Couples Therapist

Couples Therapist


New York, NY

Female, 34

I am a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, in the field for over 10 years. I own a private practice in New York City where I provide psychotherapy services to individuals and couples. I help my clients to address their struggles from a relational and emotionally focused perspective.

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13 Questions


Last Answer on June 09, 2012

Best Rated

Kinda similar to my other question, but I've always wondered whether a therapist's goal is to actually fix a client's problem once and for all, or just keep them as clients indefinitely to make sure money keeps coming in the door. Which is it?

Asked by J.M.D. about 12 years ago

I understand that you see a dilemma presented before therapists: helping clients to the point that they don’t “need” you anymore equates to income loss. While I want to say that no therapist would ever see their job from that perspective, I guess I can’t speak for every therapist out there. Therapists are people...they can get tired or jaded. You are hiring a therapist and therefore have the ability to fire your therapist if you feel he/she is just “phoning it in”. Of course, as a communication expert, I would suggest talking to them first about how your needs aren’t getting met and give them a chance to fix it. I actually start many of my first sessions with clients speaking to this very idea by saying “my goal is to work with you until you are able to tell me ‘bye-bye, we don’t need you anymore!’”. I believe that if I am helping a client to the best of my ability then I have a happy customer for life and many referrals may come from that relationship. I believe couples can resolve their issues to the point where they feel comfortable in their ability to continue the ‘work’ without me…but in the future they may feel the desire to return to me for “tune-up sessions” or to address new life circumstances (illness, childbirth, job loss, etc.).

Is the stereotype of a woman dragging her guy (who doesn't think they need to it) to couples therapy typically how it plays out in real life? Or is the man the initiator just as often?

Asked by ontheave about 12 years ago

There is often one partner who is more desiring to try therapy. If there is a dragger in a couple, yes, it is often the woman. But, I have seen many men in this more pursuing role. This stereotype comes from a very common dynamic that occurs in most couples: The partner who is being dragged is often someone who tends deal with tough emotions inwardly, minimizes intensity, and withdraws (shuts down) from the other person during conflict (I'll just leave the room until this fight blows over and then our relationship will avoid further damage"). If there is a "dragger", that person is usually more likley to express emotion outwardly, maximizes intensity, and pursues the other person during conflict ("we must talk about this right now, have it out, and then our relationship will be better off").

In family therapy, are you seeing a lot of kid-parent relationships getting messed up b/c either-or are spending too much time with isolating gadgets (phones, laptops, ipads, etc)?

Asked by Gregg_76 about 12 years ago

Technology (cell phones, email, facebook, gaming, television, etc. etc.) can definitely interfere with healthy relationships. Yes, I do see this in my practice. There are all sorts of ways our gadget-habits can become a block to healthy connection. With parents and children, “time spent with gadgets” can be a source of conflict. Parents rightfully want to monitor and set limits on their child’s media intake and social networking. Kids, no matter what age, are working to create their sense of independence and ability to make decisions for themselves. This naturally creates opposing agendas. Parents can help maintain a healthy parent-child relationship by setting clear expectations and communicate clearly when conflicts arise. Of course, parents also are capable of creating unhealthy tech habits which can interfere with a family’s sense of connection. A child who sees their parent using gadgets as an “exit” to face-to-face communication would be more likely to 1) act out from the lack of connection or 2) replicate this isolating behavior.

Have you ever realized that you just couldn't get through to a couple or family no matter what? And once you reached that point, did you tell them this, or do you keep them coming in regardless?

Asked by J.M.D. about 12 years ago

After the first three sessions, my clients and I set up treatment goals based on the issues that brought them into my office. We will routinely check in with each other about how it’s going. We assess progress and revise goals as needed. If I’m feeling disheartened about the lack of progress, I try to be as transparent as possible. I will definitely bring this up with them so we can honestly look at barriers to progress and identify if there are more appropriate places for them to be. PS- I do this as collaboratively as possible, I never want my clients to feel like I'm kicking them out!

What percentage of couples who hire you to help with relationship troubles ultimately split up?

Asked by EricaL about 12 years ago

My approach to couples therapy (Emotionally Focused Therapy) has a substantial body of research outlining its effectiveness. These studies find that 70-75% of couples move from distress to recovery and approximately 90% show significant improvement. A small percentage of my clients do ultimately decide to split. I think that matches with my experience (although I don’t do longitudinal research studies). Most of the couples stay together. About 10% break-up or separate during therapy or shortly thereafter.

In your experience, who are the bigger cheaters: men or women?

Asked by 808state about 12 years ago


If you become aware of some illegal activity between a couple (violence, child abuse, etc), are you legally required to report it?

Asked by Myra about 12 years ago