Medical School

  • Harvard Medical School , 1978 , Boston , MA


  • Mount Zion Hospital , 1979 , San Francisco , CA


  • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center , 1982 , Boston , MA


  • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center , 1984 , Boston , MA


  • Mental Health Center , 1986 , Boston , MA

Philosophy of Care

My wish to decrease the suffering of people with emotional illness has led me to train in several different approaches to treating mental disorders. While my specialties in Psychoanalysis, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and Parent-Child Interaction Therapy are distinct in their approaches, they all use the human relationship as the essential therapeutic agent.


Even before starting medical school, I had the opportunity to learn to meditate: to sit quietly and watch what the human mind is doing. From this, I learned that awareness of my thought-patterns, impulses, likes and dislikes could be helpful in responding to life's challenges. Early in my career, this interest in helping others through understanding of the mind led me to train in psychoanalysis. Psychodynamic psychotherapy remains an important part of my practice as well as my teaching and supervision of Child Psychiatry Fellows. Yet the crises arising in my practice so often involved suicidal and self-injuring teens, that I was compelled to train in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. From this training, I learned how the apparently opposite approaches of acceptance and behavioral change could work together to address human suffering. As my training in behavioral therapy enriched my approach to treatment, I learned how parents themselves could be the most effective agents of therapeutic change with young children. Inspired to train in Parent-Child Interaction Therapy, I now take delight in coaching parents to help their distressed children learn to cope with challenges and to enjoy their improved relationships with others. Throughout my career, I have been privileged to teach and supervise Child Psychiatry Fellows, from whom I continue to learn.


  • American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology
  • American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  • Safe Zone Trained


Publications powered by Harvard Catalyst Profiles

  1. Kitts RL, Isberg RS, Lee PC, Sharma N, Goldman V, Hunt J. Child Psychotherapy Training in the United States: A National Survey of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship Program Directors. Acad Psychiatry. 2019 Feb; 43(1):23-27. View abstract
  2. Eble JA, Wucherpfennig KW, Gauthier L, Dersch P, Krukonis E, Isberg RR, Hemler ME. Recombinant soluble human alpha 3 beta 1 integrin: purification, processing, regulation, and specific binding to laminin-5 and invasin in a mutually exclusive manner. Biochemistry. 1998 Aug 04; 37(31):10945-55. View abstract
  3. Dietrich WF, Damron DM, Isberg RR, Lander ES, Swanson MS. Lgn1, a gene that determines susceptibility to Legionella pneumophila, maps to mouse chromosome 13. Genomics. 1995 Apr 10; 26(3):443-50. View abstract
  4. Isberg RS, Hauser ST, Jacobson AM, Powers SI, Noam G, Weiss-Perry B, Follansbee D. Parental contexts of adolescent self-esteem: A developmental perspective. J Youth Adolesc. 1988 Feb; 18(1):1-23. View abstract
  5. Isberg RS, Greenberg WE. Siblings in the delivery room: consultations to the obstetrical service. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1987 Mar; 26(2):268-73. View abstract
  6. Isberg RS, Hauser ST, Jacobsen AM, Powers SI, Noam G, Weiss-Perry B, Follansbee D. Parental contexts of adolescent self-esteem: a developmental perspective. Journal of Youth and Adolescence. 1987; 26(2):268-273. View abstract
  7. Apfel RJ, Fox M, Isberg RS, Levine AR. Countertransference and transference in couple therapy: treating sexual dysfunction in older couples. J Geriatr Psychiatry. 1984; 17(2):203-14. View abstract
  8. Isberg RS. Emergency care of anxious patients. Bassuk E, Birk A (Eds), Emergency Psychiatry: concepts, methods and practices. 1984; 233-260. View abstract
  9. Isberg RS. A comparison of phenelzine and imipramine in an obsessive-compulsive patient. Am J Psychiatry. 1981 Sep; 138(9):1250-1. View abstract