It's perfectly normal and expected to feel some ambivalence or anxiety about beginning psychotherapy. There is a natural fear that talking about problems could make things worse. Furthermore, there is a fear that things that are going well will be negatively effected. My training and experience of 30 years has shown me however, that the therapeutic process is strengthening and enriching overall. It is a great relief to be listened to and understood, which naturally develops during the therapeutic process. Furthermore, with a deep understanding of oneself and one's conflicts, better choices are made and positive changes occur. I have worked extensively with patients struggling with low self esteem, depression, anxiety, and relationship issues, as well as problems of addiction. My many years in the field of psychotherapy has provided me with the gratifying experience of working with a wide variety of individuals and difficulties, helping individuals to reach their full potential.
Weekday mornings and afternoons
In-person available: No
Virtual available: Yes
Sexual Fear or Addiction
Grief and Bereavement
Addiction and Substance Use
Out of network providers
Why state matters
Get to Know Vivian
There is no preparation needed, other than to anticipate that you will be talking about what you’d like to improve and I will ask questions to better understand your concerns.
I think it’s best to be able to commit to a minimum of six months to one year, if possible.
I might observe that you are talking about things that don’t really matter to you, as an avoidance. I would also most likely notice how you’re feeling through your behavior, tone, etc. I would bring this up and discuss it with you so that you wouldn’t continue to feel stuck or unheard.
Patients begin to feel heard and understood very soon. They should start to feel better before long and begin to see and understand things differently about themselves. I would want to hear any thoughts or questions that a patient has about this, but I would also bring this up based on my observations.
I approach diversity with sensitivity and openness. There is always a lot for me to learn about other cultures, ethnicities, etc. I want to learn about my patients in every way I can.
I consider myself to be gentle, warm and actively engaged and interested in helping. I also think that humor is important and helpful in the process.
I enjoy helping people to gain insight into themselves and their lives, and seeing the positive results that occur.
I fell in love with the subject of Psychology in high school, actually. I have always been drawn to working with people in a helping capacity.
Yes, I have over 30 years of experience with a wide variety of obstacles and people, which includes working with various forms of addiction.
Yes, I received a certificate in psychoanalytic psychotherapy through The New York School For Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy.
The Mount Sinai Medical Center. I worked in the OB-GYN area for a few years, and then I worked in the EAP.
If the work isn’t moving forward, or the patient seems stuck, I will explore this with them. It is very useful to look at what might be going on during those times. In doing so, things will usually open up. Talking about how the treatment is going can be helpful at anytime. This may lead to a deepening of the treatment or it could lead to talking about ending it.
The therapeutic relationship is very different. It is strictly confidential and the work is focussed completely on you. You will be helped to understand yourself in a different way because of the questions that the therapist will ask and explore. You will also relate differently to a therapist than you would to a friend or family member, because you will feel more free to access your feelings.
If there are problems or areas of dissatisfaction in your life that you want to improve, therapy can be extremely helpful. There is no downside to beginning therapy, and much to be gained. When you meet with a therapist for the first time, you will get a good sense of whether it is a good “fit” and a sense of what it feels like to discuss your concerns in a focussed and confidential manner. The best way to begin is to meet in person and tell the therapist what’s on your mind and what brings you.
I am quite interactive but never at the expense of listening. I feel that patients need to be heard and that comes first.
I rarely volunteer information about myself because I feel it takes away from the work. However, I feel that patients should ask any questions that they have and should feel completely free to speak their minds with me. Most of the time I will answer questions that patients ask.
I feel that psychoanalytic theory is extremely helpful in understanding my patients and helping them to create positive changes.
1. A young woman felt distraught after the break-up of a long-term relationship. She felt lost, unsure of herself, and had difficulty concentrating. Within the confines of a safe, confidential, therapeutic relationship, she spoke freely about her feelings, and this helped to shift her feelings of self-worth. She began to have a better understanding of what the relationship meant to her and why they broke up. She was able to challenge some of the negative feelings that she had about herself and her self-esteem strengthened. This helped her to begin to flourish in other ways in her life. She began to reach career goals, she started dating again, and eventually she fell in love with a young man and got married. The satisfaction and healthy self-esteem that she achieved has continued to this day. 2. A young man felt conflicted about his sexual orientation. He felt anxious about the idea of dating either men or women. He also felt very anxious about his career, and whether he could ever be successful in it. Within the therapeutic relationship, these feelings were expressed for the first time. As we explored family history and some of the reasons that he felt anxious, he became more comfortable and less anxious. His full treatment continued for only one year, but the outcome was extremely successful. By the end, he was involved in a healthy, stable relationship with a man, he had come out to his family, who were very supportive, and he felt confident about his career. When a conflict is better understood there is clarity, and with it a satisfying outcome is sure to follow. 3. A young woman presented with depression, alcoholism and suicidality. She is seen 2X a week in light of the seriousness of her symptoms. We begin to explore the difficulties in her life that she has never discussed. It is quickly revealed that she has been struggling with low self worth stemming from a very difficult childhood. As the therapeutic relationship begins to nurture this person’s feelings of self-worth, other steps are put into place. A safety plan is established in the event of suicidal thoughts and she is encouraged to connect with the AA community. In the treatment, she felt listened to, maybe for the first time. As a result, she became sober, she stopped feeling suicidal, her depression disappeared, and she began to live a much more full and happy life.
Therapy is a highly useful collaborative process which is used to resolve problems that feel difficult and are often impossible to resolve on your own. Through the process of talking through issues and concerns in a supportive, non-judgmental environment, one’s perspective begins to shift. A greater understanding about oneself emerges which leads to making positive changes.