Adolescent + Adult Psychotherapy + Counseling

Developing a life that is satisfying and rich may involve finding balance between elements of change and acceptance. The experience of feeling “stuck” in your life can feel hopeless, and is often downright painful. Understanding unhelpful patterns and dynamics that are repeated again and again in the here and now, contributes to enhanced maturity and a more reality-based, conscious life. Coaching and counseling can help you identify unhelpful adaptations to life and circumstances as well as connect to and unearth the parts of yourself that will contribute to optimal emotional and physical health. My mission is to help you identify your strengths, live mindfully, develop acceptance where needed, resolve trauma and addictive behaviors and explore new ways of “being” in both your personal and professional life. I believe that growth, corrective emotional experiences and healing occurs in the context of healthier relationships, including the therapeutic relationship.
— KS

Adult Psychotherapy

Using the framework of psychodynamic & relational psychotherapy and a mind-body approach to therapy and counseling with her clients, Kim Seelbrede is able to blend various traditional and cutting-edge modalities that best meet the needs and goals of her clients. A psychodynamic & relational therapy approach allows conflicts, including avoidance and fear of anger or other strong emotions, self-sabotage or self-defeating patterns, fear of intimacy and closeness, and lack of boundaries between ourselves and others to be explored, which leads to a fuller, more satisfying life. Emotional healing and change occurs in the context of healthier relationships and research reveals that through the relational process of being in a healthy relationship with another, clients develop the freedom to relate to others, to practice new behaviors, to feel safe enough to be "seen" by others and experience freedom from anxiety and fear. In the context of a safe and supportive counseling relationship, attachment theory and neuroscience reveals that new neural pathways can be established, traumatic experiences can be healed, the parts of us that become "stuck" in the past can be understood and worked through, and clients can develop healthier ways of "being" in the world and in important relationships.

Kim Seelbrede utilizes an integrative style of treatment in her private practice with Adults. Integrative psychotherapy means that techniques and strategies from evidence-based and time-tested therapies are combined with cutting-edge treatments to create an individualized treatment plan, with the goal of addressing patient concerns and treatment needs. Kim Seelbrede is a highly-trained psychotherapist who uses her diverse psychotherapy training in a thoughtful and purposeful manner in the service of addressing her patient's unique treatment goals. Psychodynamic and relational/interpersonal psychotherapy is the foundation of her therapy approach to which other forms of therapy such as EMDR Therapy, Focusing, Mindfulness and Somatic Experiencing Techniques can be blended when helpful and as needed. 

Neurosis is always a substitute for legitimate suffering
— Carl Jung

Adolescent Psychotherapy

Teenagers and Adolescents don't always know or can't express what is wrong. From a developmental standpoint, they lack the cognitive and emotional maturity to verbalize their experiences. One way they are able to tell their story is through action or reacting to the environment. Sometimes, adolescents shut down in an effort to manage their distress.

Early and effective intervention can provide significant improvement in adolescent emotional and social functioning. When young people experience stress, confusion, chaos, depression, anxiety, trauma, parental discord, bullying and loss, they show their anger, fear and sadness through mood and behavior changes. Adults often think that the symptoms will go away in time, but often, problems escalate, leading to more maladaptive behaviors. The developing adolescent is able to benefit most when encouraged to express their feelings and when the therapist helps the young person develop self-awareness and healthier coping skills, learning to modify thoughts and behaviors as needed.

Common Distress Indicators In Teens And Adolescents:

  • Mood changes - anxiety and depression can manifest as aggression, irritability and sadness
  • Physical complaints - emotional issues often manifest in physical complaints such as headaches, stomach problems or other somatic complaints
  • Behavior changes - teens and adolescents may isolate, seem less interested in usual activities or show increased or decreased activity level
  • Difficulties with concentration - young people in distress may have problems with impulsivity and focusing
  • School refusal - a young person may communicate distress by refusing to attend school
  • Academic decline - a drop in grades may indicate severe emotional distress or learning issues
  • Eating problems - emotional distress often takes the form of refusing to eat or restricting food
  • Sleeping problems - may be a sign of excessive worry, a mood-related problem or health issue and should be evaluated by a professional
  • Separation issues - may indicate distress in the environment or earlier developmental issues
  • Behavior problems - teens and adolescents act out becoming aggressive and oppositional with family members, peers and teachers
  • Substance Abuse - experimentation is normal with teens and adolescents, however substance use that interferes with functioning is an indication of poor coping skills and emotional distress

I Have Experience Working With The Following Teen And Adolescent Concerns:

  • ADHD/ADD
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Asperger's/PDD
  • OCD
  • Self esteem
  • Perfectionism & inhibitions
  • Bereavement & loss
  • Substance use/abuse
  • Sexual & identity issues
  • Body image
  • Trauma
  • Sexual abuse
  • Eating disorders
  • Anger
  • Oppositional behaviors & school difficulties
  • Self-harm & cutting
  • Social skills deficits
  • Divorce & family conflicts

About An Integrative Psychotherapy Practice For Adolescents + Adults...

Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

Psychodynamic psychotherapy is an evidence-based and active therapy that has a long history and tradition used in both short and long-term treatment. Psychodynamic sessions include the process of increasing self-awareness, encouraging self-expression, understanding conflicts, developing insight into the behaviors of self and other, unearthing unconscious content that can interfere with functioning and understanding patterns and dynamics that may have origins in the past but are played out in the "here and now." This form of therapy uses the relationship between patient and therapist to heal. The interpersonal relationship tends to be the focus of sessions as an active example of other relationships in the patient's life, so that patterns and distress can be "worked through" and not repeated outside of treatment.

CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy focuses on examining and changing maladaptive thoughts and behaviors. CBT tends to be a short-term approach that is highly-effective for many with empirically-tested techniques supporting an increase in skills and a change in behaviors. CBT is an effective solution for a variety of concerns including anxiety, depression and addictions/substance abuse.

DBT or Dialectical Behavior Therapy

DBT was originally developed for the treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder. With time, DBT skills and techniques have been found to be helpful for individuals who struggle in many areas of life including substance abuse, addictions. DBT treatment combines ideas of awareness, acceptance and change from mindfulness with a range of psychological theories. Because DBT skills are practical and can be generalized into many areas of life, DBT can be successfully integrated into treatment plans and used in a variety of treatment settings. DBT uses mindfulness and other skills to help increase emotion regulation, distress tolerance and interpersonal effectiveness with the goal of helping patient's cope, de-escalate, and self-regulate. 

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) gets it name from one of its core messages which is to accept what is out of your personal control, while committing to action that will improve the quality of life. The goal of ACT is to help people create a full and meaningful life even and especially when the stress and pain of life is a challenge. ACT teaches the psychological skills to manage painful feelings and thoughts in an effort to reduce the impact of suffering. Another aim is to help individuals clarify what is important and meaningful, using that awareness to guide, motivate and inspire them to make important changes that will lead to a better life. ACT supports cognitive flexibility in addition to encouraging individuals to observe and allow difficult thoughts feelings, emotions and experiences to simply occur. ACT also helps patients identify concrete short and long-term goals.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the practice of moment-to-moment awareness of feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations as well as an awareness of the environment and one's surroundings. Mindfulness, as a philosophy, has more recently become a widely-used and helpful practice in the fields of psychology and psychotherapy. Additionally, mindfulness is an empirically-validated practice with data that supports its efficacy and application in a range of clinical and non-clinical settings.  A mindfulness practice includes the observation of feelings, emotions and sensations, a non-judgmental presence and the awareness of the present moment. 

EMDR Therapy

EMDR is an evidence-based treatment that targets many symptoms and conditions including trauma, negative memories, phobias, fears, anxiety, addictions, compulsions and performance difficulties. Originally used to treat Veterans, EMDR therapy is now one of the most efficient and effective trauma/symptom treatment methods that allows clients to heal from their psychological wounds. EMDR can be successfully integrated into psychotherapy sessions and can be a game-changer especially when therapies that teach coping skills fails patients. When patients heal, they no longer need to cope with symptoms. To learn more about EMDR visit www.emdrintegrativetherapy.com

Psychotherapy for Depression

Clinical depression is a complicated condition that can be treated with interpersonal psychotherapy, medication and a collaborative approach to identify the biological and psychosocial factors that may have contributed to a patient's depressive symptoms. Depression can be mild and show up with seasonal changes and it can be debilitating and interfere with life skills, relationships, employment, hope and may also include the desire to end one’s life. Depression treatment is generally supportive in nature, and may require help with daily structure and coping skills and often requires working with other mental health professionals. Interpersonal psychotherapy, CBT and EMDR therapy can be effective treatment for depressed patients. Treatment goals and the therapeutic relationship should be reviewed periodically.

Psychotherapy for Anxiety

Anxiety symptoms brings many into therapy for the first time. Anxiety looks different from person to person and individuals experience a range of symptoms in a variety of situations. For some, anxiety is a distress that presents in a specific situation such as performance, public speaking or test-taking. For others, anxiety may be experienced as ever-present, chronic and debilitating, and may include uncomfortable physical symptoms. Anxiety sufferers are best helped by understanding emotional conflicts, biological and environmental factors with treatment that may include talk therapy, CBT, stress reduction techniques and EMDR Therapy to target early trauma, memories and present-day symptoms.

