Urban Zen Integrative Therapy + Self-Care Expertise 

Integrative Mind Body Support + Self-Care For Professionals + Caregivers

In 2009, I had the privilege of participating in the Urban Zen Foundation's Integrative Therapy Program. The UZIT program was a perfect fit for me because I enjoy expanding my knowledge as a clinician so that I can offer quality, comprehensive care to my clients. My year long Urban Zen journey was an attempt to explore a variety of integrative treatment modalities that would provide adjunct support to my integrative psychotherapy practice in New York City. I graduated from the program with a 500-hour certification in integrative therapy and yoga therapy in addition to 200 hours of previously-earned yoga training. I use these skills in an integrated manner when working with clients managing pain and chronic illness as well as therapy clients who are healing from trauma, PTSD, anxiety symptoms, stress, addictions and eating disorders. 

The program involves training in yoga therapy, nutrition, self-care, Reiki, contemplative care and essential oils (aromatherapy). All of these modalities together support the reduction of pain and anxiety. The objective and philosophy of the Urban Zen Integrative Therapy program is to train integrative therapists to work in private practices, corporate environments, hospitals, outpatient care centers, support groups, hospice, nursing and medical schools to transform the healthcare system. The Urban Zen Foundation integrates Eastern healing techniques with Western medicine in a model that delivers compassionate and complementary, comprehensive healing care. 

In 2011, I was invited to return to the program as a mentor to new students. I am delighted to serve as a resource for anyone interested in the Urban Zen Foundation Therapy Program (UZIT) philosophy and can provide referrals to integrative practitioners in New York City and beyond. Currently, the Urban Zen Foundation collaborates with yoga studios such as Yoga Works, UCLA, Beth Israel and other hospitals throughout the country, as well as teaching institutions such as Ohio State, Cleveland State and Kent State. While participating in Donna Karan's groundbreaking initiative, I had the honor of training with Rodney Yee, Colleen Saidman Yee, Richard Freeman, Richard Rosen, Geoffrey Roniger, Pamela Miles, Tracy Griffiths, Lena Falth, Koshin Paley Ellison, Robert Chodo Campbell and Roshi Joan Halifax. I completed clinical rotations at Beth Israel Medical Center and Hope Lodge. 

Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify.
— Henry David Thoreau
— Henry David Thoreau

Integrative Therapy

As an integrative therapist and coach, I work with individuals and couples from an experiential, intuitive and present-focused, mindfulness perspective. My approach is creative, integrating mind-body techniques with the emotional and ancient wisdom of many traditions, to create expanded possibilities of healing and growth. As a registered yoga teacher and practitioner, I often recommend these helpful practices for my clients. Please call or email me with questions related to mindfulness practices and meditation support for enhanced emotional and physical health.

Mindfulness is a simple approach to living a meaningful life. Western medicine is now recognizing Mindfulness as a powerful, evidence-based tool for dealing with trauma, PTSD symptoms, attachment deficits, chronic stress, pain, depression, anxiety, addictions, eating disorders and many other medical and psychological conditions. The practice of Mindfulness teaches practitioners a way of being more deeply present in the body, with thoughts and emotions. It is learning to work with what is, acceptance of reality, in a less reactive and judgmental manner. 

Mindfulness helps individuals learn to switch from autopilot to being present--as such, they learn to respond differently to the unavoidable, ordinary and even extraordinary stressors in their lives. Life becomes richer with a deeper level of awareness, one moment at a time. Mindfulness helps individuals struggling with psychological difficulties as well as those managing stress and the ordinary problems of daily living. Mindfulness can enhance all of your relationships by helping you be more "present" for the other.

Stress Management + Reduction

Stress is present for all of us, especially when we live and work in busy cities and attempt to manage the demands of work-life balance. Chronic, unrelenting stress can affect one's physical and mental health. Stress regularly shows up in the body as pain and other symptoms in addition to accelerated aging. Stress can lead to insomnia and memory problems, increase one's risk of heart disease, have an impact on diabetes and arthritis, contribute to the development of eczema and autoimmune disorders, and even lead to reduced resistance and immune system depression. Kim Seelbrede is a stress reduction expert and has studied techniques with experts in the field.  She offers her guidance and training to individuals who would benefit from her experience.

