Licensed psychoanalyst
Licensed mental health counselor
Certified group psychotherapist
The challenges of creativity are an area of special interest and clinical focus for many of my clients. Being an artist of any kind means having to reveal yourself and how you see the world.

Blocks can be conscious or unconscious, but are almost always based in fear: fear of being revealed, exposed, vulnerable; fear of being judged; fear of failure and, even deeper, fear of success. Some of the people who have worked successfully with me over the years have briefly described their experience below.

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I work with many people from the Broadway community: actors, singers, dancers, choreographers, and stage managers. Some of them describe their experience working with me.

"Lee was my first therapist. From the first session, I knew I was in a safe place to share what I couldn't communicate with anyone else. I even found Lee's waiting room put me at ease! Talking to Lee is like talking to a father figure, but you can talk about sex and swear, too! Before I met Lee, I thought my career wasn't progressing because I was a lazy, chronic procrastinator. After our sessions, I learned that my "laziness" was really fear, and once I understood that, my career took a significant turn for the better. I started feeling better about myself and my auditions. The work followed. Lee helped me to face the truth about my fears in career and relationships. Since my time with Lee, I've starred in a critically acclaimed Off-Broadway musical, and I've been in a healthy, loving relationship for almost two years. Lee helped me face my fears and re-claim my worthiness."
-J. M., Broadway performer

"During my sessions with Lee, I gained a new perspective on my life and career as an actor. He helped me remove many of my fears and anxieties about the acting profession and reach a new level of ease and confidence in my work."
-M.D., Broadway performer

"I can say, without hesitation, that when I started seeing Lee my career went to a whole other level. (Not kidding --  I literally booked 5 production contracts in a row.)  I was completely unaware that my personal issues were directly affecting my auditions.  Because Lee sees so many performers, there is a shorthand so I don't need to explain how an audition works, or what my agent does for me. To me a recommendation is the highest form of flattery. I have sent my two best friends and countless other colleagues to Lee, and if you are reading this, don't hesitate.  Begin seeing Lee and be ready to take hold of your professional life and watch it soar." 
-K.C., Broadway performer

"Because Lee has had so many years of experience working with entertainment industry professionals, he has a deep understanding of the unique challenges that creative people face (i.e., auditioning, being reviewed, constant unemployment, etc.). By helping me identify and become highly conscious of my feelings and my judgments, he has helped me overcome both creative and professional obstacles and inspired me to create my own personalized, meaningful, consistent approach to this often volatile and precarious business."
-J.P., Broadway choreographer/performer 

"If you are a performer, do yourself a favor and spend some time with Lee. I came to Lee beset by fear and anxiety and woefully out of touch with my feelings. Lee, in his thoughtful, spirited, and humorous ways, has guided me to many insights and breakthroughs both in my life and in my work as an actor and singer. He reminds me that the brilliant and wise person (and performer) is the one willing to open up, be transparent, share his or her humanity, and engage in life with spontaneity, curiosity, and fearlessness." 
- M.M., Broadway performer

"Lee helped me literally change my life. As with a majority of artists and creators, we tend to live in a bubble of fear and anxiety. Lee gave me the support and tools necessary to not only combat those hurdles, but to live a more present, successful, and healthy life. In an industry full of rejection, he helped me let go of what I can not control and grab hold of what I could. Lee led me step by step, week by week, to overcome my fears of success by making powerful, conscious decisions. Thanks to Lee, I no longer feel "stuck" or "trapped." Instead, I'm learning to embrace the peaks and valleys of the industry and more importantly... life." 
-D.R., performer/writer/director

"It probably comes as no surprise to actors/artists that to be fully creative, or "in the moment," one can't simply flip a switch. Conversely, and often infuriatingly, there are those moments when we are "open" with little or no aforethought: "What just happened?" we ask; "If only I could be that open at all my auditions," we say after a particularly good interview/audition/callback. I have happily and successfully found that working with Lee has helped me focus on those performance elements that are within my control (i.e., preparation) and disregard elements ("Am I the right type?" etc.) that aren't. Easier said than done? Of course! Do all my auditions lead to callbacks and job offers? Of course not! However, with attentive practice and guided by Lee's deep understanding of the creative process, I have come to discover that improvements can be made. I unreservedly recommend Lee Kassan to anyone who wants to deepen their understanding of the creative process." 
-W.D., Broadway performer