Trauma Treatment and PTSD

Trauma patients are frustrated by well-meaning individuals and family members who do not understand why they can't just "get over it" and how early trauma still has a hold on their present-day functioning. Early trauma and chronic developmental traumas that may have impacted a patient's development and attachment are the most difficult to heal. Psychotherapy can help validate the patient's experience, work through any feelings of shame and confusion that may have been internalized, process the traumatic experience and help them understand how their current life is impacted by traumatic experiences. Psychotherapy can help individuals identify triggers in daily experiences that create symptoms and contribute to familiar self-defeating patterns and dynamics. While talk therapy can be a good place to begin for some trauma patients, EMDR is the treatment of choice to provide symptomatic relief and truly heal from trauma.

Loss and bereavement

Losing something or someone is difficult and complicated for many reasons. Loss can include a loved-one, pet, job, lifestyle, home or anything really. Loss, especially when significant to the individual, requires mourning that loss, grieving and eventually moving forward. Psychotherapy can give the individual a safe place grieve, move forward when appropriate and still feel connected, especially if the loss was a human or pet. 

A number of benefits are available when you engage in the therapy process. Therapists can provide support, practical problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as anxiety, depression, relationship problems, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues, addictive behaviors and creative blocks. Many people also find that counselors or psychotherapists can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the stresses of daily life. Therapists can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Sometimes people feel worse before they feel better. There are few quick fixes particularly when client difficulties are long-standing and deeply entrenched patterns and conflicts.   

I view therapy and counseling as a collaborative process in which therapist and client search for a greater understanding of self and others, as well as freedom from symptoms. When looking for a psychotherapist, it's important to find someone that has the skills that would be helpful to address your particular concerns and you should feel a sense of comfort and ease with the therapist that you chose. The process of therapy may help bring important personal growth, insight and awareness as well as uncover unconscious feelings and behaviors and the connection between experiences of the past, and behaviors in the here and now. This process addresses negative patterns and conflicts and ultimately frees clients to make healthier choices, feel happier and have better relationships. Clients are supported to gain the insight and clarity to help navigate difficult life circumstances and dilemmas, heal from traumatic events, develop healthier work and personal relationships and feel resilient, productive and fulfilled. I teach clients techniques and practices to make desired changes in thinking and behavior, leading to improved coping skills and a noticeable improvement in overall functioning and life satisfaction. High-achieving, successful individuals often experience emptiness, unhappiness, disappointment, depression, stress, anxiety and relationship problems which may lead to less than desirable coping solutions such as addictions, alcohol and drug abuse, eating problems and sleep deficits. Depending on the situation and issues, I am often directive and educational in my approach. 

Therapy helps people gain relief from unpleasant feelings and thoughts, create more fulfilling and meaningful relationships, and gain more pleasure and control in their lives. Psychotherapy helps clients get to the root of their difficulties -- whether troubling patterns and behaviors, past events, loneliness, sadness, loss, anger, worries, self-doubt and/or relationship problems -- and learn ways to become more self-aware, cope with difficult emotions, improve mood, gain control, feel connected, develop the skills to handle future problems, and live a more fulfilling, satisfying life. I specialize in providing EMDR therapy, insight-oriented psychotherapy as well as evidence-based therapies such as CBT and DBT for adolescents, adults and couples. Sessions are provided in a supportive, caring and private setting.

I treat teens, adolescents, adults and couples and am committed to providing both traditional psychotherapy and research-based therapies. I enjoy integrating alternative therapies if desired by clients. I use an integrative approach that incorporates psychodynamic psychotherapy, interpersonal and relational psychotherapy, EMDR therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy skills (DBT), mindfulness meditation, stress management and relaxation techniques. The adjunctive techniques that I feel comfortable integrating are based on clinical applications from cutting edge neuroscience on effective mind-body therapies. For more information about my counseling practice, you can visit www.nyintegrativetherapy.com

Therapy and counseling can help clients with the following issues:

  • Reframe current life circumstances and gain a different perspective
  • Learn to manage difficult work and personal transitions
  • Gain the support needed to get through difficult times such as loss and change
  • Learn to feel more authentic in one's life
  • Develop healthier coping skills, habits and boundaries 
  • Have healthier relationships at work and in one's personal life
  • Develop awareness of any repetitive patterns that interfere with success and happiness by understanding how past dynamics interfere with the present
  • Manage the difficult people in one's life
  • Develop a path of purpose and life fulfillment
  • Heal from past trauma and abuse and process traumatic memories
  • Increase insight and self-awareness and identify innate strengths
  • Improve communication, conflict resolution, listening and self-assertion skills
  • Address depression and sadness
  • Learn helpful coping skills for stress, anxiety, phobias and panic attacks
  • Relieve stress and insomnia
  • Improve relationships that are unsatisfying, both personal and professional
  • Provide emotional support during life transitions and change such as such as marriage, new baby, mid-life problems and aging
  • Manage destructive patterns that include drinking, eating, drugs and other addictions
  • Understand negative and habitual patterns of thinking and behaving
  • Resolve writing, creative and other performance blocks
  • Mourn losses such as separation, divorce, miscarriage, infertility or death of a love one
  • Develop effective parenting skills