Changing habits and negative thoughts can be a challenge for most of us, but with stress management support, it is possible to eliminate the old and to adopt healthier, health-sustaining habits. Those who have a difficult time coping with stress on their own often turn to unhealthy ways of coping. Typically, clients who come for stress management are experiencing difficulty relaxing, feeling on edge and may experience sleep problems. These clients are typically busy and ambitious people who work hard and could benefit from approaches to help them find balance and comfort in their bodies and lives.  Many clients often benefit from sampling a variety of techniques such as EMDR, guided meditation and mindfulness to find the techniques that provide the desired support.

Together, we will look at the many areas of your life to find the sources of your problems and find solutions. Areas of focus may include work, family and other areas of one's life. Techniques to help you relax, de-stress optimize your environment and breathe are important aspects of integrative therapy sessions. In addition to being a licensed psychotherapist, I am an experienced yoga and meditation instructor and have received training with the groundbreaking Urban Zen Foundation.

With stress and relaxation coaching you will learn to:

  • Identify the areas in your life that are causing stress
  • Develop coping strategies to reduce and manage stress in your life
  • Better understand your own body's response to stress
  • Establish healthy work and personal boundaries
  • Maintain an exercise regimen
  • Manage disease, pain or chronic conditions 
  • Utilize techniques to manage stress such as meditation and breathing techniques

What are the benefits of working with a Stress Management Expert?

  • Enhanced clarity of thought and focus
  • Improved immune function
  • Reduction in unhealthy physical responses to stress such as increased cortisol and adrenaline
  • Increased energy and vitality
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Increased self-esteem and confidence
  • Weight loss
  • Control over unhelpful responses to stress
  • Increased motivation
  • Healthy work and life balance
  • Greater sense of emotional satisfaction and well being

How does stress impact your life?

Stress can affect every area of life--physically and emotionally. In fact, stress plays a role in virtually every disease and condition from the common cold to life-threatening diseases--stress weakens the immune system. Unhealthy levels of stress leads to the following symptoms:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Chronic hyperventilation
  • Tense muscles
  • Impaired digestion
  • High blood pressure
  • Headaches
  • Memory loss
  • Back pain
  • Obesity
  • Depression
  • Anxiety, fear, irritability, frustration, hyperactivity
  • Anger
  • Decreased self esteem
  • Relationship problems & divorce.

Mindfulness Support 

Developed more than two decades ago at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center by Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D., mindfulness training helps a person live in the present moment in an effort to better handle the ups and downs of life.  By intentionally bringing a non-judgmental awareness to breathing, body sensations, moods, thoughts and feelings – including fear, anger, frustration, desire, and self-doubt-–a person is better equipped to deal with the challenges of life.  This very special kind of attentiveness enables one to acquire new insights about life situations, and in turn, develop ways to consciously respond, rather than react to the conditions of life.

People simply observe what arises in the body and mind, perceiving each experience as an event in their own field of awareness. This fuller, moment to moment, non-judgmental awareness known as Mindfulness frees one to make clearer and more attuned decisions.

Most people report an increased ability to relax, greater energy and enthusiasm for life, brightened self-confidence and an increased ability to cope more effectively with both short and long-term, stressful situations.

Meditation Training and Support

Meditation is an activity that calms the mind and keeps it focused on the present. In the meditative state, the mind is not cluttered with thoughts or memories of the past, nor is it concerned with future events. When thoughts keep us distracted during meditation, we can guide ourselves back to our breathing or practice watching and observing the mind in the same way one would gaze at the sky and watch a cloud pass. Meditation seems to overwhelm many, but the truth is, we meditate often throughout our day, and mostly we are unaware of this natural practice state. When you’re having a busy day and think that you cannot possible add one more activity, just sit. Sit quietly and breath evenly, for two to five minutes and enjoy a meditative experience that can be restorative in nature and allow you to return to your activities feeling calmer and more balanced. Meditation produces a deep state of relaxation and a tranquil mind. It can give you a sense of calm, peace and emotional stability. And these effects don’t end when your meditation session ends. Practiced regularly, meditation can have lasting effects on your emotional and physical well-being.

Rigorous scientific research can measure the effects of meditation on a range of health variables and are currently being evaluated in such ground-breaking initiatives as a year long experiment combining Eastern and Western healing methods at Beth Israel Medical Center, UCLA, Ohio State and more.

Other interesting and helpful techniques that I regularly integrate into wellness coaching sessions...  

