Laurie Sloane   Licensed Clinical Social Worker


psychotherapist-nyc-college-children-young-adults-veterans-counseling-1

Over the past 30 years, a combination of diverse professional experiences and extensive training have made me the therapist I am today. In addition to a Master’s Degree in Social Work, I have participated in continuing education courses and seminars to ensure that I am incorporating the latest in psychoanalysis into treatment plans.

I joined the faculty of the Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Study Center (PPSC), a post-graduate training institute, and served as the Executive Director for 10 years. During my tenure, I taught and supervised candidates, developed an internship program for graduate students, and worked to establish guidelines for training and licensure in New York.  My expertise is broad and far-reaching.

My current areas of specialty are: 

Therapy for Young Adults

Of late, more attention has been focused on the well-being of anxious, depressed and suicidal students on college campuses. I have worked with many students trying to adjust to life away from home. The social and academic pressures of college can bring about the emergence of major mental illness and addiction that needs to be addressed with the proper treatment. In addition to individual sessions, I also offer group treatment to college students and young adults.

Therapy for Women of all ages

I have extensive experience in counseling women of all ages who suffer from eating disorders. Today, there are a variety of treatments available; I’m able to help navigate through the options and figure out which will work best on a case by case basis.

As baby boomers are aging, they are learning that menopause no longer spells the end. Life after 65 continues to be an important, yet often overlooked part of adult development. I’m able to offer support in either individual or group therapy sessions for women navigating midlife and beyond.

Therapy for Veterans

I am affiliated with Here to Help Military and Families, a Long Island group that offers free counseling to returning veterans and their families. I offer a holistic approach to treatment; for both veterans returning from combat, suffering from the effects of trauma and PTSD, as well as their families, who are struggling to understand how difficult reentry into civilian life can be.
———

What can you gain from therapy?

Connection to others

Over the past 30 years, I’ve learned a lot about relationships and the value in sharing our thoughts and feelings with friends and partners. Knowing we are being listened to, valued and understood is crucial to emotional wellbeing.

Hope for the future

Therapy is a process. Though there is often no simple, quick solution, it provides a safe space to explore emotions, thoughts, and actions in an in-depth and meaningful way, to eventually bring about change.

Growth and change

Through continued treatment, therapy can be an incredibly powerful tool in helping to significantly improve your quality of life and outlook.

Call me today at 212-413-7088 for a free 15 minute phone consultation.

Conditions we treat at Best Therapist NYC

The Most Common Conditions Your Psychotherapist Can Help You With

female-nyc-therapist-common-conditions-01We live in a world where almost every problem we have can be treated with medicine. There are medications for mental health complications such as ADHD and even depression. There are so many people across the globe that resort to a string of medications to keep serious symptoms from developing and whatnot. However, these medications also come with side effects, and these side effects can give rise to other mental and physical problems. In conditions like these, it is better to talk to someone rather than take drugs that will eventually cause further problems.

Emotional instability is common and in some cases, the condition is referred to as healthy. But over a longer period of time, it can become harmful. The person should therefore talk to someone to let go of the build up of negative energy inside of him. Psychotherapists use the same technique to help people with some common conditions. They are specially trained professionals who understand the problems their patients are facing and give them a safe space to talk about themselves.

Your psychotherapist can help you out with the following conditions:

1.     Grief Counseling:

Losing someone close to you, be it a family member, a friend or a pet can have a numbing toll on your brain. You end up feeling lost and full of despair. Grief counseling by a therapist can help the person recover from that state of mind  as they understand it is better to let go than to hang on to what is not there. The grief can turn into serious forms of depression if left untreated therefore it is important to consult a psychotherapist as soon as possible.

