Hilary Jacobs Hendel: It's Not Always Depression
Wednesday February 7: 7:00PM – 8:00PM
Fascinating patient stories and dynamic exercises help you connect to healing emotions, ease anxiety and depression, and discover your authentic self.
Sara suffered a debilitating fear of asserting herself. Spencer experienced crippling social anxiety. Bonnie was shut down, disconnected from her feelings. These patients all came to psychotherapist Hilary Jacobs Hendel seeking treatment for depression, but in fact none of them were chemically depressed. Rather, Hilary found that they’d all experienced traumas in their youth that caused them to put up emotional defenses that masqueraded as symptoms of depression. Hilary led these patients and others toward lives newly capable of joy and fulfillment through an empathic and effective therapeutic approach that draws on the latest science about the healing power of our emotions.
Whereas conventional therapy encourages patients to talk through past events that may trigger anxiety and depression, accelerated experiential dynamic psychotherapy (AEDP), the method practiced by Hilary and pioneered by Diana Fosha, PhD, teaches us to identify the defenses and inhibitory emotions (shame, guilt, and anxiety) that block core emotions (anger, sadness, fear, disgust, joy, excitement, and sexual excitement). Fully experiencing core emotions allows us to enter an openhearted state where we are calm, curious, connected, compassionate, confident, courageous, and clear.
In It’s Not Always Depression, Hilary shares a unique and pragmatic tool called the Change Triangle—a guide to carry you from a place of disconnection back to your true self. In these pages, she teaches lay readers and helping professionals alike
- why all emotions—even the most painful—have value.
- how to identify emotions and the defenses we put up against them.
- how to get to the root of anxiety—the most common mental illness of our time.
- how to have compassion for the child you were and the adult you are.
Hilary provides navigational tools, body and thought exercises, candid personal anecdotes, and profound insights gleaned from her patients’ remarkable breakthroughs. She shows us how to work the Change Triangle in our everyday lives and chart a deeply personal, powerful, and hopeful course to psychological well-being and emotional engagement.
Join us in the Rare Book Room as Hilary discusses her new book with Dr. Courtney Rennicke!
Hilary Jacobs Hendel, LCSW, received her BA in biochemistry from Wesleyan University and an MSW from Fordham University. She is a certified psychoanalyst and AEDP psychotherapist and supervisor. She has published articles in The New York Times and professional journals. Jacobs Hendel also consulted on the psychological development of characters on AMC’s Mad Men. She lives in New York City. Visit her website at
Dr. Courtney Rennicke is a Columbia University trained clinical psychologist. Dr. Rennicke specializes in attachment-focused approaches (DDP, AEDP) to working with adults, children and families. She is passionate about helping people and families understand their stories in order to form stronger connections within themselves and with others. Dr. Rennicke also enjoys teaching other mental health professionals, parents and organizations about how attachment based principles can improve the quality of their lives and the culture of their groups. Visit her website at