Dr. Igor Galynker, MD, PhD, director of the Galynker Family Center for Bipolar Disorder (formerly The Richard and Cynthia Zirinsky Family Center for Bipolar Disorder, where he previously served as the director), often recounts the story of how the idea for the Center took shape:
In 2003, I met a woman whose husband had bipolar disorder. She wanted to understand what was happening with her husband, but his psychiatrist had simply told her: “I can’t tell you anything about your husband. Go get your own psychiatrist.”
So, she did. And then, each of their four children had their own therapist. And they had a family therapist. There were seven mental health professionals…all not talking to each other.
This all too common, yet profound, clinical encounter is what ultimately led Dr. Galynker to create the innovative Family Inclusive Treatment (FIT) practice at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center in 2008.
He was then joined in 2018 by his long-time colleague and another FIT-centered psychiatrist, Dr. Konstantin Nikiforov. Together, in 2020, they expanded the model and the practice, founding the Galynker Family Center for Bipolar Disorder.
Historically, and for far too long, silence has been the norm between mental health clinicians and their patients’ families. Our Center is working to change this dynamic by facilitating open communication and by providing holistic, integrated treatment for our patients and their families.