Body Scans

Body scans offer help for bringing deep awareness to the many processes of the mind and body. While in a state of relaxation, allow the mind to focus awareness on, and just notice parts of the body. Many people like to begin with the feet and work their way up the body, noticing any sensations such as: holding, tightness, agitation, softness, relaxation, pain, lack of pain, etc. Either before or after a body scan, practitioners often do a breath awareness exercise where the focus of attention is simply noticing breathing and any sensations or thoughts as you do this gentle exercise. Body scans can be helpful for individuals with chronic pain by focusing on parts of the body that are pain-free.

Guided Imagery  

Guided Imagery is a therapeutic technique that is used by some clinicians during psychotherapy sessions to promote relaxation and healing. Imagery (thoughts or mental representations with sensory qualities) can help people achieve a variety of health goals, such as alleviating anxiety or depression, overcoming phobias, trauma recovery, reducing habits (overeating, smoking), healing from physical illness, and physical symptom reduction (i.e., high blood pressure, headaches, insomnia, G.I. problems, chronic pain). Guided imagery is a two-part process. The first component involves reaching a state of deep relaxation through breathing and muscle relaxation techniques. During the relaxation phase, the person closes their eyes and focuses on the quiet, relaxed, "in and out" nature of breathing. Or, they might focus on releasing the feelings of tension from their muscles, beginning with the toes and working up to the top of the head, as one might do in progressive relaxation or body scans. Once relaxation is achieved, the second component of the exercise is the imagery, or visualization. Guided imagery is perfect for patients or clients who feel uncomfortable receiving help in a traditional therapist/patient session where "talk therapy" is the focus, or in addition to other therapeutic techniques.

Clinicians and therapists integrate guided imagery into a variety of other modalities such as EMDR. When woven into an integrative psychotherapy approach, guided imagery helps clients connect with their internal cognitive, affective, and somatic resources. Guided imagery can be used for the following:

  • To relax and calm the nervous system
  • Learn and rehearse new skills
  • Learn to effectively problem solve through visualizing possible outcomes of different alternatives
  • Increase creativity and imagination
  • Enhanced performance and sports training
  • Healthcare and rehabilitative medicine

Medical practitioners such as nurses often use guided imagery with their patients to support patient healing and increase patient comfort. This is particularly true with Cancer patients, but also with patients who have other medical concerns such as anxiety before surgery. Studies have shown that individuals who participate in guided imagery experience an increase in activated T-cells which leads to improved immune responses. Guided Imagery is one of many tools that an individual may use as part of a regular self-care practice.

The usefulness of guided imagery techniques have been shown to be effective in helping individuals learn or modify behaviors such as:

  • Learning to relax
  • Changing or controlling negative emotions in response to a particular situation
  • Preparation for future changes (divorce, moving, job changes)
  • Habit control and eliminating or reducing undesirable behaviors (smoking, obesity)
  • Increased pain management
  • Coping with difficult situations (relatives, family events, a difficult boss)
  • Learning new and desirable behaviors (assertiveness training)
  • Increasing motivation (work, homework)
  • Learning to manage stressful or anxiety-producing situations (public speaking/presentations) by mentally rehearsing the needed behavior(s)

Guided imagery techniques have been found to be effective with a variety of concerns such as:

  • Phobias (including agoraphobia, panic disorders, social phobia, and specific phobias)
  • Depression
  • Generalized anxiety disorders (GAD)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Sexual concerns
  • Habit disorders
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Behavior disorders in children and adolescents
  • Medical conditions
  • Acute and chronic pain (and other physical disorders)

Guided imagery has also contributed to the achievement of skills and overcoming anxiety in normal life situations that include learning or improving skills, performance enhancement, test taking, and public speaking. Visualization and imagery, along with hypnotherapy, EMDR and behavioral techniques, have been applied to the fields of business, industry, child rearing, education, behavioral medicine, and sports. In my Manhattan psychotherapy practice, I integrate guided imagery into psychotherapy and EMDR sessions with patients as needed.

OTHER PROFESSIONAL SERVICES

Individual Therapy, Group Therapy, Relationship Counseling, Consulation, Supervision, EMDR + Adjunctive EMDR Therapy + Online Counseling Sessions

I've enjoyed my education adventures along the way and am able to offer a unique approach to healing. My goal is to blend contemporary psychological practices and practical skill-building with intuitive guidance and the wisdom of the ancient healing arts. The heart and soul of my approach is to help clients develop insight, self-awareness, self-acceptance, authenticity, self-integration, respect for one's body, feeling embodied, healthier boundaries, self-care and to learn to trust one's own inner guide and wisdom. 

