Lisa Levy: Practitioner of Performance “Psychotherapy” for Art

The Huffington Post recently publicized the following about Lisa Levy:

Dr. Lisa Levy, S.P. (self-proclaimed) is an artist, performer, comedian and faux-psychotherapist who is hosting free therapy sessions in her Brooklyn studio. Prospective clients are invited to sit down on her very Freudian couch and receive a standard 50 minutes of counseling — though we imagine the content of that counseling to be a little less conventional that what people are used to during their sessions.

Levy has made a name for herself with her own brand of mental healing in her performance project, ‘Psychotherapy Live!’ in which she offers therapeutic advice to volunteers on stage. But for her series ‘Thoughts in Your Head,’ each individual not only has the opportunity to receive one-on-one treatment, but they are given the option of upping the ante of their psychotherapy sessions with an on-site painting by the artist. For $500, she will paint a a large text portrait inspired by your intimate sessions, immortalizing in paint your momentary admissions and emotional breakthroughs. She may not be versed in psychiatric methods, but her mixture of performance and comedy certainly forces her ‘patients’ to confront their array of defense mechanisms and overburdened egos.

So while therapists and art professionals alike may have left you to fend for yourselves during this vacation month, Dr. Lisa Levy, S.P. is here to meet your various needs. You can email her at (yes, that’s her address) to set up your session.

Lisa Levy the shrink is “a Bebe Neuwirth type with Ashleigh Banfield glasses—combined common sense, dry humor, and a winning feeling that anyone can be an analyst if they want to, as long as they never actually studied being one,” Michael Musto once said.

The Psychotherapy Live! series mentioned above has involved 13-minute sessions versus the 50-minute ones she’s offering in her studio this month. In all the faux sessions she’s conducted for about 10 years now, she uses anything and everything she’s learned from previous therapy, both on and off stage, as well as from reading. From the HuffPost interview:

Therapy on stage is very different than a 50-minute private session. The sessions on stage are really quick and need to be entertaining as well as helpful. I ask the audience to chime in with their help as well. I’ll say to them, ‘Since I have no formal training, I need your help. Call out with any helpful thoughts or suggestions you may have. Pretend you’re at a sporting event.’

In another article/interview, Levy notes that she traces her interest in therapy back to high school when her father experienced severe depression and was hospitalized. Later,when she was in college, she went to therapy herself to deal with her own depression.

One of her regular gigs is a monthly show called “Stand Up. Lie Down,” in which she performs analysis on comedians. Below her “client” is Eugene Mirman:

For more info about “Dr.” Lisa Levy, you can check out her website.

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