My counseling is as dynamic and individual as the clients who approach me to work with them.
First, we’ll have a conversation where we talk about your needs, and we’ll make a plan accordingly. Then, we’ll start with psychotherapy, and if you decide that it’s right for you, fitness and nutrition can also be integrated into your care plan. It all depends on you and what will help you achieve your goals. Read on to learn more about how you can benefit from:
- Do you frequently feel depressed, anxious or overwhelmed?
- Does trauma or unresolved conflict from the past affect your ability to enjoy the present?
- Have you struggled with dieting for years? Lost and regained weight over and over again?
- Are you struggling with relationship problems?
- Just feeling stuck?
Answering yes to one or more of the questions above is a strong indication that it may be time to seek counseling.
Left untreated, chronic emotional experiences like depression, anxiety, stress, a negative body image, and relationship conflict often worsen over time and can have a dramatic effect on your physical health.
For 25 years, I have been helping my clients transform their problems into opportunities for personal growth and change. You can feel safe knowing that you are working with a competent, seasoned psychotherapist who will be sensitive to your needs and has a wealth of experience helping other people in similar situations.
In our initial consultation, I help you to describe the issues you are struggling with. This process gives me the opportunity to learn about you, to develop an understanding of the problems you want to work on, and provides you with the opportunity to ask any questions and discuss any concerns you may have.
Individual Counseling FAQs
How do I know if I need individual counseling?
If you’re having behavioral, relational, physical, or emotional problems that are limiting your happiness or your options in life, you may want to see how individual therapy can help.
Some common reasons people seek counseling are:
- Frequent feelings of depression, anxiety, worry, or loneliness
- Unresolved traumas or conflicts
- Issues concerning body image, food, weight, and eating disorders
- Difficulties with family, friends, and romantic relationships
- Grief from divorce, a breakup, or death
- Questions/confusion about sexuality, gender, or religion
- Sexual difficulties
- Poor impulse control
- Thoughts of physically harming yourself or another
- Substance abuse
- Physical symptoms with no known medical cause
How many sessions will I need?
After you first session, I can give you a general estimate of the length of treatment.
How does therapy help my physical health?
There is an inseparable connection between your mind and body. Every emotion you feel has a corresponding hormonal and chemical process in your body. Because of that, chronic emotional problems can take a toll on your physical health.
Lowering emotional stress can lower your chance for heart disease, high blood pressure, and myriad of other health problems. Addressing emotional issues doesn’t only positively impact your mind, it will positively affect your body, too.
How will talking about my problems help me to feel better?
Individual counseling is an opportunity to discover yourself with a trained professional guiding you. You’ll be more aware of who you are, and why you make the choices that you do.
This increased awareness allows you to grow, and helps you gain the emotional freedom to make transformative changes. Through a greater understanding of self, you will be able to find new alternatives and lasting solutions to the problems you’ve been struggling with.
How do I know when it is time to stop coming to therapy?
It’s best to continue therapy until you resolve the emotional issues or meet the behavioral goals you first came to therapy for. However, the answer to this question is different for each person, and we can work together to best suit your needs.
You may decide when you have met your goals that you want to finish therapy, or that you want to leave the door open for an occasional check-up. Even if you’ve resolved your original issues, you may want to continue therapy to further your progress. I can advise you on how to best meet your new needs, and how to set new goals for yourself.
How is talking with a therapist different than talking to friends and family?
Therapists are professionally trained, meaning they have a wide range of skills and resources they can use to help you reach your goals. Furthermore, therapists are trained to listen without criticism, which can make it easier for you to open up about your mental health.
What if I need to see a psychiatrist for medication?
While many people benefit dramatically from therapy alone, many still need the help of medication. I can refer you to competent, trustworthy medical professionals who will help you meet your medication needs.
- Do you and your partner suffer from chronic, repetitive fights that seem unresolvable?
- Do you find yourself lonely, disconnected, and hopeless as a result?
If you’re unhappy with your relationship, review these important warning signs of relationship deterioration associated with a greatly increased risk of a breakup or divorce.
- Frequent feelings of hurt or anger when interacting with each other, and an inability to resolve conflicts without fighting
- Contempt and criticism, such as name-calling, eye-rolling, or sarcasm
- Emotional and/or physical withdrawal from the relationship
- Perceiving benign behavior or communication as hostile or negative, taking a position of defensiveness or blaming the other
- An emotional and/or physical affair
- Physical abuse or other aggressive displays
- If you are experiencing one or more of these warning signs, it’s time to seek couples counseling, so you can create the healthy, fulfilling, loving relationship you both deserve.
For 25 years, I have been helping heterosexual and same sex couples—dating, engaged, or married—transform relationships stifled by confusion, hurt, silence, and missed opportunities into vibrant relationships filled with trust, hope, and pleasure (you can read more about me here.) I teach couples how to improve their relationship through psychodynamic investigation, behavioral approaches, and homework.
Psychodynamic investigation helps both partners understand and take responsibility for how their own emotional histories contribute to conflicts within the relationship.
Behavioral approaches include learning how to listen and communicate, how to set boundaries, how to argue constructively, how to enhance pleasure and intimacy, and how to successfully find lasting solutions to chronic unresolved conflicts. Additionally, homework offers the opportunity to practice newly learned relationship skills and deepen partners’ understanding of the ideas discussed during our sessions.
