John D. Gartner, Ph.D.
Dr. John Gartner
I've been practicing psychotherapy and teaching psychiatrists at Johns Hopkins University Medical School for over twenty years. My areas of specialization are Borderline Personality Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, and Depression. My office is conveniently located in Towson on the grounds of the historic Sheppard Pratt Hospital.
Borderline Personality Disorder
Borderlines have problems with impulsivity, mood swings, unstable relationships, and self destructive behaviors. Despite the seriousness of the condition, contrary to the stereotype, BPD is treatable, and I've had good outcomes in the vast majority of cases. It's intensive long term work, but with a properly trained therapist and a motivated patient the prognosis is good. In 1987, I completed a two year post-doctoral fellowship at New York Hospital-Cornell Medical in treatment of BPD working under the renowned Otto Kernberg, whose work helped define the disorder. While Kernberg's work emphasizes interpreting underlying psychodynamics and limit setting, in more recent years, I've been strongly influenced by Marsha Linehan's Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), with its emphasis on meditation, the cultivation of mindfulness, and learning of skills to manage emotional volatility.I offer my borderline patients an informed approach which is both tough (when needed) and compassionate in the context of a committed long term relattionship. Experience and research shows there is no substitute for this kind of therapeutic relationship.
While medicines are a valuable tool in the treatment of bipolar disorder, I have found that less is often more, and help patients find the balance that allows them to gain contol without bearing the unwanted side oeffects of overmedication.In addition to traditional therapy techniques I also use meditation to help patients gain impulse control and self-awareness. While I treat all forms of bipolar disorder, I have a particular interest in hypomania, a mildly manic temperament often found among highly creative people. My book, The Hypomanic Edge: The Link Between (a Little) Craziness and (a lot of) Success in America, which links hypomania to both success and the American temperament was named by the New York Times Sunday Magazine year in ideas issue as one of the most innovative and important new ideas of 2005. In my second book, In Search of Bill Clinton: A Psychological Biography, named one of the best biographies of 2008 by Booklist, official publication of the American Library Association, I present Bill Clinton as a case study in hypomania. In my work with hypomanics I emphasize how to gain self control while at the same time not losing one's creative spark, working to capitalize on hypomania’s strengths such as energy, drive, creativity, confidence and charisma, while also guarding against it’s liabilities such as arrogance, impatience, irritability and impulsivity. The cultivation of mindfulness helps the hypomanic slow things down enough so that they can make better judgments and choices, and increase their empathy for how others experience them, and protect their relationships from being damaged.
Depression is complex, and must be approached as a cognitive distortion, chemical imbalance, psychodynamic issue, behavioral issue, and relational issue. I've been working with depressed patients for almost thirty years, and employ all these tools in helping patients relcaim their lives from depression.
For more information please see my website http://www.johngartner.com/