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Alum Translates Fencing Career to Specialized Psychology


Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness alum Justin Tausig, EdD, CMPC, LMHC (MA ’11) is a sports and performance psychologist who works with competitive and recreational athletes and performance artists.

In his private practice, My Inner Vision, he works to help his patients optimize their training and express themselves athletically and artistically.

Tausig arrived at this focus from his years spent fencing; he started the sport at the age of 12, studying under fencing master Giorgio Santelli, who Tausig calls “the greatest man I ever met.”

“Giorgio told me that if I really wanted to find out how good I could be, then I had to study with the best in the world, which at the time was either Milan or Paris,” says Tausig. “That was a lot to tell a young kid, but the idea kept kicking around in my head.”

Justin Tausig, wearing a brown shirt, smiles at the camera.

After completing his undergraduate degree in archaeology at NYU, Tausig followed this dream, training in Paris at the Racing Club de France for more than a decade. During his career, he would become a World Cup Medalist and a six-time US National Fencing Team member.

When his professional fencing career concluded, Tausig moved back to his native New York to consider his next chapter in life. Ultimately, the path led him back to NYU.

“One of the things I learned as a competitive athlete was the mental side of the game, which was a strong suit for me, so I wanted to pursue psychology,” says Tausig. “I had found ways to apply a cerebral approach to the sport that allowed me to be successful, and while pursuing my master’s at Steinhardt, I learned the terminology for these tactics I had taught myself over the years.”

One of Tausig’s most influential career moves was an internship with the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy (ICP) during his master’s, which Tausig calls “an incredible stepping-off point.”

“I knew in the first month of my internship that when I was done, I wouldn’t want to leave,” says Tausig. “I saw their psychoanalytic model and really responded to it. I worked ridiculously hard, including over winter break when all the other interns left town.”

Justin Tausig poses with a plaque and an organization official at his USA Fencing Hall of Fame induction.

His dedication paid off; one of his supervisors suggested he apply to the ICP’s highly selective four-year training program for licensure in psychoanalysis. Tausig became the first intern ever accepted.

After four years of what Tausig calls “the best clinical training on the planet,” he was accepted into a new online EdD in Sport and Performance Psychology program at the University of Western States. He was able to stay in New York, using his hours seeing patients at My Inner Vision for his practicum; two years later, he became the first graduate from the program – and the only one that year.

“I flew out to Portland, OR, for commencement, and it was really cool because I was seated in the center of the front row,” remembers Tausig. “The university president asked for the doctoral candidates in my program to please rise, and it was just me; the audience was really applauding, and I opened my arms and drank it in. That moment gave me the chance to reflect on my journey and what it took to get there.”

Tausig, who was nominated to the USA Fencing Hall of Fame in 2019, gives massive credit to Giorgio, his fencing coach, for helping him find his calling in life.

“Giorgio gave me the capacity to find the path to become who I always wanted to be,” says Tausig. “My career gives me an opportunity to help people in a meaningful way every day.”

In his spare time, Tausig has written a children’s book called George and the Dragon. He has also turned the story and its characters into several screenplays, which he is actively shopping around to studios for production.

Find Tausig on Twitter and Instagram.

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