The True Story Behind The Shrink Next Door

At first, Isaac “Ike” Herschkopf, a psychiatrist who talked of getting a “direct” method together with his “shoppers,” appeared like simply the individual Marty Markowitz wanted. When Markowitz began seeing Herschkopf in 1981, he felt overrun with duties, was grieving the lack of his mother and father and having inter-family points over management of his household’s materials firm. And the remedy did assist. However quickly, Herschkopf had prolonged management over different elements of Markowitz’s life far past the boundaries of a doctor-patient relationship. Over the subsequent 30 years, Markowitz would later allege, Herschkopf took management of his funds, moved into and pretended to personal his dwelling within the Hamptons and orchestrated his estrangement from his household. Their relationship led to 2010, when Markowitz started the method of taking again management of his life and calling consideration to what Herschkopf did to him.
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The unusual, unhappy story turned the topic of the 2019 Wondery and Bloomberg Media podcast The Shrink Subsequent Door, which was tailored into an Apple TV+ drama of the identical title, launched on Nov. 12, starring Will Ferrell and Paul Rudd as Markowitz and Herschkopf, respectively. In breaking down how this psychiatrist was capable of exert complete management over a affected person, each variations of The Shrink Subsequent Door illuminate the hazards of abusive and manipulative skilled relationships. Right here’s the true story behind The Shrink Subsequent Door and what to find out about the true life figures whose tales it tells.

Apple TV+Paul Rudd, left, and Will Ferrell in ‘The Shrink Subsequent Door’

A neighbor’s discovery evokes The Shrink Subsequent Door podcast

Journalist Joe Nocera assumed Ike Herschkopf, a New York-based therapist, owned the holiday home subsequent door to his within the Hamptons and {that a} man named Marty Markowitz, whom he noticed caring for the grounds, was the property supervisor. When he later discovered that Markowitz, in actual fact, owned the home, and that Herschkopf merely acted like he owned it, he started investigating.

Nocera found a deeply layered story of manipulation and betrayal; over six (and a few bonus) episodes, he breaks down how Markowitz got here to be able susceptible sufficient to cede management to Herschkopf—and the way, after many years, he lastly minimize him off.

How a psychiatrist inserted himself right into a affected person’s life

From the outset, it’s clear Ike Herschkopf shouldn’t be a typical therapist, a high quality hinted at, in Paul Rudd’s depiction in Shrink, by his unconventional observe of taking Will Ferrell’s Markowitz on walks round New York as a substitute of sitting in his workplace and instantly confronting the sources of his affected person’s issues. Rudd’s Herschkopf, in accordance with Nocera’s description of the true determine, is bombastic and status-obsessed, consistently displaying off photos of himself posing alongside celebrities.

The Shrink Subsequent Door podcast paperwork how he used his place of energy and affect, as a psychiatrist trusted by sufferers, to benefit from folks—like Markowitz, who had established himself as a millionaire via his household’s firm, Related Materials Company—for his profit. In actual life, Herschkopf shortly located himself in positions the place he may make choices that had precise impacts on Markowitz and his household. Slowly, because the years went on, Herschkopf remoted Markowitz from his household and buddies and pushed him away from romantic relationships, usually via the recommendation he gave Markowitz about easy methods to deal with these private ties. He put in himself because the president of Markowitz’s firm and opened a charity basis with (principally) Markowitz’s cash.

In a July 2021 interview with Ahead, Markowitz described his time with Herschkopf as “residing a lie.”

“Ike sucked me into this cult of Ike and I used to be spending six or seven hours per week with him, he stored me consistently busy transcribing his handwritten books, throwing these events, and I didn’t admire what was occurring,” Markowitz stated. “He didn’t let me have a girlfriend. I’d go on a date, and he’d name her a gold digger. He would say, ‘Everyone seems to be out to get you, I’m going to guard you.’ And I used to be silly sufficient to purchase it.”

Among the many extra heartbreaking losses incurred by Markowitz as a consequence of his ties to Herschkopf is that of his sister, Phyllis Shapiro, portrayed within the Apple TV+ collection by Kathryn Hahn. Shapiro, who additionally labored on the cloth firm, got here to comprehend that her brother was consulting Herschkopf on enterprise choices as a substitute of constructing them himself. After seeing Herschkopf herself for a remedy session, Shapiro determined she didn’t belief him. As Markowitz spent extra time with the psychiatrist, he began rising impatient with what he noticed as Shapiro’s lack of labor ethic. Finally, she stop, and Markowitz stopped talking along with her.

Later, in an effort to get her brother’s consideration, Shapiro stole cash from him—at that time, Herschkopf satisfied Markowitz to chop her off for good. They didn’t talk once more for a few years.

As Nocera asks within the podcast, how may Markowitz permit all this to occur? He says, “I felt I had no selection.” So susceptible was his psychological state, that Herschkopf’s maintain over him proved irresistible. In one other episode, talking concerning the expertise of being unable to acknowledge he was beneath manipulation, he says, “It was so excessive, you needed to need to see that.” For Markowitz, the harm isn’t just that he misplaced a lot time to Herschkopf’s affect—it’s within the problem of rebuilding his life within the years since their relationship ended.

How Markowitz acquired freeand what occurred to Herschkopf

For a very long time, and particularly after he minimize off his sister, Herschkopf was basically Markowitz’s solely good friend. At the same time as Herschkopf took an increasing number of of Markowitz’s cash and made Markowitz do an rising variety of chores and errands for him, Markowitz noticed him as the one individual he may depend upon and belief. The unbalanced dynamic continued till 2010, when Markowitz underwent hernia surgical procedure. Within the days following the operation, Markowitz famous that Herschkopf didn’t verify on him in any respect—and questioned their friendship.

“I knew that he knew that he was the one individual in my life,” he informed Nocera. “All of those frustrations, all of those points, all of this anger got here bursting out of me.”

With the assistance of some staff, who knew of Herschkopf as a enterprise marketing consultant beneath a special title, Markowitz despatched a letter telling Herschkopf he not wished to be his affected person. Although the psychiatrist stated he was making the improper determination, Markowitz was executed: he stopped responding, he took again his home and reunited together with his sister. Nowadays, Markowitz is seeking to get pleasure from retirement and spend time together with his girlfriend in Thailand.

In April 2021, following years of effort on Markowitz’s half to highlight Herschkopf’s misdeeds, the psychiatrist was ordered to give up his license to observe in New York. Because the Shrink podcast revealed, Markowitz was not Herschkopf’s solely sufferer; different former sufferers informed Nocera the psychiatrist equally took over their lives, convincing them to rewrite their wills to profit the physician or his household. The state’s Division of Well being concluded that Herschkopf broke “minimal acceptable requirements of care within the psychotherapeutic relationship.” In Nov. 2021, Herschkopf informed the New York Occasions he plans to attraction the well being division’s ruling.


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