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Emily Fitton profile

Emily Fitton, LCSW

Message from Emily

I specialize in treating generalized anxiety and insomnia. Most of my clients’ anxieties arose because they’d suppressed their emotions, wishes and values. When my clients live from their authentic self, their anxiety naturally starts to dissipate. I have many creative people in my practice and help them balance their art with the demands of life. I work with freelancers, entrepreneurs, career changers and people who want more from their jobs; ranging in age from mid-20s to 60s. If any of these key words resonate with you, we can be a good fit: Self-realization; self-empowerment; imposter syndrome; stop living in fear and start living in freedom; find your voice and use it, find your path and follow it; heal the wounds of early life experiences; befriend your emotions and use them to inform your life; and, sleep well at night.

About Emily's practice

Availability

Availability

Weekdays After 5pm

Weekdays 9am - 5pm

Fee

Fee

$$$

Sliding scale

Style

Style

Reflective

Body-based

Method

Method

In-person available: No

Virtual available: Yes

Expertise

Expertise

Anxiety

Existential Crisis or Transition

Career-Related Stress

Life Transitions

Insomnia

Self-Reflection

Insurance

Insurance

Out of network providers

State

State

NY + 1 more

Why state matters

Background
Profile

Get to Know Emily

From your perspective, what is therapy?

Therapy is about finding finding yourself, not external answers. It’s a relationship designed solely for your benefit. It’s a skilled facilitation of discovery that leads to change, away from self-defeating habits and toward realizing your authentic self, purpose and happiness. Therapy is one of the most effective ways to make lasting positive change in your life.

Do you have experience (5-10 years+) working with any types of obstacles or people in particular?

My areas of specialty have a natural flow. Anxiety is often a manifestation of suppressed emotions and values. Insomnia is a common symptom of anxiety. Once we address these symptoms, clients get that they’re in control of their own mind, feelings and choices. That’s a beautiful opening into life purpose work. I have many creative people in my practice and help them balance their art with the demands of life. I work with freelancers, entrepreneurs, career changers and people who want more from their jobs; ranging in age from mid-20s to 60s. If any of these key words resonate with you, we can be a good fit: Self-realization; self-empowerment; imposter syndrome; stop living in fear and start living in freedom; find your voice and use it, find your path and follow it; heal the wounds of early life experiences; befriend your emotions and use them to inform your life; and, sleep well at night. We can be a good fit for each other if: ● You’re a bright, high-energy, over-thinker. ● You’re a seeker – you always knew deep inside that there’s a better way, and you never gave up trying to find it. ● You want peace, power and wholeness – an exit ramp out of crippling anxiety and feelings of inadequacy.

What led you to become a mental healthcare practitioner?

In spite of social and family pressures to suppress emotions, I knew – from childhood, and with my whole being – that emotions need to be processed and resolved. It seemed so obvious to me. After a successful career in corporate marketing, I still felt that something was missing. I found my own meaning and purpose as a psychotherapist. The seed was planted when I was an adolescent. I was truly blessed to happen into psychotherapy at a neighborhood community center. My therapist’s kindness and skill saved me from repeating hurtful family patterns. The experience of being with someone who cared and who helped me understand my mind and feelings gave me a path to clarity, connection and happiness. To transition to becoming a psychotherapist, I pursued training and professional qualifications to do this work responsibly, skillfully and safely. I believe that this is only profession I was designed to do.

How should I prepare for my first session with you?

Just be ready to talk about yourself and what’s making you seek therapy at this time in your life. If you feel we’re a good fit, we’ll talk a little about logistics and forms, and get started. If we’re doing CBT-I, I’ll send you a sleep history questionnaire and a sleep diary to complete before our first session.

How long should I commit to being in therapy, at least in the beginning?

For anxiety, it depends on your issue and your background. Honestly, it takes a while to get to know each other, for you to feel safe to really open up your deepest self. Consider 6 months, and a year is better. The average treatment time with my clients has been two to five years. I have clients who’ve stayed longer, because they appreciate having a place to talk about themselves as they and their lives evolve. For insomnia, my CBT-I program is 6 sessions.