To get started, we’ll meet and talk about what is going on between you and your partner. Then, we’ll work together to help you create the deep, loving, and committed relationship you both deserve.
Couples Counseling FAQs
Do we ever have individual sessions as part of couples counseling?
If you or your partner are struggling with emotional issues that pre-date and/or are triggered by the relationship, individual therapy may be beneficial to our couples sessions. By working on emotional obstacles by themselves, the partner is able to dig deeper into their relationship during our sessions together.
Do couples always end up staying together as a result of couples counseling?
I am absolutely committed to working tirelessly to help couples cultivate the skills and tools needed to improve their relationships and have successfully helped countless couples to enjoy a more fulfilling, harmonious, loving relationship.
However, another benefit of couples counseling can be that certain couples realize that they are simply not a good match and should not stay together. In such situations, and at the request of both partners, I work with couples to part ways as amicably and peacefully as possible.
Do we need to be on the brink of a breakup or divorce to seek couples counseling?
Absolutely not! Many couples who are in happy, loving relationships have specific issues they want to work on together, such as the loss of a loved one. Other couples may just want to continue to deepen an already strong relationship.
We’ve been dating for a short time. Is couples counseling appropriate for us?
Couples counseling can be helpful regardless of the stage of your relationship. Learning early on how to listen to and understand each other with empathy and compassion, how to communicate effectively, and how to resolve conflicts in ways that strengthen the bond between you will lay a strong foundation for a relationship filled with warmth, trust, and happiness.
Personal problems are often interpersonal in nature. In Group Therapy, you re-create the same issues you have with people in your life, but in a safe, confidential setting where you can receive honest, constructive feedback about how you come across to others, and experiment with new, healthier forms of interpersonal communication.
If you want to understand your style of relating to others and how others relate to you, as well as how to develop more fulfilling emotional connections by working on issues of trust, intimacy, anger, conflict, assertiveness, risk-taking, and self esteem, this is an ideal setting.
Group counseling can also be useful for individuals struggling with depression, anxiety, alcohol and drugs, medical illness, loneliness, shyness, or who have experienced losses, sexual assault, or other stressors.
First, you and I will meet for an initial consultation where I help you to describe the issues you are struggling with. This process gives me the opportunity to learn about you, to develop an understanding of the problems you want to work on, and gives you the opportunity to ask any questions you may have. Then, together we’ll decide if group is the best form of counseling to meet your needs.
Group Counseling FAQs
How does group therapy work?
Group therapy sessions are 90 minutes long, and typically have 6-10 members, with a ratio of males to females that is generally balanced. There is a large age range of adult group members, in order to help create similar social situations you would encounter in daily life. Groups generally meet once weekly or bi-monthly.
At TotalSelf Counseling and Fitness therapy groups are ongoing, however, you are not obligated to stay, and you may leave whenever you feel the time is right. There is no set topic. Group members are free to share any thoughts, feelings, and reactions they have toward each other and the group leader, as well as about their life. You don’t need to be in individual therapy to join a therapy group, however It may be helpful, but it is by no means necessary.
Isn’t individual therapy better than group therapy?
Actually, group therapy can be more effective and produce quicker results than individual therapy. You can benefit from the group even during sessions when you say little by listening carefully to others. Also, group members will often bring up issues that strike a chord with you that you didn’t even know were important to your own growth.
Do I have to share my deepest thoughts, feelings, and secrets to the group?
Your safety is of utmost importance. You only need to share what you feel comfortable sharing.
Are there any guidelines for group members?
Yes! Guidelines help us to maintain safe boundaries with one another.
The group guidelines are as follows:
- Come on time.
- Share your thoughts and feelings with other members as they arise.
- Tell the group leader your thoughts and feelings towards him as they arise in the moment.
- Make efforts to understand other members and relate what you understand about them, focusing primarily on their feelings, and secondarily on your cognitive or intellectual understanding of the problem at hand.
- Relate the significant events of your life as it pertains to what is going on in the group in the moment.
- Take an equal share of the talking time (This many not be possible at each group session, but ideally, you will take your equal share of talking time when considered in terms of your overall time spent in group).
- Express any thoughts, feelings, ideas or attitudes as long as your words are not abusive, insulting or demeaning.
- Do not socialize or communicate with other members outside of group.
- Maintain confidentiality. That means that the names of members or topics discussed in group are strictly off limits to anyone outside of the group.
Contact me and we can determine what plan is best for you, physically and emotionally.
How long do sessions last?
The duration of a session is 50 minutes for both couples and individual therapy. Group sessions are 90 minutes.
How many sessions will we need?
It depends. Though by no means set in stone, many people choose to start with a weekly session increasing or decreasing the frequency as needed. We will come up with a plan together at the beginning of our sessions that meets your needs.
Are our sessions confidential?
Strict confidentiality is vital to my practice so that you can feel safe sharing anything you need to with me.
All aspects of your treatment at TotalSelf Counseling and Fitness including the scheduling of appointments, content of counseling sessions, and any records kept are strictly confidential as outlined by federal and state law.
Communication between us may only be disclosed if : (a) you sign a release form authorizing such disclosure, (b) you are in immediate danger of seriously harming yourself or someone else, or 3) your records are requested by a valid subpoena or court order.
124 East 40th Street
New York, NY 10016