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Gary A. Karpf, MD
Gary Karpf, MD

Dr. Karpf is a board certified psychiatrist whose practice primarily focuses on long and short-term therapy with special emphasis on the organization of personality and perception, developing a deep understanding of an individual’s pattern and habits of function in their personal and professional life. Helping an individual understand this, and how he/she relates to others can be accomplished in individual, couples, family, and/or group therapy. This process can be adapted to all age groups resulting in improved quality of life, not simply the resolution of symptoms of suffering and illness.

Dr. Karpf received a B.S. degree in natural science, cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania, and his M. D. degree from Hahneman Medical University/Drexel Health System with honors in psychiatry and neurosurgery. After serving a general internship at the Pennsylvania Hospital, he completed a psychiatric residency at the Institute of the Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia. He has completed post-graduate training in character development and analysis, and has been an Assistant Instructor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, Resident Instructor of Medical Student Education of the Institute of Pennsylvania Hospital and taught psychology at the Lawrenceville School, in Lawrenceville, NJ. Dr. Karpf currently practices full-time and is president of the Cedar Glen Professional Association, in Princeton, N.J., which he founded in 1984, and was named one of four “Top Doctors” in the state of N. J. in a 1996 survey of physicians in New Jersey Monthly Magazine. A Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, he also serves as Board Examiner of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology since receiving his board certification in 1985.

A Humanist by nature, patients find Dr. Karpf to be engaging and warm, supportive yet able to deal with and help patients confront painful truths about themselves, their relationships, and lives. Quotations from actual patients who speak of their personal experiences in therapy with Dr. Karpf:

  • "Debilitating panic attacks led me to seek help from Dr. Gary Karpf. With a caring and very insightful approach he helped me find the cause of my anxiety, face my fears and express my feelings which overtime has dramatically improved the quality of my life. The trust I placed in him to guide me safely through the often-difficult journey to a more realistic, and healthier recognition of my personal circumstances, has been deeply rewarded. With great patience, he allowed me, at my own pace, to negotiate the sometimes-disquieting efforts of dealing with my problems, thereby instilling in me the ability to discover workable solutions from within. Along the way I've learned many things about myself which have led me to experience a more enriched interaction with those in my life, environment and beyond."

  • "Dr. Karpf is the first psychiatrist I have seen who gave me hope rather than stripping it away; the first who told me what I already knew; that I was capable of experiencing real freedom. Every other therapist (and I have had many) insisted that my “mood disorder”, (a term never clearly defined) was an unchangeable part of my biological makeup; just as a diabetic needs Insulin; these therapists claimed that I needed anti-depressants to survive. I thought I would never really recover. Everything in my background indicated that I was, indeed, irreparably damaged. My “chemical imbalance,” (another vague and convenient label) seemed like a given and manifested in being a recovering heroin addict with a history of suicide attempts, self-mutilation, and a series of abusive relationships. Although medication certainly helped me at times, I refused to accept it as a permanent solution. But it was not until I began therapy with Dr. Karpf that I felt as though I had options. I had never been able to stay off medication without slipping into debilitating depression.

    This therapy, in combination with AA, has literally saved my life. I have been off medication for over four years and have not experienced any lasting bouts of depression. Therapy has opened my perception, strengthened my body and spirit, and taught me how to move towards freedom. I've learned that my acute sensitivity is strength as well as a weakness. It has been a difficult process at times, but the rewards are well worth the work. I now pursue my dreams with passion and energy I never knew I had; and I can sincerely say that the joy I feel today is deeper than my despair ever was."

  • "Several years ago I found myself in the middle of a personal crisis. At first I tried to bury the past with drugs, alcohol and sex; but after a short while I realized I was in real trouble. The idea of therapy was new when I casually opened the yellow pages and called a number. The first two psychiatrists I tried did me very little good and in fact may have made me worse. They tried to convince me that medication was the only solution. My first interview with Dr. Karpf was different. He asked some questions and told me he was confident he could help me if I was willing to work hard. Getting emotionally healthy through therapy is not easy, there is no “just add water” cure. You must be willing to face yourself and feel all the pain; you must be willing to feel worse before you can feel better; you must be willing to accept the past and leave it behind; you must be willing to place total trust in the person who is helping you."

  • "Though it may sound melodramatic, group therapy did change my life. I had spent four years in my twenties in psychoanalysis and a few years off and on in individual therapy with a few different therapists. By the time I embarked on group therapy, I was already in my late fifties and wondered if this old dog could be taught any new tricks. But as I look back now on that one year with seven strangers and a therapist, meeting one evening a week, I know that my most significant progress occurred in that year. The process is utterly different from individual therapy in the way it works and the way it affects one."

  • "Prior to therapy I suffered from intolerable feelings of anger, blame and hostility, which stemmed from my misperception that others were rejecting me. During the course of therapy I overcame my fearfulness, my mistrust of men and the trauma caused by a childhood of emotional deprivation and abuse. The following experience captures the results of my therapy so well.

  • Although I was an official member of a Steering Committee and charged with minor organizational duties during the reception hours, I felt very separate from the crowd surrounding me. I have always avoided crowds out of the intense fear of being overwhelmed by my sensations. This time, however, I was enjoying myself in a mildly neutral way. I recognized from my first involvement on this Committee, that I was different from the others who were all close, long-time friends and traveled in a social milieu different from my own. I realized that in the past I would have worked harder for their cause pushing myself with great tension and irritability than was natural or healthy, using more of my time than my circumstances really allowed. Over compensating for feelings of inadequacy and guilt, I would have pushed by just doing, in order to overcome my fear. But this time was different. I felt no fear or guilt. I was truly not pushing by doing too much. Instead, I felt self-confident and self-contained, not at all claustrophobic in the intense crush of the crowds. I felt that I was in the role of objective observer of an interesting socio-economic phenomenon. I felt I was encased in a protective membrane; warm, gentle and alive. It felt exactly right. I felt exactly right and it became profoundly clear to me that this was the feeling of “being my own person”, rooted in the core of my belly and it has stayed with me. My waking hours which usually begin with intense feeling of anxiety are now anxiety free. This feeling of being “all of a piece” is lovely."

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    170 Cold Soil Road * Princeton NJ 08540