How can you tell if I am feeling stuck, unseen, or unheard?

The best way is that you’ll tell me. But sometimes it’s hard to put things into words, and you’ll tell me through actions and feelings. I pay attention to these subtle and sometimes big signals. Sometimes I’ll feel it in my body, as a restlessness, or something not quite right. In all cases, I’ll check in with you about how things are going. Being supported in working things out has been an empowering experience for my clients.

How can you tell if I am benefiting from working with you?

You feel good about yourself – accepting yourself as you are as a work in progress. You’re able to manage your emotional storms and recover faster. You notice consistent improvements in your life, because you’re making healthier, self-affirming choices, handling relationships better and taking good care of yourself. Then we celebrate your accomplishments and explore ending.

How do you approach diversity in the room or working with clients who may come from a different background than you?

Every client’s experience is unique. Even without direct personal experience in a client’s background, I know and empathize with feelings of being excluded, rejected, or marginalized. We are two human beings together, getting to know each other. I will learn about your background and the unique way it’s impacted your life, and we’ll go from there.

What is unique about the work you do, or how have you found your work to be different than your colleagues'?

My job is to be an agent for hope. I believe every person has an inner guidance system directing them to health, wholeness and purpose. I’m on a mission to help you discover yours and answer its call. I’m a unique person. Because therapy is a relationship, you’ll decide if my unique personality, values and training feel right to you. Also, as an AEDP therapist, I’m explicitly focused on healing and transformation.

What is the best part of the work for you?

The mutual delight with a client when they realize a big, deep truth about themselves, also, when clients tell me that they applied that truth, and did something differently than their “same old.” I most love helping people find their true, authentic expression of themselves, in their relationships, careers, and just on their own, day to day.

Have you received any particular training beyond your post-Bachelor's training?

After receiving my MSW with honors from Fordham University’s Graduate School of Social Service, I completed the following post-grad certificate programs. By far, the most important, influential professional development has been my training for AEDP and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I). · Metropolitan Institute for Training in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, Adult Program · Stephen Mitchell Center for Relational Studies · Certified GetFive Career Coach · Manhattan Institute for Psychoanalysis Trauma Studies Program · AEDP Essential Skills, Levels 1 & 2 · AEDP Immersion Course · Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia certificate course, PESI · EMDR, Level 3

Where did you work before going into private practice?

Before becoming a psychotherapist, I had a successful career in corporate marketing communications. I understand the demands and rewards of the corporate world, and I know what it takes to change careers.

Is there ever a time when you would encourage me to leave or graduate? Or how do I know when it's time to end or move on, or time to stay and explore more?

You may consider leaving joyfully when we notice: You feel good about yourself–accepting yourself as you are as a work in progress. You’re able to manage your emotional storms and recover faster. You notice consistent improvements in your life, because you’re making healthier, self-affirming choices, handling relationships better and taking good care of yourself. Then we can celebrate your accomplishments and explore ending. On the other hand, self-discovery can be unsettling, bringing up uncomfortable emotions. We’ll check in together whether a wish to stop is coming from this.

How will our relationship be different than relationships I have with friends/loved ones?

It’s pretty amazing to consider that a conversation between two people can be so healing to mind, soul and body–miraculous, actually. That’s the power of relationship. What’s unique about your therapy relationship is that it’s solely focused on your growth and development, and our goal is your change for the better. Therapy is also different because you can talk about yourself without worrying about how you’re being received, or having to reciprocate or take care of your therapist. You can say what’s really on your mind and in your heart without fear of being judged or criticized. You can take the time to explore what things mean to you, not just talk about what’s happening. You’ll have the experience of an unbiased mirror of yourself.

Do you assign homework, activities, or readings for me to do between sessions? Why or why not?

When I’m treating insomnia with CBT-I, homework is built into the model. Week to week I trouble-shoot clients’ experience of using the CBT-I tool of the week, and personalize their treatment to help them sleep better. For ongoing therapy for anxiety or self-realization, I offer resources for reading. New research in neuroscience has really expanded the field, and many of my clients find it helpful to know how their brain-mind-body works. When clients choose to read, we talk about their experience with it.

