Over the years I have helped many clients to achieve breakthrough results through solution oriented psychotherapy, counseling and executive coaching in my New York City and White Plains psychology practices. As a New York licensed psychologist with significant clinical experience, I have been practicing psychology and providing psychotherapy, counseling and coaching for over 20 years. Psychotherapy results can be transformational, with solutions not only relieving symptoms, but changing the quality of lives. Real, measurable results are possible through psychological counseling and coaching. The solutions these clients found began with the decision to face problems with the help of a licensed and professional psychologist, counselor and psychotherapist.
Psychotherapy Success Stories of Typical Counseling Clients (identifying details altered):
Couples Therapy for a couple at a crossroads in their marriage
Catherine and Howard found each other after pursuing long, productive careers. They had loved each other with fierce passion and devotion, but they fought so ferociously that their love was beginning to die. Their marriage often felt like a roller coaster ride that was threatening to derail at any moment.
They needed clear information, directive intervention and specific behavioral tools to halt the destructive cycle of hurt and retaliation that put their marriage at risk.
They gradually learned how to address their particular inner hurts and to communicate more effectively. When they learned to communicate their needs in more direct and gentle ways, their love life rebounded. They were taught to negotiate the kinds of conflicts that had destroyed previous relationships. They also learned the habit of making accommodations without feeling resentful.
People who are experiencing post traumatic stress reactions, or panic attacks, that hamper their ability to work, to travel or to interact comfortably
Jan is a forty-year-old bond trader. He was four blocks from the World Trade Center when the first tower began collapsing. He found himself running for his life in the blinding dust, fear and confusion that pursued him down the street.
Months later, he began experiencing panic attacks, irritability, mood swings, fear of traveling, emotional numbing and other distressing reactions. These symptoms frightened him. He felt like he was losing control. He felt confused and embarrassed, and he began to build an invisible defensive barrier between himself and others.
We were able to quickly identify the meaning of his symptoms. He learned that he was having a normal reaction to an abnormal experience. We discussed what he might expect in the course of his recovery and what we could do to expedite progress.
Jan has made swift initial gains in learning how to calm himself, retain emotional control, limit further stress and reach out for support.
People whose personal lives or sense of have been delayed by issues of care giving, parenting, career or personal survival
Marie is an intelligent, capable and extremely modest person. She retired after a varied and demanding career, working hard to meet or exceed the standards of other. Now in a position to begin to pursue her own interests, desires and goals, she suddenly began to experience depression and travel phobia.
Marie's symptoms resolved after we explored the issues that were really upsetting her. Marie was at a loss in retirement because she no longer had to answer to anyone. She was unaccustomed to having the freedom to focus on herself, and it frightened her. Indeed, she had little sense of her self apart from her work.
She needed to reconnect with the person she had been as a child before her traumatized, unsupportive family and her harsh, parochial educational experiences undermined her self confidence. She needed to build upon positive memories of early childhood to regain a sense of self determination. She also benefited from active encouragement to reach out and connect with the kinds of people that could appreciate her as a person.
Marie is now learning to confront the harsh, internal critic that had accused her of being "selfish" for wanting to live a life of her own making. She is making her own choices without fear or guilt and enjoying her life and her achievements in the process.
People whose lives have been disrupted by personal trauma
Daniell is a busy commercial realtor in her early thirties. She is intelligent, dynamic, nurturing, attractive and funny.
Her father died unexpectedly when she was a young teen. Her mother was emotionally shattered and painfully self absorbed and could not really focus on her children's emotional needs. Too quickly she remarried, with disastrous consequences for the family. The physical loss of her father and the emotional loss of her mother left Daniell with an enduring sense of being unwanted and alone in the world.
Daniell looked to men to replace her shattered sense of security and self-confidence. She was drawn to outwardly confident but inwardly insecure men. She would engage them too quickly and intensely, on all levels. She played the role of therapist/nurturer. She would feel exited, grounded and soothed by their excitement and she would assume that a secure, satisfying relationship would follow.
These fantasy based relationships became emotionally draining and undermining when reality slowly intruded and the relationship ended. She would then experience this loss through the lens of traumatic childhood loss, and she would become depressed and frightened regardless of who had ended it.
Daniell would then begin to obsess about her appearance, her weight, etc. in an attempt to figure out what she had done wrong. She felt, at such times, that if she had looked or behaved differently, she somehow could have controlled the outcome.
To break this cycle, we began by getting Daniell reconnected with selected family members and by spending more time with truly close friends. These supports helped Daniell to calm and comfort herself in the face of setbacks. We also worked on how to enjoy spending time with herself in order to develop a stronger personal center.
Daniell is getting better at calming her inner panic and not succumbing to a trauma based sense of desperation. Daniell now places a much higher priority on the character of the men she dates and on their capacity for friendship.
Well-functioning people who want change in particular areas in their lives
Jonathan, age 41, is a successful as a consultant, but he had not been able to sustain an intimate relationship. He had been too concerned with trying to please people, especially women. Relationships have always been about the other person's needs. The crucial influences in Jonathan's life have been his harsh, critical father and his anxious, detached mother.
Jonathan had usually played the role of mentor/caretaker in relationships with women. He had never felt appreciated as a person. When he felt loved, he feared that it would weaken or entrap him and he would quietly withdraw into himself. He was too easily stung by criticism. Fear of rejection and entrapment kept Jonathan locked in a lonely "comfort zone."
We worked at multiple points of intervention. These included his issues with assertiveness, self-concept and interaction with family members. Once we understood his emotional patterns and interpersonal behaviors, we were able to set goals and make progress.