Psychotherapy For Adolescents + Adults

Individual adolescent and adult therapy is provided in my Manhattan office, and depending on client concerns, online using Skype or a HIPPA compliant platform. An initial consultation is the best way to determine if your particular needs and goals can best be addressed using a short-term model such as solution-focused therapy and crisis counseling or long-term psychotherapy to address longstanding, chronic symptoms and conflicts. I have advanced post-graduate training in a variety of helpful techniques such as: EMDR Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT, Dialectical Behavior Therapy or DBT, Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, Interpersonal Psychotherapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Focusing and Mindfulness. After an initial assessment, I will give you my opinion, and together, we can discuss therapy in detail. We can also consider the duration of treatment and the approach or combination that would be the best solution for you. I have expertise in anxiety and mood disorders, addictions, compulsions, eating disorders, relationship problems, sexuality, identity concerns, sexuality, self-defeating patterns/self-sabbotage, lack of purpose, spirituality, family of origin issues, trauma/PTSD, attachment issues, self-esteem, transitions, loss, wellness coaching and an integrative therapy approach that addresses chronic pain and medical challenges. 

Coaching, Strategizing + Mentoring

Coaching clients are goal-oriented individuals who seek results in their lives. Hiring a coach who is rigorously trained to uncover obstacles, as well as guide and support your best self, is a powerful resource. Having support and guidance as you practice new behaviors can be incredibly helpful. Some just need an expert "strategist" to guide efforts towards growth and change. Coaching unearths the stubborn and often hidden, negative self-concepts that keep people anchored to their present reality. Identifying these unhelpful concepts helps clients move forward. Often, a positive and renewed sense of energy will emerge as soon as one begins the coaching process. Partnering with a life coach can be supportive, encouraging and empowering, and can help clients navigate change restoring or creating balance and fulfillment. Whether it’s taking control of one's health, losing weight, career issues, focusing on goal-attainment, repairing a relationship, getting "unstuck" or transitioning to a new chapter in life, coaching can provide the needed inspiration and support one desires. Working with a licensed trained psychotherapist can yield exceptional results. Coaching is not therapy. Therapists have interesting skills and tools that can be used when longstanding and resistant patterns interfere with progress. I won't hesitate to offer EMDR for blocks and peak performance enhancement, Mindfulness, Solution-Focused strategies or Cognitive Behavior techniques to my clients, combined with coaching strategies to help the "stuck" move forward.

Relationship Counseling + Couples Therapy

I've successfully worked with many coupes who desire a better, more fulfilling relationship. I work with many high-functioning couples who would like to enhance their relationship and reestablish intimacy and connection. I also work with individuals at various stages of relationships including: newly-formed relationships, couples seeking pre-marital counseling and guidance, new parents seeking support, those considering separation or divorce and the newly single and ready to date. I use a "team" approach, helping couples learn to communicate their needs and "hear" the needs of their partner, as well as develop a shared vision or goals, learn acceptance and compassion for self and the other, heal from infidelity, develop new skills,  identify and de-escalate triggers, address sex and intimacy concerns and understand how the past may be impacting your current relationship. I use my training from The Gottman Institute, as well as Emotionally Focused Therapy or EFT and Non-Violent Communication or NVC to support my work with couples.

EMDR Therapy + Brainspotting

As an EMDRIA-approved, level II trained EMDR therapist, I have enjoyed great success with clients using EMDR therapy for a variety of chronic, longstanding difficulties as well as recent traumatic incidents. EMDR psychotherapy can be a stand-alone treatment or integrated into ongoing talk therapy sessions to speed the healing process. As a New York City based EMDR specialist, I provide trauma resolution for PTSD symptoms, and healing for attachment deficits, developmental traumas, medical trauma and chronic physical and emotional abuse. Additionally, EMDR is an effective therapy for anxiety, obsessions, phobias, compulsions, panic attacks, depression, self-esteem, eating disorders and more. For addictions, I use a specific protocol called the Feeling State Addiction Protocol or FSAP when working with substance and process addictions. For individuals in addiction recovery, elements of EMDR therapy can help clients develop self-soothing inner resources. A combination of EMDR and coaching is an effective treatment combination for sports and peak performance enhancement and creative and performance blocks. Brainspotting, another technique developed by David Grand, PhD, combined with EMDR psychotherapy is a technique I use to address attachment issues, unresolved trauma, pre-verbal trauma and performance problems. 