How participatory are you during sessions?

I bring my full self to our work–warmth, compassion, understanding, intuition and humor. I listen attentively and ask questions about what I’m hearing and observing. We’ll work together as a team.

How much do you share about yourself during our time together and why?

I may share how I’m receiving something you said or even a silence. I do this because humans communicate non-verbally, through emotions, sensory feelings and images. This deeper level of communication is immediate and authentic. I’ll always ask if my impressions ring true for you.

Are there any philosophies or values that inform your work that I should know about?

Definitely yes! I use an experiential model, called Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP). I love AEDP because it integrates work with emotions, relationships (attachment), and development, and is explicitly about healing and transformation. I learned in my practice that knowing alone doesn’t lead to change. We need to actually experience–what it feels like in the moment–the process of change, seeing ourselves in new ways, and expressing our authentic emotions. Other values I’m passionate about: · I have to earn your trust. · Your willingness is essential to a successful treatment. · Let’s avoid “fixing.” It’s more important to ask questions and for you to experience your own process of discovery and acceptance. · We’ll be authentic. We also have a real relationship, so if something emotional is happening between us, it’s likely happening in your other relationships. Us working it out is your laboratory. · We all have a powerful innate drive to grow and we mobilize that for healing. · Being seen and affirmed encourages us to keep on exploring. · You are worthy of your own self-compassion. · We humans have an endless capacity to adapt, reinvent ourselves and create new meanings, and the exciting new research in neuroplasticity is proving that.

Please share 2-3 anonymized examples of how the work can play out and/or look in the room so that I can form a visual or narrative of what to expect.

First and most essential, we get comfortable with each other so you can open up and talk about yourself. We acknowledge the pain and distress you’re feeling without making it wrong. Also, right away, we listen for what’s right with you, the glimmers of your strengths, resilience, and desire to thrive. I work relationally, so that means I’ll check in with you on how we’re doing, how something I said affected you. I work with emotions, and that means I’ll ask you to pay attention to what you’re feeling as you’re sharing something. And I work experientially, and that means that I’ll ask you to pause and linger on how you’re experiencing new feelings in the moment. That’s important because we learn from our feelings more than our thoughts. I listen with curiosity and compassion, and you’ll learn to relate to yourself in this way too. We notice patterns, themes, and “sticky” thoughts. Sometimes we trace this to your past, but we won’t dwell there–just enough to know where your beliefs and self-perceptions came from, to help you be free in the present. I work intuitively and we’ll go beyond words, to process feelings, body sensations, images, and metaphors as an important source of your truth. When my clients get that they’re in control of their own mind, feelings and choices, we start answering questions like, “If I’m not that, then who am I? What do I want? What are my values, desires, aspirations? And how do I realize myself as I now know I want to be?” We talk about how to integrate the answers into your life. Sometimes those are more coaching conversations than therapy. Sometimes I explain what’s happening scientifically, for example, how anxiety affects us, and what’s going on at a neurobiological level. My clients find this helpful and reassuring. Sometimes also, if you’re struggling with a particular life issue, we could get into the nitty-gritty and problem-solve together.

If I have never been to therapy before, what should I expect? How do I know if I should go, and how do I start?

Bottom line, you know it’s time to try therapy when the pain of staying the same outweighs the fear of change. Most of my clients came to me because their anxiety felt unmanageable and was controlling their lives. Things looked like they should be working – they had a decent job, social life, and so on – but clients felt sad, worried, or edgy all the time. And, they were angry at their anxiety and ashamed about how much it limited them. My clients would approach situations with every intention to be their self-at-best–calm, resourced, wise–but to their frustration, their self-at-worst kept jumping in–anxious, angry, scared, having melt downs, even panic attacks. In therapy, you get to know and stabilize your self-at-best, and, how to tend to your self-at-worst kindly and compassionately. This is truly liberating. Since therapy is a relationship, the best way to start is to meet with a few therapists to get a feel for how you fit together.