As a therapist, I bring my full, authentic self to the work and invite you to bring your full, authentic self as well.

© Paula Berkenstadt

I welcome each client into treatment with a warm and non-judgmental approach and will work with you to uncover your goals, strengths, and "stuck points." I specialize in the treatment of depression, anxiety, personality disorders, and PTSD in adolescents and adults. I work with many clients in creative fields, including writers and visual or performing artists. I specialize in working with people living with chronic pain and chronic health conditions and sleep disorders. I am an experienced LGBTQ-affirming practitioner and have additional training and certifications in trauma-informed therapy.

My work with clients is relational, which is often helpful for people with histories of trauma or loss in their families of origin. I bring a trans-inclusive feminist and existential lens to the work, as we explore and re-examine personal narratives of freedom, interpersonal relationships, and the many joys and challenges of living in a human body.

Growth happens - both spontaneously and incrementally - when we are able to let go of old patterns of behavior that no longer serve us. There are concrete skills that can be learned for managing anxiety, avoidance, negative thoughts, and distressing feelings, and I will work in collaboration with you to identify, develop and hone these skills.

Education & Training

I completed my Bachelor of Science in Psychology at CUNY Brooklyn College, and my Master of Social Work degree at New York University. I earned my 3-year certificate in LGBTQ-affirming psychodynamic psychotherapy at the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy's Center for Gender & Sexuality, and I serve on their Executive Committee. I am an experienced telemental health provider and have completed a standards-based telemental health training program from Person Centered Tech.  I am a member of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health and I have presented my work at conferences, published in peer-reviewed journals, and am co-editor of the forthcoming book from Jessica Kingsley Publishers, ‘Sex, Sexuality, and Trans Identities: Clinical Guidance for Therapists and Counselors’ (Jacobson, Niemira & Violeta, 2019). View my profiles on Research Gate, Manhattan Alternative and Psychology Today for additional information about my specific competencies and expertise.