Philip Berent MD

About Philip Berent, M.D.

When I was 12, I decided to become a doctor. Fascinated by natural history,  physiology, anatomy, and science in general, I started reading on these subjects at an early age. Psychology particularly intrigued me, and The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James, and The Interpretation of Dreams by Freud were formative in my teen years.

I have always loved school, learning, and even doing homework. My brother-in-law jokes that I was the only boy in Chicago that did. Raised in Bucktown area of Chicago, I went to Lane Tech high school, and then attended the University of Illinois in Chicago, majoring in premed. After 3 years, I was admitted to two medical schools, but decided to attend the University of Illinois. Since this was realization of my dream, I enjoyed medical school, despite  the  grueling learning schedule, and long hours of study.

As I entered the 3rd year, I had various rotations, enjoyed general medicine, but started to gravitate towards psychiatry. I was most fortunate to have many gifted teachers, many from the Institute for Psychoanalysis, and had an unparalleled education in learning psychotherapy which is currently all but vanished in most training programs. After a rotating internship at Illinois Masonic Hospital in Chicago, another experience I throughly enjoyed, I began an adult inpatient residency at Presbyterian-St-Luke Hospital in Chicago. There were also many adolescents on the inpatient unit that started me on my career in working with younger patients.

After 2 years in the Air Force as one of 4 psychiatrists stationed in Japan, I returned to a residency in Adult psychiatry, then a Fellowship in Child Psychiatry. My Air Force experience was most valuable in providing me with the experience of an enormous varied population, seeing 10-15 patients per day. 2 days per month I also served as a general medical officer in the ER clinic, maintaining my interest  and expertise in general medical practice.

During my training I supplemented my income working in hospital ERs, and then Chicago psychiatric clinics.

My decision to enter child psychiatry was based on the assumption that this would provide me with the most comprehensive training in developmental psychology, and experience with family dynamics. Teachers from the Family Institute of Chicago provided a further enrichment of my therapeutic understanding and practice. Early pioneers  in family therapy such as Virginia Satir, and Charles Whitaker, Salvador Minuchin, were studied.

Upon completing my training, I entered private practice in DesPlaines, Ill, and applied to Lutheran General hospital in Park Ridge, and Northwest Community Hospital in Arlibngton Heights, Ill. I had a very busy inpatient practice at these hospitals, primairly with children and adolescents. It became clear that I needed further training in substance abuse disorders, and started attending drug abuse conferences for many years years, This dovetailed in with the 12 step movement, and the treatment of families afflicted with substance abuse, ACOA treatment with Experiential Treatment, employing psychodrama, and I participated in scores of hours of actual participant training.

Most recently in the past several years, I began an interest in EMDR, which proved somewhat useful in treating PTSD. I subsequently found it more useful in my practice to do Heart Centered Hypnotherapy, ( www.wellness-institute. org ) starting in 2003, completing my formal training there in 2008. I had 3 years of prior training in Ericksonian Hypnosis with Dr. Weiss, and also Completed 2 years of NLP training many years ago. These prior modalities provided experiences which were highly relevant for my most recent hypnotherapy training at the Wellness Institute.

Due to the collapse of insurance reimbursement, I no longer do hypnotherapy.. However all of these prior trainings have provided me with the opportunity to assess any patient through the clarity of multiple focused lenses, shedding light on the most relevant  issues of the moment.

These include assessments of the present illness, childhood trauma, family dynamics, educational experience, teenage struggles, ethnic and cultural influence, substance abuse problems, medical illnesses, and any biological predisposition to mental illness such as anxiety, bipolar disorder, or ADHD. The advantage of past failed psychiatric treatment is that we know what was tried, and didn’t work. This narrows the field of inquiry a bit, and avoids repeating the mistakes of the past. Even the eminent Dr. House doesn’t always get the treatment or diagnosis right at the beginning, but with persistent study, he always gets it right.  ( leaving aside of course his dreadful personality quirks)

I am dedicated to providing my patients with the best treatment options available.  I have chosen to be an out of network doctor and do not accept insurance.  Having a cash-based practice gives me the flexibility and freedom to tailor a treatment plan that best serves each individual patient.