2.     Depression:

psychotherapist-therapist-nyc-for-common-conditions-depression-grief-01The human mind can become a ticking time bomb of emotions when it comes to conditions such as depression and stress. All of a sudden you might start over thinking matters that are otherwise trivial. For example, if someone in the subway gave you a look, you will spend the entire day thinking of what it meant and might possibly arrive at the conclusion that you are ugly. This is how depression begins when a person loses his self confidence and the will to live. The therapist will therefore channel all the negative thoughts and turn them into positive ones. He will help you figure out your worth and make you realize the options you still have remaining.

3.     Relationship Conflicts:

female-best-therapist-for-relationship-conflicts-couples-03Relationships can be tricky, especially when both parties decide they do not want to compromise on anything. A therapist will help clear any misunderstanding between you and your girlfriend/wife and help relight the spark in your relationship. He will also ensure both of you leave the therapy with a better understanding of each other’s wants and needs therefore helping you two prepare for the future.

4.     Paranoia:

Paranoia can be a very debilitating mental condition. It can give rise or panic attacks and enhance your levels of anxiety. This is a condition where an individual loses his will to trust others because he thinks he will get betrayed in the end. He ends up thinking the whole world is against him. This problem can lead to a string of different medical conditions.A therapist can help with extreme cases by helping the person begin to trust again.

If you’re thinking about seeing a therapist for any of the above conditions or other, give me a call today at 212-413-7088 or email me to see if therapy may be a good option for you.

Therapist for Aging NYC

What Will Your Future Look Like as You Approach 65, 75, 80 and Beyond?

best-elderly-senior-citizen-therapy-psychotherapy-nyc-03As we get older, there are physical changes we all go through. Our skin becomes more wrinkled, our joints may start to ache and generally, we are not as energetic as we used to be. Health concerns can be a real issue for some, but for others a visit to the doctors is rare.

Reaching 65

therapist-for-high-quality-of-life-seniors-older-people-02For a long time, reaching 65 meant retiring, as in many countries that is when state pensions became payable. 65-year old’s these days tend to be a lot healthier than people of that age were a couple of generations ago. They want to still enjoy life and generally have the energy to do so. If they have already retired, they may have taken up a new interest, started traveling or maybe doing some voluntary work to keep themselves occupied. The worst thing they can do after being busy for many years is to suddenly do nothing as that is guaranteed to affect their health. The future is still bright when you reach 65.

Reaching 70

Reaching 70 need not make much difference to your life at all. Some people are still working, by choice, and others have already carved out the sort of life they want. They may not have quite so much energy, their hair may be a little whiter and there will be a few more wrinkles, but there is no reason at all why life cannot still be fun at 70.

Reaching 80 and Beyond

therapist-for-aging-men-women-female-retirement-nyc-01Reaching 80 is a milestone that is usually celebrated with family members and friends. By this time, you may have developed a health issue or two, but these can be managed with the help of your physician.  Generally, you will probably have slowed down a bit, but people are aware of your age and will make allowances. You are probably more aware than ever of your mortality, and one 80-year-old in particular, Michael Caine, has said just how happy he is to wake up every morning, even if he does have a few aches and pains. If you had children, you could now be greeting great grandchildren and that is a wonderful experience all of its own.

Unfortunately, not all people over 65 have the love and support from family and friends and they can become depressed and suffer anxiety. They may need help from a professional so that they can cope with growing older. If this is your situation, contact me today to schedule an appointment with the best psychotherapist in NYC.

NYC Therapist for Midlife

What Happens After Midlife?

female-therapist-for-midlife-nyc-long-island-01Midlife creeps up on people without them even realizing. They have been so busy rearing their children and working to pay off the mortgage that suddenly they have reached their 40’s or 50’s, and it can be a big shock. Sometimes a relationship fails at this point because they find they no longer want the same lifestyle or the same future. For some, the freedom of their children having left home and extra money in the bank is wonderful and they start to enjoy life more than ever before.

New Hobbies

therapist-for-retirement-aged-females-nyc-03It is typical that at this time of life, people start new hobbies. It could be something they have always had an interest in, but never had the time or money to take part in before. It is even better if it is a shared interest as that can help to bring partners closer together. This has to be a bonus as they approach old age.