"Lee's listening skills and ability to make me look inside myself really set me on course for the changes that I needed to make in my life. I know the work that we did really converted the way I look at things...taking more responsibility for my actions rather than blaming others, keeping myself more open to a positive point of view in my career, and mostly keeping myself open to love after a very traumatic relationship. He's wonderful...and he does it in a low-key manner, without fakery or hyperactive concern." 
-D.P., performer/writer

"As both a professional actor and a business owner, I have strived to realize my full potential and confidently own my perspective and thoughts.  My work with Lee has led me to ask the simple question: "What do I want?"...and to be okay with the answer.  It has made the difference between me being a prisoner of my thoughts and fears to being totally empowered by my choices and awareness. Through the discovery of my authentic self, I have enjoyed great growth and accomplishments both personally and professionally." 
-R.S., Broadway performer

"Lee was recommended by a dear friend — I continue to thank him to this day.  Lee understands the entertainment industry and its unique set of challenges. Not a day goes by that I don't use the tools he gave me. Lee taught me how to ask myself the right questions, and face the real answers. I am happy to join the long list of people who recommend Lee Kassan." 
-B.P., Broadway designer

"I feel very comfortable talking with Lee about many aspects of my life. Having worked with many artists, he has a unique ability to relate with industry-specific issues and stresses that are prevalent in the world of show business. In an industry where many are often never satisfied with their accomplishments, he can find ways of identifying your strengths and their related positive repercussions to date. He's most definitely helped me find ways of being happy with my current situation and not looking to some ideal in the future to satisfy me." 
-N.K., Broadway performer/choreographer

"Through my work with Lee, I have learned the importance of and clarity that comes from "staying in the moment."  There can be so many things going through my mind at any moment on stage, and through our sessions I am able to understand, break down, and work through various obstacles, which then enables me to be more focused and present in my work, to be at my fullest as an artist." 
-B.O., Broadway performer

"'To know what you want, you have to know how you feel.'  Uta Hagen?  Maybe.  Stella Adler?  Possibly.  Lee Strasberg?  Warmer, but no.  It's the other Lee....Lee Kassan. I have worked with Lee on and off for 4 years, and no, I do not think of therapy as an acting technique but, as in acting, the question of 'what you want' can be one of many helpful questions in therapy.  Lee's history of working with actors and artists of all types gives him an insight to the entertainment world that would take months to explain to another therapist, and even then I am not sure they would fully get it.  Psychotherapy with Lee has been a great tool to deal with the craziness of 'the business' and more importantly my life. I have recommended Lee to many performers, because I feel that knowing yourself is a crucial part of being an artist, and Lee understands and assists in that.  Lee Strasberg, we'll call him the other Lee, said, 'Acting is the most personal of our crafts.  The make-up of a human being—his physical, mental and emotional habits— influence his acting to a much greater extent than commonly recognized.'  As artists we can do nothing but bring ourselves to our art, but that does not mean we have to use our art as therapy.  With Lee, I have been able to care for my "mental and emotional habits" away from the theater, only improving my life on and off the stage." 
-Z.H., Broadway performer

"Lee really helped me zero in on my goals as an artist and theater director. We worked together to isolate and manage my fears and found new strategies to jump start my creative life again --- in a way that balanced with rest of my life." 
-R.D., director/writer

"I can affirm that organizing yourself is the first healthy step towards overcoming fears in show business, and Lee is a fantastic guide through that maze." 
-M.W., Broadway performer

"Lee was particularly helpful in helping me to see that there are no "should's." Everything is a "choice" and that is very empowering… especially when I feel stuck or afraid to make the next move. While I'm not an actor, I find that his insights into the process actors must go through in preparing for and ultimately securing work and achieving their dreams for their careers helps me work better for them in my capacity as an agent. " 
-J.B., Broadway agent

"There are so many periods in an artist's life (whether you are a writer, director, actor, choreographer, singer, dancer, musician…. really anyone with a creative soul) when you can feel lost, or blocked or generally uninspired. Oftentimes, the last thing that you want to do is exactly what you need to do. That is to reach out. As an artist, Lee helped to put me back on track. I found that his knowledge and resources for creative minds seem limitless. My advice to you: reach out. Let Lee help, especially when you don't think you want it. It's the best time to get inspired." 
-D.O., Broadway stage manager/director/writer

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This category includes composers and performers, from popular music to opera.

