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While most true crime podcasts focus on grizzly murders, mysterious disappearances, and unexplained attacks, few have chosen to delve into the world of psychological manipulation – that is, until now. The Shrink Next Door takes aim at a strange tale that factors in job stress, cultural expectations, and the needs of the Manhattan elites.

What is The Shrink Next Door about?

Have you ever wondered what would happen if the line between a doctor-patient relationship and friendship was suddenly blurred? What would happen if a therapist used his position to manipulate a patient into making decisions that benefitted the therapist?

To hear Marty Markowitz tell it, that’s precisely what happened when he stepped into the office of a Manhattan psychiatrist. What took place from there was three decades of careful suggestions that turned out to be well-planned manipulations.

Marty’s therapist, Ike Herschkopf, however, has a different take on what happened between himself and his former patient. Ike suggests he nurtured Marty and helped a meek man make decisions. He alleges nothing untoward happened and insists that Marty turned on him for no reason at all.

What’s true, what’s false and what’s open to interpretation is slowly being unwrapped in the six-episode podcasting series. Fans, however, are being asked to make up their own mind about exactly what is fact and what is fiction.

Who hosts The Shrink Next Door?

Joe Nocera lends his voice to this podcast, and he does so for an excellent reason. Nocera, a writer for The New York Times, encountered Ike in the Hamptons. Ike chased down Nocera’s friendship, invited him to lavish parties, and even requested a photo with the writer before he suddenly vanished from the Hamptons’ neighborhood that Nocera and his wife called home.

Joe Nocera
Columnist Joe Nocera (L) and Bernie Goldberg | Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for HBO

What occurred between his first meeting with Ike and the present day is a twisted tale that could only possibly be told by someone on the inside. Nocera’s introduction to podcasting is a well-polished one that forces listeners to question everything they thought they knew about psychology, the patient-doctor relationship, friendship, and just how delicate a balancing act it can all be.

Could The Shrink Next Door Become a TV Show?

The Wondery network is dipping its toes into the world of television shows in recent years. The famed podcasting production house has taken aim at adapting several of their hit podcasts into series with some success. Dirty John is perhaps the best example of a podcast turned into a successful television show. Dr. Death, the story of a bad surgeon with a high body count, is being adapted for television. They are also currently working on a television script for Over My Dead Body, a podcast that explored the death of a prominent lawyer heavily entrenched in a bitter custody battle.

While Wondery hasn’t announced any plans to adapt The Shrink Next Door, the tale has all the makings of a great Hollywood story. Not only does the podcast follow the same format as Dirty John, Dr. Death and Over My Dead Body, but the tale has enough twists and turns to keep things interesting. Considering that The Shrink Next Door is climbing the podcasting charts, it only seems like a matter of time before the network starts working on a screenplay.