Planning Retirement

For many people, it is after midlife has passed when they start to consider retirement. Have they saved enough money or invested enough in a pension plan? Some of them will have been lucky enough to be in a company scheme where their employer has contributed on top of the money they have put in. For those that have not, it can be a real concern though, so they will start to make inquiries into what they should do. Planning for retirement should start as early as possible if a lifestyle is wanted that is anything near what they had with an earned income.

Enjoying Life

retirement-midlife-therapist-nyc-ny-02Once they have passed through the ups and downs of midlife, most people want to enjoy themselves. They now have freedom like they have not had for many years, and some do not know what to do with it. Apart from taking up a new hobby, others will change their job, start to travel, downsize their home and a whole host of other things that will make them feel more fulfilled. This time of life is their time of life and making the most of it is vital for some.

For others, they will feel totally lost and have trouble coping. They can suffer anxiety and depression and not know where to turn for guidance.

Help is at hand and all you need to do is contact us today to arrange an appointment with the best psychotherapist in NYC.

How to Prepare to Go to a Therapist by NYC Top Psychotherapist

Things You Should Know Before Seeing a Psychotherapist

how-plan-for-therapy-top-female-therapist-nyc-01The decision to begin therapy can be frustrating or disheartening. It is a path that helps lead the patient on a journey to self actualization, mental stability and emotional perseverance. Not only is it challenging for the therapist to meticulously and yet gently probe you to fully open yourself to him and to discuss all that you have kept hidden deep inside your subconscious. However, this can also be equally harrowing and traumatizing for the patient. This is why it is important to develop a powerful bond of trust and confidence in your therapist. In light of this, mentioned below is everything you need to do to build a strong relationship with your therapist:

  1. Plan it out:

It is extremely crucial to know that your first meeting with the therapist is the building block of your upcoming sessions. It is where you and your therapist get to know each other whilst unraveling dark or emotionally troubling secrets and confusion that hovers over you. So go ahead and plan out your talk with him. Make notes of what goes around in your head and feel free to let it out, be it something that bothers you during the day or something that keeps you up at night – don’t hesitate to let it out since your sole purpose is to rid yourself of negative energy.

  1. Be determined:

Psychotherapy is not magic. Just like any other medicinal treatment, it takes time. Every individual is unique and there is diversity among the types of cases the therapist comes across, so you need to cut him some slack and be patient. Hence, it is necessary for patients to realize that determination is the key to success. Give your counselor the time to adjust to you. No miracle can fix you unless you yourself are determined to work towards a positive change in your life. So keep your head high and hopes higher!

  1. The psychotherapist is not your friend:

planning-for-therapy-top-female-therapist-nyc-02

Yes, it is true that you are often told to open up to your therapist just like you would to a close friend. However, it is ignored that your therapist is a legal, clinically approved professional who will not put forward any biased opinions or fake references to be in your good books; something a friend would do. Be prepared for bitter, unbiased counseling if you plan on visiting a therapist. This positive criticism, in most cases, can play a vital role in a rapid recovery.

  1. Book an appointment:

Because of the hustle and bustle of life, people forget to do the one thing that is primary before your first session. Be sure to make an appointment at least 2 weeks in advance to avoid any delays in your meeting. Also, make sure you have no other plans on the day as your appointment so that your mind is fresh and optimally functional. Stay focused!

  1. Be yourself:

planning-for-therapy-top-therapist-nyc-03After you have decided to finally talk to someone about your feelings, know that you need to be as honest and truthful as possible. Your therapist is not someone you need to impress with your words. He is not looking for a fancy speech or courtesy (a bit of courtesy won’t hurt though). All you need to do is spill your guts the way you like! Share whatever you intend to as no one knows you better than yourself.

