Jeff Katzman, M.D.

For thirty years Dr. Jeff Katzman has studied the way we distance ourselves from our authentic truth, and from intimacy with those we love most, through the stories we tell. 

Dr. Katzman has been a lifelong student of the human condition. He is specifically interested in how we learn—at a young age, and to our detriment—to defend ourselves against the experience of our emotions and intimacy. Dr. Katzman's lifelong work has been to help patients overcome the isolation that informs so many modern lives. Dr. Katzman's interests are reflected by his education, his experience, his training, as well as his published work.

Jeff's study of contemporary psychodynamic theory began at the Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis; that path led to his further study of human attachment. He trained, and was certified, to use the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) , a complex instrument by which we come to understand how our children reflect the internalized and unconscious narratives of our own early experience encoded in our manner of communicating. He went on to use this training to inform work with patients and in research applications.

He has been trained extensively and certified as a practitioner of Intensive Short Term Dynamic Psychotherapy by experts in the field, and his work in the areas of attachment and psychodynamic psychotherapy has been published in multiple peer-reviewed journals. For decades, he has trained medical students and psychiatry residents in these areas through presentations and clinical supervision. These interests have increased Jeff's commitment to working with new parents, particularly fathers, in transitioning to their role, working through the psychological and logistical transitions involved in one of the most profound and wonderful transitions many human beings ever experience. 
Dr. Katzman has extensive experience in hospital administration. He served as the Chief of Psychiatry and Director of the Behavioral Health Care line at the New Mexico VA Healthcare System for many years. He served as the Vice Chair for Education for the Department of Psychiatry at UNM for 7 years, and is currently a Vice Chair of the Psychiatry Department responsible for Adult Clinical Services and Academic Affairs. Through these experiences, Dr. Katzman has become particularly adept at understanding systems, management, leadership and followership and how to enliven the organizations and institutions in which we find ourselves. He has been trained by a multitude of organizations including the A.K Rice Foundation, the Gallup Organization, the Arbinger Institute, the Studer Group, and LifeWings among others.

Dr. Katzman has also been deeply involved in creative work. He has consulted with actors about the characters they portray and create; the goal is to help the artist connect empathically to their character's authentic truths. He has worked with writers—especially screenwriters and playwrights—to help develop story and characters. He has also worked with writers struggling to overcome blocks.

Much of this interest in the creative process comes from Jeff's thirty-year background in improvisational theater. He is a perpetual student of improvisation, having trained at Second City in Los Angeles and Los Angeles Theater Sports, as well as Gorilla Tango Theater and The Box Theater in Albuquerque. His passion is not for performance alone; he seeks, instead, to understand the way that improvisation and spontaneity can enhance our human experience in our relationships, in the workplace, and in our communication with others. He trained at the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science and then created a similar training program working with scientists at the University of New Mexico. He worked with the Imagination Workshop in Los Angeles, which led him to use improvisation with other patient groups including Vietnam Veterans in Los Angeles. He has worked with psychiatry residents and medical students using improvisation to develop the capacity for collaboration and spontaneity so important to the therapeutic alliance. He has worked with interdisciplinary groups of providers in various hospital settings and with medical leadership teams to foster a sense of teamwork and joy in working together. He has worked with seasoned psychotherapists to tap into our deeper capacities for spontaneity and collaboration with clients.

In addition to his scholarly, peer-reviewed research, Jeff has also published two popular works. His study and love for improvisation is captured in the soon to be released work, Life Unscripted, co-authored with his improvisation mentor Dan O'Connor. His 2012 novel, The Storymaker, follows the protagonist Martin, as he seeks to reshape his life through the discovery of a spontaneous story. 

You can find a more traditional Curriculum Vitae here