Consultations + Referrals

I provide consultation sessions that are time-limited and problem or goal-focused. Some individuals and families consult with a mental health professional for educational purposes, a clinical assessment or diagnosis, help with a personal or life challenge, support for a difficult transition or crisis and to obtain resources to other collateral support such as psychiatrists or treatment facilities such as rehabs for addictions and eating disorders. Clinical consultations allow a client, parent or family member to explore concerns, probem-solve with a professional and make decisions or changes in their lives that move them forward when they feel unsupported or "stuck." I am delighted to share my trusted resources to complementary, alternative and conventional medical referrals in New York City and beyond. Consultations are not psychotherapy and can be done long distance using an online service such as Skype, Google, FaceTime  or via telephone sessions. 

Integrative Therapy-Coaching, Mindfulness, Stress Reduction + Self-Care Practices

My interest in mind-body techniques and complementary medicine has allowed me to journey to some amazing places including workshops and training opportunities. Using my training with the Urban Zen Foundation and my yoga therapy training (RYT 200 + 500 hours), I help clients address anxiety insomnia, stress, trauma and chronic illness using a combination of guided imagery, breathing techniques, body scans, meditation and Mindfulness. I've studied aromatherapy and Reiki and still enjoy both, including self-Reiki and Reiki with clients, friends and family. Using the brilliance of neurobiology, western psychological theory, and the power of cutting-edge nutrition, yoga therapy, chakra work and other somatic psychotherapies, I truly enjoy helping clients who are open to these techniques heal on many levels. Together we can decide what would work best for your particular needs. Some examples of integrative therapy include: Mindfulness training, lifestyle recommendations (nutrition, meditation, exercise, yoga and sleep), boundary work, creative play, journaling, somatic therapy and more. 

Supervision + Private Practice Development

I enjoy helping new practitioners such as social workers, marriage and family therapists, licensed professional counselors, licensed mental health counselors and psychologists develop and build their private practices. I am happy to provide clinical supervision for cases, and I especially enjoy helping interested therapists blend mind-body medicine and complementary techniques into their existing psychotherapy practices.

Psychotherapy, Coaching + Consultation Services

  • Depression and mood disorders
  • Anxiety and compulsive disorders
  • Eating disorders, emotional eating and body image issues
  • Borderline Personality Disorder BPD
  • Adolescents problems (behavioral, emotional, family, academic challenges)
  • Marriage / couples / relationship problems
  • Celebrity, gifted and talented individuals
  • Grief, loss and bereavement
  • Asperger’s Syndrome
  • Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) / Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD)
  • Addictions / drug addiction / process addictions / substance abuse / behavioral disorders / alcoholism
  • Sexual addiction
  • Adult survivors of abuse
  • Adult Children of Alcoholics
  • Childhood, developmental trauma and traumatic events
  • Self-harm
  • Self-sabatage and self-defeating behaviors
  • Self-esteem issues
  • Performance blocks using EMDR therapy
  • Surviving and managing relationships with borderline or narcissistic individuals / partners
  • Men’s issues
  • Women’s issues, transitions, parenting, caretaking, hormone imbalance
  • Environmental stressors and crisis management
  • Phase of life issues / aging
  • Sexual and relationship issues for individuals and couples
  • Life transitions
  • Work, creativity and career issues
  • Life purpose, existential and spiritual concerns

Professional Services 

  • Individual, couples, marital, family and group therapy
  • Weekend intensive workshops for couples
  • Coordination of services with school, medical practitioners, legal counsel, etc
  • Consultation and evaluation for potential in-patient residential treatment
  • Parent and new parent education and coaching
  • Addiction evaluations and assessments
  • Addiction therapy (drug, alcohol, sex, internet, gambling, eating, spending, shopping)
  • Executive coaching
  • Peak performance coaching
  • Clinical supervision, private practice building business and consulting
  • Presentations and workshops
  • Mindfulness, meditation and stress management coaching and instruction
  • Recovery support for individuals including their families
  • Self-care support and coaching
  • Referrals to medical and allied professionals in New York City

Therapy Approaches

  • Psychodynamic / psychoanalytic psychotherapy
  • Mindfulness / meditation support
  • Interpersonal psychotherapy
  • EMDR therapy
  • Focusing
  • Brainspotting for attachment and trauma resolution
  • Crisis counseling
  • Short-term and goal-oriented therapy
  • Cognitive therapy for depression
  • CBT
  • DBT skills

Modalities Offered

  • Individual
  • Marriage and relationships
  • Family
  • Group
  • Consultation
  • Coaching
  • Clinical supervision
  • Online via telephone, Skype, FaceTime or a HIPPA compliant service