 

Psychotherapists can work wonders for your health should you choose to see one. So contact us today to schedule an appointment with the best Psychotherapist in NYC.

Group Therapy for Midlife Crisis

How Can Groups Help You Cope with Midlife and Plan for the Future?

group-therapy-midlife-crisis-best-therapist-nyc-01Researchers are saying that it appears that a midlife crisis is a myth. Try telling that to someone who has just realized that old age is creeping up faster than he or she thought. Someone who suddenly becomes aware of their mortality and are feeling trapped in their job, or even their life, would argue the point as for them it will feel like they are suffering a crisis in midlife.

Every day people in their 40’s and 50’s have to deal with a wide range of issues. There could be aging parents to look after, teenage children to deal with, health concerns and worry over if they have done enough to have a secure retirement.

Find Others in the Same Situation

group-therapy-midlife-crisis-best-therapist-nyc-02One of the problems with any type of stress is that the sufferer can feel very much alone. They tend to think they are the only one feeling this way, and that can make them feel even worse. In truth, most middle-aged people have the same sorts of problems to deal with. From the outside they may be putting on a front of sweetness and light, but on the inside, they are in turmoil.

Just like with most other situations in life, there are groups of people that gather to support each other. Chatting to others that feel the same way can be such a relief and may help to find solutions to some of the problems. A typical example would be meeting people who understand how to plan and invest for retirement, and that can be one worry out of the way.

Family Groups

midlife-crisis-therapist-nyc-03

Family groups can offer a great deal of support to anyone experiencing stress. Some of the older family members will have already been through this experience and will understand exactly how the sufferer is feeling. For instance, one of the biggest changes for women in midlife is the menopause, and their mothers and grandmothers will have been through the same. Their symptoms might have been slightly different, but they will be able to impart first-hand knowledge of how to deal with it.

Professional Groups

Some people in midlife need more than a friendly chat and a bit of understanding to help them. This is where groups run by professionals can help. These are run by qualified psychotherapists who will be able to guide the group through the best ways of helping each other.

Initially, some people would rather chat to someone on their own. If this is how you feel, contact us today to schedule an appointment with the best psychotherapist in NYC.

Positive and Negative Aspects of Midlife

midlifeFrom the day we are born we start to age, and we all have to go through the various stages of life. At some point we will reach midlife, and for many it can be quite a shock when they realize they are no longer the youngster they feel they still are in their head. Midlife has its differences for men and for women, but there are some things that can apply to us all no matter what our gender is.

Children Fleeing the Nest

midlifeIt is often the time when parents reach midlife that coincides with their children having left home for university or just to set up their own home. Suddenly there can be just the two of you. There will not be so much washing and other housework to do, so there is more free time. No school runs to worry about or late-night picks ups from friend’s houses. Now you can please yourselves and, after years of caring for children, that can be strange.

Of course, the negative side of this is that you will miss your children on a day-to-day basis, but from a positive point of view your life becomes your own again. You can eat when you want, watch what you want to see on the TV and generally live your life as you see fit.

Having More Money

Hopefully, it is this time of life when your mortgage will be coming to an end, and that can mean you are a lot better off financially. On the positive side, this could mean you will be better off than at any other previous time of your life, but on the negative side, you need to start investing some of that money for your retirement.
If you think that midlife has crept up faster than you thought possible, retirement comes even quicker. If you do not invest some of your newfound wealth in a pension plan for the future, you could end up in a very bad financial state after just a couple of years of finishing work.

Health Issues

midlifeSome people say that it is at midlife that our health starts to decline, both physically and mentally. This is not always the case by any means. Yes, our conditions change, but that is not always a bad thing. Physically, women go through the menopause but then do not have the hassle of monthly periods. Men often get a wake-up call at this age because of changes in their appearance and start to take better care of themselves.

Mentally, most people just deal with the changes that are happening, but for some they cannot handle the fact they are getting older and might need some help to come to terms with it. If this is how you feel, contact us today and arrange an appointment with the finest psychotherapist in NYC.

