Alena Gerst


Alena Gerst


Telehealth Available
Professions: Counselor, Psychotherapist, Other
License Status: I'm a licensed professional.
Primary Credential: Licensed Clinical Social Worker - 080282
Billing and Insurance:

I don't currently accept insurance, but I can provide documentation if clients wish to submit to an insurance company for "out of network" benefit coverage

Fees: $150-300
Free Initial Consultation
Weekend Availability
Evening Availability


Upper West Side
New York, New York 10024

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My Approach to Helping

The people who are usually drawn to work with me, and who do well in my care, are looking for a therapist who is more present-oriented and solution-focused.
We are generally looking at where you are feeling "stuck" in the present, and patterns you repeat unconsciously that are holding you back. Then we explore ways to intervene as we work to reframe your thoughts and incorporate more productive behaviors.
You may have "homework" from session to session, but not necessarily written like in school (unless that appeals to you). We're looking for ways to integrate more choices that will get you closer to your goals.
No topic is off-limits to discussion, but unless it's relevant, we focus more on what is holding you back in the present, and less time on your family of origin, your attachments, and what was modeled for you.
I can't promise you will leave each session feeling GREAT. But I aim to have you leaving each session feeling HOPE, and like you are making progress in your treatment.

More Info About My Practice

I offer individual psychotherapy with in-person and virtual options using a HIPAA compliant platform. I am also a certified yoga instructor and have a special interest in the mindbody connection and healthy living.
I enjoy mentoring Columbia University graduate students going into private practice, and providing clinical supervision to early career therapists.

My Role as a Therapist

As a therapist, my role is first to listen. I will often reflect your issues back to you so you can hear them from another perspective. Very often when you are feeling stuck and unsure what to do next, you do already know the answer.

As your therapist, I will help you to reveal what you need in order to feel better. Sometimes this means I will challenge your self-talk and belief statements. You will feel deeply supported as you become more in touch with your true self and desires. Along with the challenges, I will enthusiastically cheer for your victories. I also expect, when appropriate, we will share some humor in our work together too.

How My Own Struggles Made Me a Better Therapist

I became a therapist after a decade long career as a professional performing artist. While I presented myself as the "picture of health," I later came to discover, through my own work with a skilled therapist and other healing professionals, that while I appeared healthy, I was not "well." My career was strong, but the physical and emotional demands of the business slowly wore me down until I became depleted.
As I built my health back up through psychotherapy, yoga, and other complementary practices, healing and wellness became my passion.
I have trained and worked in New York City hospitals on oncology and general medicine units working with patients at their hospital bedsides, as well as in outpatient clinics focusing on women's issues, acute and chronic illness, depression, anxiety, and adjustment.
I continue to study and practice a healthy lifestyle in my personal and professional life. My clients can be assured that I am a therapist who "walks my talk."

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Services I Provide

  • Clinical Supervision
  • Coaching
  • Consultation
  • Group Therapy
  • Individual Therapy & Counseling
  • Telehealth

Ages I Work With

  • Adults
  • Elders


  • English

Groups I Work With

    My clients include creative and performing artists, attorneys, architects, medical professionals, educators, parents of children with special needs, writers of books and composers.
    I have expertise in people living with physical disabilities, chronic health conditions, and injuries.
    I also specialize in people struggling with multiple anxiety themes, including health anxiety, decision-making anxiety, social anxiety, and many others.

Industries & Communities Served

  • Education
  • Entertainment Industry
  • First Responder/Medical Professionals
  • LGBTQ+
  • Professional Sports
  • Self-Employed and Freelance Professionals

Client Concerns I Treat

  • Abortion / Post Abortion Issues
  • Academic Concerns
  • Adjusting to Change / Life Transitions
  • Anxiety
  • Attachment Issues
  • Body Image
  • Breakup
  • Career Choice
  • Caregiver Issues / Stress
  • Chronic Illness / Disability
  • Codependency / Dependency
  • Communication Problems
  • Creative Blocks
  • Depression
  • Disability
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Emotional Overwhelm
  • Emptiness
  • Fear
  • Forgiveness
  • Habits
  • Health / Illness / Medical Issues
  • Inadequacy
  • Individuation
  • Learning Difficulties
  • LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) Issues
  • Life Purpose / Meaning / Inner-Guidance
  • Parenting
  • Perfectionism
  • Rejection
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
  • Self-Actualization
  • Self-Care
  • Self-Compassion
  • Self-Confidence
  • Self-Criticism
  • Self-Doubt
  • Self-Esteem
  • Self-Love
  • Shame
  • Social Anxiety / Phobia
  • Stress
  • Trust Issues
  • Women's Issues
  • Worry
  • Worthlessness
  • Young Adult Issues

Types of Therapy

  • Body-Mind Psychotherapy
  • Breathwork
  • Collaborative Therapy
  • Exposure Therapy
  • Holistic Psychotherapy
  • Integration of different therapy models
  • Integrative Body Psychotherapy (IBP)
  • Other - Not Listed Here
  • Yoga Therapy

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