"Lee has been an invaluable part of my creative process for bouncing ideas off of and motivating me to dig deeper. Most of my success with performance fears and my struggle to persevere are directly related to my sessions with Lee." 
-P.G., composer/musician

"After listening to an album that I was a session player on, I asked Lee what he thought --- not of my playing, but of the album itself, and the artist I was playing with. His response was both surprising and very insightful. He said, simply, "Tell him to sing more about himself." This was surprising because I had never received a response that had to do with anything but the music or the skills of the musicians. It was insightful because, after hearing that, I realized that very few songs, if any, were actually about the artist himself, which explained my lack of passion for the music. I never forgot that, and since then, have used and given that advice countless times and it has always made a huge difference." 
-G.G., composer/musician

"I started working with Lee Kassan at a point where I was having trouble coping with being an adult, a partner, and a new father. Lee provided a safe, supportive environment where I was able to examine my past experiences and behavior as well as my current situations. He did so in a non-judgmental, non-threatening manner, with a great deal of insight and just enough humor. He was always thoughtful, caring, and involved, and his intelligence, knowledge, and communication skills were always exemplary. Many years later, I still recall concepts that he introduced to me and find them useful. Since the time of our sessions together, I believe I have grown a great deal and I see my time with Lee as being essential to that growth." 
-J. D., composer/musician

"Being a part of Lee's individual and group therapy practice challenged my assumptions about myself and others. Through a very relaxed yet very "present" style, Lee helped me to see that I had closed myself off to so much of life that was around me every day. I was able to open myself up to more satisfying and rewarding friendships, unlock my creative potential, and make life decisions that reflected my true needs. I am forever grateful to Lee for his empathetic and caring presence." 
-B.C., composer/musician

"I began working with Lee when I was facing a personal crisis owing to, amongst other things, seeking a sense of self-worth through my performing career. The muddle led to my making destructive choices. Through the course of my sessions with Lee, I have been able to gain greater self-awareness and a sense of self-worth as a complete person, not merely as a performer. In putting these discoveries into practice, I have found myself less inclined to seek validation in the fickle world of performance, and have been a more centered person and artist. I believe that my personal and artistic choices have become better and will continue to grow." 
-A.K., opera performer

"I have discovered that learning to sing well is not necessarily enough to achieve a career as an opera singer. Oftentimes our progress and success is undermined by constant and frequently conflicting feedback from teachers, coaches, and conductors — enough to make many of us feel "crazy" and full of self-doubt, all of which undermines our ability to transition from young artists to professionals. In this regard it has been especially helpful to work with Lee, who understands the unique challenges of a performing career. Of particular value to me were exploring my conscious and unconscious internal messages about success and failure; learning to mitigate my need for others' approval with a sense of self-reliance; and learning to replace often brutal self-judgment with observation and acceptance. Lee's remarkable perceptiveness, good humor, and kindness have freed me to both achieve what I want and accept where I am. And yes, it is an ongoing process." 
-I.D., opera performer

"The time I spent with Lee began as a safe space to explore roadblocks to creativity, but developed into a pathway to deeper understanding of my personal strengths and weaknesses. Further, it allowed me to explore avenues of expression that resulted in a whole new career. It broadened my acceptance of self and others, and provided a clarity that has remained with me, enhanced my relationships with those closest to me, and sustained me for many years." 
-W.F., musician

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This group includes people I have seen in my private practice and others who have attended my workshops at professional conferences.

"Participation in Lee's workshop on writing during an annual meeting of the Eastern Group Psychotherapy Association was nothing but a life-changing event. I had told myself that I could not write for publication, because English was not my first language. This belief and other neurotic self-talk --- too embarrassing to detail here --- simply melted away. Listening to the struggles of the other emerging writers in the group convinced me that the obstacles I was facing were mere excuses. I started to write and eventually joined a writing group. Despite ongoing self-doubt, I have actually published several papers since. Lee launched me on the track of writing, an activity which is deeply satisfying to me for professional and personal reasons. His workshop had a totally unexpected and powerful effect on me." 
-B.K., psychiatrist/author

"The therapy I did with Lee changed my life forever. It gave me a control and confidence that I previously lacked. Lee helped me understand that I am the authority and author of my life. My artwork has reaped the benefits of our time together. I am no longer apprehensive to discuss my artwork and my thought processes with people. I am also confident in pursuing artistic content without fear and more able to create with ease." 
-M.R., sculptor/painter

"Fear had been holding me back from doing my best work. Fear of exposure, fear of success, fear of not being good enough. Instead of running away, Lee helped me move toward those fears and gain power over them, so I could become the writer I have always wanted to be." 
-D.W., writer