Contact us at 212-413-7088 to schedule a consultation.

Menopause is a Life Changer

menopauseSome women will sail through the menopause feeling very little effects, but others will suffer for years. This is because it is a change in hormones that happens very gradually, and to start with the differences can be so slight that they may not even be associated with the menopause. You might find that you are not sleeping quite so well, or that your hair needs washing more often. These are simple things that can easily start in your early to mid-forties, long before you think of going through the menopause. It is a time known as perimenopause, and this can last for several years.

 

Your hormone production is reducing at this stage and eventually will start to affect your periods. They may become heavier or lighter, but they need to have stopped totally for 12 months before you know you have officially reached the menopause.

An End to the Monthly Hassle

menopauseThere is no doubt that the best thing about the menopause is the end of the monthly periods. Once a woman has had her children, they become more of a nuisance. It is not just the physical mess of them. Periods can make a woman feel moody and physically ill. Suffering like that every four weeks from the age of 13 or 14 to perhaps 50 or so, and most women are glad to see the end of them.

No More Contraception

Once the 12 months of no periods are done with, there is no longer any need for contraception. At a time of life where for women they can be experiencing some discomfort during sex, the freedom of not having to worry about which contraceptives to use can be an enormous boost to their sex drive.

Symptoms of the Menopause

menopauseMost of the symptoms of the menopause are well known. Women suffer from hot flushes, migraines, weight problems, fatigue, muscle and joint pains, and night sweats among other things. These are all very real and although comedians like to make jokes about some of them, when women are going through all these things, it is not very pleasant at all. Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) can make some women feel better, and there are many natural herbs and vitamins that can help as well.

Another symptom of the menopause is anxiety and mood swings, and with all those physical symptoms, that should really not be a surprise. If you want help to cope with this side of the menopause, contact us today to schedule an appointment with the best psychotherapist in NYC.

Contact us at 212-413-7088 to schedule a consultation.

Finding a New Version of Yourself in Midlife

midlifeMidlife is often the point where people feel trapped in their work or their relationships. It is no coincidence that more divorces take place between people in their 50s than at any other age. Often, by this time the children have left home, and the couple finds they no longer have anything in common. Moving on and reinventing themselves is generally the best option for both parties. That can be easier said than done, but there are three traits that, if you can master them, the new version of yourself will emerge unscathed.

Reliability in Others

Making major changes in your life, such as a new home, job or partner can leave you feeling very alone for a time at least. You do eventually get used to the alterations you have made, but in the meantime, you need to have people around you that you can rely on to be there if you need support. Reinventing yourself involves both independence and dependence. You need to be self-reliant but never afraid to ask for help when you need it.

Being Resilient

midlifeYou will find the steps forward you have made either very exciting or very scary. Those that are feeling full of enthusiasm for the ‘new me’ will find that are very resilient when unpleasant comments are made, as usually they are from envious people who have not had the courage to reinvent themselves. However, if you are feeling worried about the changes you have made, you may find you are left feeling empty and depressed every time something does not go quite as you expected. In this situation, you need to dig deep and find some resilience and then you may start to enjoy your new beginning.

Be Flexible

midlifeWhen you have been in the same pattern of life for many years, it is not always easy to make changes. People who have always worked find it hard to imagine doing anything else, and people who have been married for years can be frightened about being alone. You need to be flexible in your approach, as many people find the changes they were so scared of are actually the best thing they ever did.

Not everyone in midlife feels the need for change, which is why you get people that have been married or in the same job for 60 years or more. Also, not everyone makes the changes by choice, they can be forced upon them and then they are more difficult to cope with.

Whatever the reason, if you need help coping with a ‘midlife crisis’ get in touch with us today to arrange an appointment with the finest psychotherapist in NYC.

Contact us at 212-413-7088 to schedule a consultation.

How Do You Feel About Thinking About Your Future?

