“The Shrink Next Door,” rated No. 1 for three weeks straight last month on Apple’s Podcast charts, is about a Manhattan psychiatrist, Dr. Isaac “Ike” Herschkopf, known for treating — and name-dropping — an array of celebrity patients while becoming well known in Jewish and literary philanthropic circles.
The podcast, written and hosted by Bloomberg columnist Joe Nocera, is mostly about Martin Markowitz, a longtime patient of Herschkopf, who says he spent most of his life — more than 30 years — under Herschkopf’s sway. In seven episodes, Nocera describes how the psychiatrist isolated Markowitz from his friends and family and encouraged him not to pursue potential marriage partners.
There’s more: “Shrink” describes how Herschkopf became president of Markowitz’s theatrical fabrics business, created a charitable foundation almost entirely with Markowitz’s money, and got the foundation and his wife named in Markowitz’s will after his patient removed his sister and her children at the psychiatrist’s suggestion.