Stanley H. Teitelbaum, Ph.D

Stanley TeitelbaumStanley Teitelbaum, Clinical Psychologist and author of Sports Heroes, Fallen Idols.

Dr. Stanley Teitelbaum’s latest book, Sports Heroes, Fallen Idols (University of Nebraska Press, 2005), examines the moral climate of modern sports.  He investigates all of the major sports and dissects the careers of most of the usual suspects (Pete Rose, Tonya Harding and O.J. Simpson to name three), within the context of society’s unwillingness to endorse the concept of responsibility, our fascination with celebrity and our general erosion of values.

In his speeches, Dr. Teitelbaum discusses a variety of issues from drug and alcohol abuse to domestic violence, gambling and today’s scourge, steroids.  In his psychotherapy practice, he has worked extensively with professional athletes and sports agents-which has enabled him to gain insight into the psyche of sports figures-both on and off the field.  His presentations help us see past our sports stars’ exalted images and show us what that frail imagery says about our society and ourselves.

Stanley H. Teitelbaum has been a practicing clinical psychologist for more than thirty-five years.  Since 1980, he has been a Training Analyst and Senior Supervisor and Faculty Member at the Postgraduate Center for Mental Health and also the Training Institute for Mental Health, both in New York City.  He is also a founder of the Contemporary Center for Advanced  Psychoanalytic Studies in New Jersey.  Dr. Teitelbaum is the author of numerous articles in leading mental health publications and has appeared on more  than twenty-five national television and radio shows including Nightline, Good Morning America, 20/20 and CNN.

During the past twenty years, in addition to his radio and television appearances, Dr. Teitelbaum has been interviewed frequently for newspaper and magazine articles on human motivation on such diverse topics as “Preventative Strategies in Dealing with Sports Rage”, “Women as Targets of Athletes’ Violence” and “Spectator Sports Psychology.” 

He is a member of many professional organizations including the American Psychological Association, American Group Psychotherapy Association, Eastern Group Psychotherapy Society  and the Postgraduate Psychoanalytic Society.

Dr. Teitelbaum earned a B.A. in Psychology from Brooklyn College; an M.A. in Psychology from Boston University and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Boston University.  In his spare time, he is a devoted tennis player and has won several trophies. Dr. Teitelbaum is also available for speeches and workshops.

Suggested Lecture Topics:

  • Sports Heroes, Fallen Idols: The Impact of Athletes as Role Models
  • Sports’ Bad Boys: The Scandalous Rise of Steroids
  • Athletes’ Legacies?: Violence against Women, Murder, Mental Health and Drugs

Stanley H. Teitelbaum, Ph.D. is available for speeches and workshops.


"This work is about sports stars who fall from their pedestals.  It’s about very gifted athletes who lose their balance and their perspective in off the field misbehavior.  It seems like celebrity sports heroes’ egos are out of control.  The fame, glory, adulation and wealth that they acquire does not necessarily cushion them from personal lapses which compromise their image, and sometimes, even their lives. 

The combination of three factors: the hero hungry public which craves the connection to sports icons; the role of the media in creating heroes whose image is larger than life; and, the susceptibility of athletes to buy into their exalted self image and then function with a powerful sense of entitlement creates a climate of celebrity worship and an inclination among athletes toward unlimited freedom to break the rules of society without regard for the consequences. 

Some of our sports heroes, under pressure from their own inner demons, or as an outgrowth of their distorted view of themselves become involved in damaging off-the-field activities.  Drug-related crimes and gambling activities are examples of self-destructive paths that some stars athletes pursue.  Abuse toward women and other forms of violence, including sexual assaults and murder have become commonplace reflections of their destructiveness toward others.  Fame can be a great corrupter and VIP treatment and life in a bubble often leads our sports heroes to live by their own set of rules.

These are among the issues that are examined and explored in this book."


"Teitelbaum writes persuasively that sports stars have much to answer for...An even-handed practical argument that athletes must be guided by decency and held accountable for their actions-and that fans need to get a life, or at least a dose of reality.”
- Kirkus Reviews

“Drugs, gambling, domestic abuse, even occasionally-murder-all are part of the day-to-day existence of the world-class athletes profiled in this sobering account by psychotherapist and lifetime sports lover Teitelbaum...While Teitelbaum does cite ‘an erosion of morality and ethical behavior in the public sector’, he is not a moralist, but objective and unsympathetic in his examination of the foibles, compulsions and pathologies of the men and women many fans still idolize.”
- Publishers Weekly

“Stanley Teitelbaum’s volume, Sports Heroes, Fallen Idols, is a thoroughly researched book full of entertaining stories about the underbelly of sports.”
- Max Kellerman, TV & Radio personality

Sports Heroes, Fallen Idols is a well-documented book that reveals a disturbing, unflattering, and at times unnerving account of self-absorbed, flamboyant sports stars, who like fireworks, are thrilling to watch before exploding before our eyes.”
- Andrea S. Corn, PsyD

"It is sobering to read Stanley Teitelbaum's survey of the moral climate of modern sports.  Teitelbaum presents a most disturbing rewind of the evidence of how athletes, anointed into heroes by a media machine, and pampered to an extraordinary degree for most of their adult lives, have not found the moral stamina to resist the assortment of temptations such a wealthy lifestyle brings.  Teitelbaum cites our larger culture's moral erosion, our unwillingness to enforce the concept of responsibility, and our unending fascination with celebrity and our perplexing need to manufacture heroes from jocks."
-- William Sharp, Athleon: The Journal of Sports Literature

"Stanley Teitelbaum's study of sports heroes could hardly be timelier.  His thoroughly documented and richly illustrated account develops intertwined themes:  the first is the rise and fall of the athlete hero, which follows a tragic trajectory of flawed character, overreaching through drugs, gambling, violence, or promiscuity, and the inevitable fall from grace:  the second stems from a "hero-hungry public" that craves connections with sports icons; aided and abetted by a media which helps create "larger than life" figures who are "expected to be perfect."  Along with the media, fans perform as enablers who send messages that the athletes "have a free pass to do whatever they want."
-- Daniel Dervin, Ph.D., Clio's Psyche


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