Dr. Phil Shapiro has had a 30-year career as a clinician, teacher, and administrator in public psychiatry. His work has taken him from the inner city to the Alaska bush, from holistic to addiction medicine, and from the head office of a state mental health division to 100-year-old state hospital wards.
Dr. Shapiro has worked with a variety of people including African-American and Hispanic people in Harlem and Bedford-Stuyvesant, Native Alaskans, retired military and postal workers in Maine, among others. In 1974, he worked in one of the first interdisciplinary holistic clinics in New York City. In 1983, he became the Director of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities for the State of Alaska. Following that, he was the Chief Medical Officer at Oregon State Hospital and then Clinical Director of Forensic Psychiatry at Western State Hospital. He has been a surveyor, reviewing quality of care in hospitals and clinics throughout the country.
Dr. Shapiro received his medical degree in l969 from the University of Illinois Medical School, where he was a member of the medical honorary society, Alpha Omega Alpha. He trained in psychiatry at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Downstate and Kings County Hospital in New York City and received a Masters Degree in Public Health from Columbia University. Dr. Shapiro has been on the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University and is currently an Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Oregon Health and Sciences University.
While he has studied the nature of disease and suffering with many of the masters of psychiatry and psychology, his greatest teachers have been his patients who are the carriers of the devastating aspects of life: racism, poverty, mental and physical illness, homelessness, child sex abuse, rape, domestic violence, and addiction. These courageous people and the mean streets they walk continue to be his teachers of the brutal realities of life.
Dr. Shapiro lives in Portland, Oregon happily married to Sharon Whitney, author and playwright. They have two sons and five grandchildren. He works for a community mental health center where his understanding of suffering and the magnificence of the healing power continues to evolve.
He is currently teaching workshops based on the principles in his book.