Pres covan


Fred was born in New York City and raised in the Greenwich Village neighborhood. This was the center of the bohemian, beatnik movement and probably explains why Fred took so easily to only wearing sandals in Key West after previously dressing, more or less, like a New York professional.

He left New York City briefly to attend Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, graduating in 1966 with Honors in Psychology. He then entered the clinical psychology Ph.D. program of Yeshiva University, which at the time was located in Greenwich Village. Fred did his clinical internship at Bellevue Hospital, and in 1972, was given the position of Director of the Adolescent Outpatient Clinic at Harlem Hospital in New York. In 1980, he took the position of Chief Psychologist at Bellevue, where he had trained.

Fred had married and had two sons, but was separated by the time he took the position at Bellevue. He had an acrimonious divorce which was a valuable learning experience for his therapeutic work with couples and families. In 1984, Fred married Diane Tolbert, an attorney living in Key West. She moved to New York on the condition that they leave after ten years. Fred thought she would fall in love with New York, “like any normal person.” By 1994, they had two sons together, and Fred thought she had forgotten the deal. However, on January 16, 1994, in the middle of a blizzard, Diane reminded him of their agreement “I’m leaving with the children. Are you coming?” They arrived in Key West on June 16, 1994. Fred, although initially traumatized, is now eternally grateful.

Fred wrote a book, “Crazy All the Time”, published by Simon and Schuster in 1994, about his experiences at Bellevue. In New York, he simultaneously held academic positions at New York University School of Medicine, Yeshiva University, The New School for Social Research, Pace University, and St. John’s University. He has co-authored academic articles on matricide and patricide, as well as the effects of lead poisoning in children.

Since arriving in Key West, he has established a private practice of psychotherapy and forensic evaluation. He also supervises United States Navy substance abuse counselors, performs evaluations for the Monroe County DUI program, is on the board of directors of the Help Line.

Since 2000 Fred has been the President of the Board of Directors of Congregation B’nai Zion.

Recently he was seen on MTV’s the “Real World: Key West” as the therapist for Paula, one of the housemates. While fishing, doing construction projects and reading, Fred awaits the next offer from television or the movies.


Dr. Fred Covan's office 305-294-7522

Pres fred


Fred fish

Fred on his boat "Knot Normal"

Email to
President Fred Covan


Congregation B'nai Zion
750 United Street · Key West, FL 33040
[email protected]