For example, Jonathan felt painfully needy. He seemed excessively dependent upon women for approval, security and meaning in his life. He benefited from being coached on how to spend more time alone doing creative and self enhancing activities. He then began to experience the emergence of a productive, autonomous sense of self.
These choices conferred a realistic sense of self-worth and a healthy sense of personal power. As a result, Jonathan felt less insecure and more centered when dating. He gradually felt comfortable enough to be able to genuinely say "no" or "yes." Now, he is beginning to draw positive responses to the person that he really is.
We looked at the role that he played in his family's dynamics. Jonathan's improved self confidence encouraged him to try to get closer to family members. Coached on alternative ways to respond when upset, he became less vulnerable, reactive and defensive. He learned to respond creatively, e.g., with humor, curiosity, empathy, spontaneity or by simply changing the subject.
Jonathan discovered how his fear of criticism had been negatively influencing his business interactions. He is now more authoritative with clients and more assertive with colleagues. He has learned to negotiate rather than to avoid conflicts. He is claiming a major leadership role in his company.
People who want to change their reaction patterns or develop their interpersonal skills to advance in their career
Joan is a 38 year old manager at a financial services institution. Selected for a key leadership position, she soon developed a panic disorder with hyperventilation. She also began to use alcohol to get to sleep and tranquilizers to calm herself before meetings.
Joan had had a successful career due to her talent, energy and professionalism. She functioned brilliantly as a hands-on leader, set a strong pace and led by example. Her new position required advanced policy and planning skills which were not her forte.
After her promotion, Joan felt intimidated, confused and withdrawn in meetings. She had reached a managerial level where her peers often were graduates of Ivy League business schools. They appeared much more polished and articulate in meetings, she felt. Joan was beginning to fear that she might not be good enough in her new job because she wasn't one of them.
Joan's confidence was being undercut by fear of failure and a self created set of negative social comparisons. which undermined her sense of professional identity. She recognized that she needed to achieve a rapid, personal reorientation in order to succeed in her new job.
After the meaning of her panic attacks was explored and explained, they gradually resolved. Encouraged, she began to drill down and address certain personal obstacles that she had buried during the years of single minded focus on career. She had to understand the old, subtle self-doubts that were undermining her confidence. Her personal center restored, she had little problem adapting to the new role, leadership approach and concepts that her job required.
Joan is proud of her achievements and has found her own voice. She has grown as a person and a leader and has become an effective public speaker.
People who want more from life than professional success
Victor is a 46-year-old account executive in the media business. He has always been highly focused and committed to his work. He has worked long hours, often on weekends. He has always viewed himself as successful at work and a source of pride to his wife, three children and parents.
As a couple, their pattern had been to maintain peace by avoiding conflict at all cost. Janie correctly judged that Victor would not respond well to direct confrontation. He avoided facing his underlying feelings of helplessness about what to do by silently holding Janie responsible for any domestic disharmony and upset.
Problems surfaced when his wife became visibly anxious and emotionally withdrawn. Janie, a vibrant, kind and competent partner, had been quietly slipping into a state emotional detachment. Janie did not doubt Victor's loyalty, but she felt as though she were living alone, like a single parent. She worried about their diminishing personal intimacy. She had given the promise of a career in order to care for her family. She gradually lost her sense of personal balance and confidence.
Now, she felt that their marriage had become lifeless and false. Janie regarded Victor as a critical, absentee boss or as an unappreciative, demanding child. She felt hurt, alone and anxious. She felt more attracted to other men. She also felt guilty and confused by her gnawing resentment.
Janie was at a total loss as to what to do as well. Unfortunately, it was her pattern to implode and become depressed. Baffled, Victor began suffering from insomnia and irritability. He started losing mental clarity and focus at work. Janie's depression and Victor's insomnia provided the wake-up call they needed.
After meeting Victor and Janie, it became clear that Victor had been relatively unfocussed on family life. He was at a loss when Janie talked about her day or broached significant family issues. Couple's therapy cleared up their blocked communications as well as Janie's symptoms. Janie learned to express her feelings and needs assertively; Victor learned to express his confusion. They learned to problem solve and negotiate emotionally charged issues.
Victor responded well to the recommendation of additional coaching on communication skills and family life issues. Victor has been working on these issues with the same energy and focus that made him successful in his professional life. He is now realistically balancing his family and professional priorities. At home, Victor is more directly involved and emotionally present. He actively participates and contributes to his family as a husband and a father. For example, he helps with homework, scheduling, planning vacations and mediating family conflicts. He helps to plan their weekly "date night" and other couple events. He has encouraged Jaime to return to school to get an advanced degree that she had once been pursuing. She has developed a clearer sense of herself as a person, independent of her family. He has remarked that he had lost his perspective and had forgotten what being successful was about for him.
Find Results-Oriented Therapy, Goal-Oriented Counseling and Solution-Oriented Psychotherapy in New York City and Westchester County
Please contact me if you would like to discuss results oriented psychotherapy, goal oriented psychology and solution focused counseling for couples and/or families. I'm happy to discuss my qualifications, experience and methods as a licensed clinical psychologist, marriage counselor, family therapist and individual psychotherapist. I have extensive experience in couples and family therapy, marital counseling, adult attention deficit (AADD), executive coaching, anger management, stress management and more.
I offer convenient appointments and easy to access offices in midtown NYC, in White Plains in Westchester, NY and in Greenwich, CT in Fairfield County.
I am currently in the process of trying to find a psychotherapy and counseling office in downtown Greenwich, CT.