“We are poor indeed if we are only sane.”

–D.W. Winnicott

Dr. John K. Burton has been in practice in New York City for more than twenty years. Although his clinical work is focused on psychodynamic psychiatry and psychoanalytic psychotherapy, his training and experience encompass a wide range of approaches.

He was a research psychiatrist in the Research Unit for Pediatric Psychopharmacology at New York State Psychiatric Institute. There, his focus was on the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD and anxiety disorders. In addition to his experience using medication to treat psychiatric diagnoses, he has also trained in and uses behavior modification, cognitive behavioral techniques, family therapy, and parent counseling.

Dr. Burton’s abiding belief in the interrelationship of mental, physical, and spiritual health is a cornerstone of his approach to clinical work. His passion for recognizing the significance of the mind, especially the inner life of the child, goes back to his undergraduate work exploring the mother-child relationship in Russian and Soviet Literature. He balances his appreciation of the inner world with attention to the community. In the late 1980s, Dr. Burton was part of a research team working on a novel treatment for HIV in a community health setting. More recently, he was the editor of the Kids and Popular Culture page of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry website. He was a longtime Board member of CARING, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing a unique art therapy model of psychological resilience to children in varied communities.   

Dr. Burton is on faculty at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons where he is Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research. He teaches extensively in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the Psychoanalytic Center at Columbia University on such topics as child and adolescent development, gender and sexuality, and psychodynamic psychotherapy. He also provides supervision to medical students, residents and fellows, as well as post-graduate clinicians.

Despite living in New York City for 30 years, Dr. Burton credits his experiences growing up in rural Vermont with his awareness of the vital role environment and nature play in maintaining mental wellness. He has pursued healing traditions beyond his medical and psychiatric training, including yoga, meditation, Ayurveda, and Western herbalism. Outside of his psychiatric practice, he maintains a traditional medicinal garden and woodland plant sanctuary in the Catskills.

Professional Credentials

American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology  

  • General Psychiatry, certified 2000, recertified 2010 

  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, certified 2001, recertified 2011 

American Board of Integrative and Holistic Medicine, certified, 2012 

Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research 

  • Graduate in Adult Psychoanalysis, 2006 
    Graduate in Child and Adolescent Psychoanalysis, 2010 

Columbia University Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

  • Post-Doctoral Clinical Fellow, 1998-2000;
    Chief Fellow, 1999-2000 

New York State Psychiatric Institute

  • Post-Doctoral Residency Fellow, 1994-98 
    Chief Resident, 1997-98  

Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons; M.D., 1994 

Harvard College; A.B. magna cum laude Slavic Languages and Literatures, 1988 

Yoga Alliance; certified Teacher in Vinyasa Yoga, 2009 

Maharishi School of Management; certified Level 1 Ayurveda for Clinicians, 2013 

Selected Publications:

Burton JK and Marshall RC: ‘Categorizing Fear:’ The Role of Trauma in a Clinical Formulation, Clinical Case Conference.  The American Journal of Psychiatry, May 1999. 

Burton JK and Gilmore KJ: ‘This Strange Disease:’ Adolescent Transference and the Analyst’s Sexual Orientation.” Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, October 2010. 

Burton JK and Lothwell L: ‘It’s Just a Phase:’ Phase of Life Problems in LGBT Patients.  DSM Casebook of LGBT Patients, APPI Press, 2012. 

Burton JK: Distraction and Attraction:  Evaluation and Treatment of ADHD in LGBT Patients. DSM Casebook of LGBT Patients, APPI Press, 2012.