanks to emotion science, instead of looking at psychological symptoms as pathology/evidence that someone is "broken," I understand symptoms as brilliant non-verbal communications that tell us something is wrong and needs to be addressed from a standpoint of compassion and curiosity. In most cases I find that people have lost touch with their core essential being - their sense of Self.


Why do we lose touch with our core Selves? As children, we all have the job of adapting to our families, our peers, our communities and our culture. We sacrifice self-expression to stay in the good graces of those we need. This is essential for survival. But when we deny, thwart, or exclude too much of our authentic Selves to maintain our connection to others, we can fail to thrive. Fearing we won't be loved and accepted as our true Selves - flaws and all - we teach ourselves to hide our true feelings. All this survival behavior leads to chronic shame, anxiety and more. 


As adults, adaptations we made unconsciously as children no longer serve us. And technology has pulled us into our screens, (phones, tablets, computers) making it even easier to avoid our emotions and connections with others. As adults, we need access to our core feelings to have a sense of Self.


Our feelings are a compass for living, informing us about what we want and don't want, about who turns us on, what excites us, what hurts us. Ignoring emotions leads to stress, anxiety and difficulty finding joy and peace - a feeling of loss of Self.


It doesn't have to be this way! Anyone can live a life in harmony with his or her core feelings. How? By getting to know those emotions. That is what The Change Triangle is all about: it's a map back to the true Self.




  • Bronx High School of Science

  • B.A. Wesleyan University

  • M.S.W. with Clinical Concentration at Fordham University

  • The Institute For Contemporary Psychotherapy, Four year Certification program in Psychoanalysis

  • Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP), Certified Psychotherapist and Supervisor

  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Level 3




  • Private Practice, New York City

  • Mad Men AMC TV: Mental Health Consultant 

  • Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy

    • Psychotherapy and psychoanalysis for adults 18 and up

  • Training Institute For Mental Health

    • Psychotherapy for adolescents and adults

  • Fountain House Case Worker

    • Building on personal strengths to help get people with severe mental illness back into normal life through work and education

    • Case Management


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