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The Shrink Next Door is a new Apple TV+ series about the true story of how New York psychiatrist Dr. Isaac ‘Ike’ Herschkopf went beyond the sacred boundaries of the doctor-patient relationship, inspired by a 2019 Wondery and Bloomberg Media podcast, according to multiple reports.
When journalist Joe Nocera moved next door to the psychiatrist’s home in the Hamptons, he started investigating the story after realizing it was not really the doctor’s home, but belonged to another man named Marty Markowitz, one of his patients, for whom he was managing the property according to Time magazine.
Markowitz started seeing Herschkopf in 1981 after he felt overwhelmed with life, trying to grieve the recent loss of his parents while dealing with the dynamics of running the family fabrics company, Associated Fabrics Corporation, without them.
The ‘Shrink Next Door’ is a new Apple TV+ series about the true story of how New York psychiatrist Dr. Isaac ‘Ike’ Herschkopf went beyond the sacred boundaries of the doctor-patient relationship, inspired by a 2019 Wondery and Bloomberg Media podcast
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The magazine noted Shapiro grew suspicious after discovering her brother was consulting psychiatrist Herschkopf on decisions of the family business rather than making them for himself, but as Markowitz spent more time with the psychiatrist, he fired her from the family business allegedly because of her work-ethic.
After she stole money from her brother as a way to get his attention, Herschkopf convinced him to end the relationship and they didn’t talk for years.
“Ike sucked me into this cult of Ike and I was spending six or seven hours a week with him, he kept me constantly busy transcribing his handwritten books, throwing these parties, and I didn’t appreciate what was going on,” Markowitz said to Time magazine.
“He didn’t let me have a girlfriend. I would go on a date, and he’d call her a gold digger. He would say, ‘Everyone is out to get you, I’m going to protect you.’ And I was stupid enough to buy it.”
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Herschkopf became eventually Markowitz’s only friend, but Markowitz started to reevaluate their ‘friendship’ after he had a hernia operation in 2010 and Herschkopf never checked on how he was doing in the days following the surgery.
From then on, Markowitz started the process of regaining control over his life, ending the relationship with his psychiatrist, took back control of his home, started talking to his sister, and filed a complaint with the New York State Department of Health.
In his podcast, Nocera asks him the natural question: how could he allow this to happen for almost thirty years?
Herschkopf took advantage of his vulnerable mental state so that the manipulation eventually became ‘irresistible’, so “I felt I had no choice,” Markowitz told Time magazine.
Leah Lefkove, 9, covers her face as her dad Dr. Ben Lefkove gives her the first COVID-19 vaccine at the Viral Solutions vaccination and testing site in Decatur, Ga., on the first day COVID-19 vaccinations were available for children from 5 to 12 on Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021. (AP Photo/Ben Gray)
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Over the years Herschkopf infiltrated himself as the president of Markowitz’s company, and according to Markowitz, the doctor persuaded him to leave his Hampton estate to the doctor’s wife and name him on a joint signatory on a Swiss bank account valued at $2.5 million, according to the New York Post.
Markowitz wasn’t the psychiatrist’s only alleged victim. In April 2021, New York State Department of Health concluded Herschkopf broke “minimal acceptable standards of care in the psychotherapeutic relationship,” ordering him to surrender his New York medical license as a result of a medical inquiry citing similar complaints from other patients, some whom he convinced to rewrite their wills for his or his family’s benefit, according to Time.
Herschkopf plans to appeal the ruling, according to the New York Times.