My Approach to Helping
Over the past decade, my practice has gravitated toward being of service to those who practice alternative sexual lifestyles. From working with people who engage in BDSM and polyamory to swingers, cross-dressers, or just bog standard kinksters, I've heard of so many occasions where, in the first session, the therapist has immediately identified the sexual behavior as the problem and disregarded everything else mentioned. Common among those who come to see me are a history of secrecy, shame, and self-contempt; feelings of inadequacy, or feeling "broken." Anger, anxiety, and confusion, along with a deep rooted shame, lead to desperation and being overwhelmed. You have chosen a lifestyle that not everyone understands although, if there's a name for it, someone's done it. Sometimes, unfortunately, you internalize society's judgmental attitudes, causing you to question your behaviors and beliefs. I can help you before the feelings and behaviors cause damage in your life.
More Info About My Practice
I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Certified Sex Addiction Therapist and worked with the Fire Department of New York, where I started the day before 9/11. In my 11 years working for the FDNY Counseling Service Unit I learned more than I ever thought possible about PTSD, addictions, depression, and anxiety. I accept many insurance plans including: Empire BCBS, Medicare, ValueOptions, Emblem, and MetroPlus. I am licensed to bill as an out of network provider if I do not accept your insurance. I have flexible daytime and evening hours in my Union Square locations.
What I Love about Being a Psychotherapist
You know when the gunslinger walks into the saloon and the piano player stops and the whole place goes silent? That's the response I frequently get when I mention that I'm a psychotherapist. If I want an added layer of tension, I'll throw in that I work people with alternative sexual lifestyle choices. However, rather than deal with the nervous laughter and "wow, that's so good of you" comments, I have a standard answer when asked in small talk as to what I do: I walk the earth and talk to people. The most frequent question I'm asked about being a therapist is how I can listen to people's problems all day; how does it not wear me down? People say this to me all the time, especially those who need to express their profound sadness or disappointment or apathy, yet feel they are burdensome. They say. "You must be sick listening to me", and I say, "No", and I mean it. You are sharing with me intimate parts of you that perhaps you have never even voiced to yourself. Every one of you is opening up a new world to me, inviting me in and trusting me with your most treasured possessions. You show me life in all its colors, good and bad, beautiful and damned. That is why I love being a psychotherapist. Truly, the whole of human life is here.
My Role as a Therapist
Once they leave my mouth, I have no control over how or when my words will be interpreted or internalized, if indeed they ever are. On more than a few occasions I have received phone calls from people who were in therapy with me many years ago thanking me for something I had told them, something I had said that had changed their life, something that just clicked five years later. Almost every single time, what they tell me I said sounds so unfamiliar to me that I'm sure they must have heard it elsewhere. But they insist it was from me. Luckily, I was told very early in my career as a therapist that you can't take credit for the successes because then you'd have to accept the failures, too. As a therapist, I am in your life for a relatively small amount of time. I don't know you the way many others you choose to have in your life do. I don't presume to know what is best for you - it's tough enough knowing that for myself - and I certainly am not going to tell you what to do. I believe my role is to guide you through the fog that currently hinders your progress. I believe you know what is best for you, but that right now that knowledge isn't quite as easy to access as it has been before. I am here as your mirror to reflect what you are now, what you may have been, and what you have the potential to be.