Thinking about your future is perfectly normal. Having dreams and aspirations is part of life, but as we age, what we are aiming for can change dramatically. Generally, we realize the things that are most important in life, and material things start to matter less.

Dreaming of the Future When You Are Young

future As a youngster, you may have dreams of living your life in a big house and working in a career perfect for you. You may be thinking you will travel the world or party your whole life. Life has a way of not happening as we think though, so although you may while away many happy hours daydreaming about your future, don’t be surprised if your life ends up totally different. That need not be a bad thing though, as when you get a little older, a dose of reality kicks in.

Dreaming of the Future When You Reach Midlife

If you are feeling guilty about thinking of the time when your children have left home, and your mortgage is paid off, don’t. It is perfectly natural to want some freedom after years of rearing children and working hard to keep the mortgage company happy. Midlife will happen quicker than you think, and it could be time for you to make major changes in the way you live.

If you have been thinking about your future for some time, and what you want those changes to be, now is your time to sort your life out and probably start to think about the next stage, retirement.

Dreaming of the Future When You Have Retired

Just because you have reached retirement age, does not mean that you have no future, or that you should stop thinking about it. Most people these days retire anywhere between 55 and 65 and still have many years ahead of them. Making plans for what you want to do in those years can be crucial to your wellbeing, or you could become stressed about the way your life is heading.

You should not feel bad about putting yourself first. You may have spent years rearing a family and doing a job that was not your favorite. Retirement should be one of the best times of your life and thinking about future plans can help make your retirement dreams a reality.

Some people feel selfish thinking of their own futures, but that should not be the case. It can cause them great stress and anxiety though, and they may need help to cope with these negative feelings. If this is you we are talking about, get in touch with us today to schedule an appointment with the best psychotherapist in NYC.

Contact us at 212-413-7088 to schedule a consultation.

Functioning with Bipolar Disorder in College

bipolar disorderBefore we discuss how students with bipolar disorder can work their way through college, we need to understand what the problem they are suffering from is. For many years it was referred to as someone being a manic-depressive. The manic part of the name was for the highs and the depressive part for the lows. This is because someone with bipolar disorder experiences both, with his or her mood swings often happening very quickly and for no apparent reason.

 

Medical researchers and scientists have been looking for a long time to try and find the cause of this mental health problem, and a way to cure it. As yet there are no definite answers, but it tends to affect people between the ages of 15 and 24 and the contributing factors appear to be stress, genetics and changes in the brain.

How Bipolar Disorder Can Affect College Life

Students suffering from bipolar disorder can be fine for a while and then have an episode that is either a high or a low. When this happens, their thoughts will start to race, and they will have trouble focusing, making learning extremely difficult. It will be almost impossible for them to concentrate while in class or while studying, and they will have trouble making rational decisions. Their behavior becomes very impulsive and they will think nothing of skipping a class, or even missing a test.
When the episode has passed, and they are feeling more normal again, they often find themselves wondering how they can put right the damage they have done to their studies.bipolar disorder

Help on Campus

There will be some help on campus if the student admits they have bipolar disorder. Most colleges have counseling centers, health centers and some have support groups as well. The students will be able to get advice and guidance from these places, which hopefully may help them to cope with their bipolar disorder while they are at college.

For some students, this type of help is not enough though. Some need the help of a psychotherapist who will be able to help them deal with some of the causes of their problem, which should help reduce its effects.

Letting Friends Know

collegeIt is very important that the closest friends of the sufferer know about their bipolar disorder. Apart from the support friends can give, it means they will understand the moods swings and that when the sufferer is perhaps unpleasant to them, it’s their illness that is causing it. The help of friends can be crucial for students to complete their college courses.

The student could also seek help from professionals who are used to dealing with bipolar disorder. If you want to consider this, contact us today to arrange an appointment with the finest psychotherapist in NYC.

Contact us at 212-413-7088 to schedule a consultation.