More about therapy:

People experience unhappiness for many reasons including lack of purpose and direction in one's life, disappointment, loss, unfulfilling relationships and chronic, unrelenting stress. Therapy helps individuals increase self-esteem, develop healthy, satisfying relationships and understand self-defeating patterns that interfere with happiness and success. Talking with an experienced therapist can help clients resolve barriers that interfere with joy, compassion, peace, self-esteem, spiritual connection, and love.

Psychotherapy sessions may focus on current or past problems, experiences, thoughts, feelings, or relationships. This may involve learning new skills, trying out new behaviors, working through old issues, grieving, or letting go of things that no longer serve health and well being. In my Manhattan therapy practice, I strive to create an atmosphere of acceptance, both internally and interpersonally. Using creative and practical interventions,  my work is characterized by compassion, intuition and collaboration. When therapy is successful, relationships deepen, work becomes more satisfying and life is richer. Clients learn to take better care of themselves and become more resilient during stressful times by applying the skills they've learned during their investment in therapy.

Therapy FAQ's

What can I expect?

If you're considering therapy now, then you're experiencing challenges in your own life or with others. Psychotherapy is not like sharing problems with a trusted friend. It involves looking closely at yourself, your situation and the people around you. This can feel difficult and scary, but therapy with a trained therapist can help people find solutions to problems, relieve distressing symptoms such as anxiety and depression, support good mental and physical health, promote integrity and honesty and help individuals develop intimacy in relationships. Reaching your full potential, understanding yourself and others and removing barriers to happiness and fulfillment are but a few goals of successful, effective therapy.  Even though you may have good friends and loved ones to talk to, a therapist with professional training is able to challenge and support you in ways that the people in your life cannot.

How do I know what to look for in a therapist?

When you choose a therapist, you should feel understood and not judged for the concerns that led you to seek counseling. You should feel comfortable sharing your thoughts and feelings with your potential therapist as the process requires an investment of time and emotional energy. Your therapist should have good interpersonal skills as well as empathy and compassion. You should choose a therapist who has training in the areas that you are seeking help with. Some therapists have received specialized training in areas such as trauma, addictions or eating disorders. If your problems are serious enough to impact the quality of your life and your ability to function, you may need to find a specialist or someone who specializes in your particular problem. Many therapists have received general psychotherapy training and consider themselves generalists and are able to treat a range of difficulties. This article in Psychology Today explains the process as well as list important qualities to look for in a therapist.

How long will I need to be in therapy?

Your personal needs and goals are always a priority, and will shape the time you spend in sessions. Many individuals desire focused, structured and time-limited sessions with a clear plan targeting specific problems or goals that can be met within a relatively short period of time, while other difficulties require a more intensive focus and may take longer to resolve. This is especially true when people have been struggling for a long time and patterns and habits are rigid and entrenched. Some individuals will find open-ended, regular sessions more helpful. If this is the case, weekly appointments are set and that time is reserved for you to share whatever comes up for you in the week and between sessions, as well as what you're experiencing in the moment with the therapist. This process allows you to examine patterns and dynamics that may be interfering with having the life you desire. 

What kind of therapy should I be looking for?

Increasing insight into problems and self-awareness is one goal of therapy, but unfortunately, that alone does not always lead to the desired change. For this reason, and with certain clients, it may be necessary to implement behavioral changes and track progress between sessions. The duration of treatment is highly variable and depends on many factors, including your personal experience with therapy, your goals and the challenges you are managing. You may benefit from a number of different therapeutic strategies and techniques. In your initial consultation, you should work with your therapist to figure out the best approach for your individuals needs. Therapists may use or combine the following approaches: Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, Interpersonal, Relational, Psychoanalytic as well as evidence-based therapies such as EMDR therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy or DBT, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT to name a few, 

Are my sessions confidential?

It is important to know that everything you say in our sessions will be kept confidential. The only exceptions are when there is a danger that you may harm yourself or someone else, or in active cases of abuse. I am obligated by law to disclose that information to the appropriate authorities. These situations are rare. Most people find it a great relief to have a safe place where they are able to share what's on their mind with a nonjudgmental, supportive trained professional.