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Jennifer Glass Ryan profile

Jennifer Glass Ryan, LCSW

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Finding a therapist can be a daunting task, and the right fit and therapeutic relationship are paramount. We often feel stuck, confused or suffering, but don't know why. Sometimes we do, but find ourselves in patterns we feel we can't change.Working with a therapist offers an opportunity to grow, increase self-understanding and emerge from what may feel painful in your life. It is an honor to participate in and witness this process with my clients, and I welcome hearing from you.

About Jennifer's practice



Weekdays After 5pm

Weekdays 9am - 5pm




Sliding scale






In-person available: No

Virtual available: Yes





Romantic Life



Grief and Bereavement

Eating Patterns or Eating Disorders

Life Transitions



Out of network providers




Why state matters


Get to Know Jennifer

Where did you work before going into private practice?

I spent four years in a psychoanalytic and psychodynamic psychotherapy training program, post-masters. It was an intense fellowship where my cohort and I met every week, discussed our work, attended classes, and worked with multiple clients at the Institute under extensive supervision. This is not required for licensure, but I felt very important to do everything I could to develop my skills and continue to learn. I also worked (and still work) at a school with middle and highschool students as they navigate adolescence.

What led you to become a mental healthcare practitioner?

I like to say we are all wounded healers. That is to say, you will find more often than not that mental healthcare professionals have themselves struggled with issues in the past in their lives, have been proximate to those who have and/or find themselves uniquely poised to access their empathy and ability to approach another person non-judgmentally. In addition to that, I have a gravitational pull toward trying to make sense of the nature of relationships; how they shape, wound, and heal us. There are many ways to explore and implement this in any line of work, but for me, that’s therapy in its purest form.

What is unique about the work you do, or how have you found your work to be different than your colleagues'?

I would say it’s unique in the sense that we are all different; I bring my own personality to my work. Every therapist-client relationship is distinct. I will say that I do find humor playing a part in the work I do. I know this is not entirely unique, but I believe there is a time and place for laughter and joy in the work.

What is the best part of the work for you?

Hands down my clients. Just the honor of them letting me participate in their evolution, getting to know and care about them. It’s such an incredible gesture of faith and I take it very seriously.

Please share 2-3 anonymized examples of how the work can play out and/or look in the room so that I can form a visual or narrative of what to expect.

A. Pt: I really have no idea why I’m here. My girlfriend said I needed therapy. Th. Ah, ok. So what’s that like, to feel like you’re told to do something you may or may not feel like doing? Pt. It’s kind of like that all the time. Maybe I DO need therapy, just to deal with her! (laughs) Th. (laughs) Yeah, well, not a bad point. Pt. But, I’m supposed to be talking about what’s wrong with me. Th. What would it be like to explore how you feel about being told something’s “wrong” with you? Pt. …..I hate it. I mean, feeling like something’s wrong with me. It’s not like I’m perfect or whatever, but it makes me feel kind of...mad. Th. I would think. Pt. But then I get mad, and then it all gets worse. Th. So you’re not allowed to be mad. Pt. I guess, yeah. Th. So where does the “mad” go? Pt. What do you mean? Th. Well, you know you’re mad, but you’re not “allowed” to be mad. So there’s a conflict there. Emotions don’t go away just because we tell them to. Pt. Yeah....no, that’s true… I guess I just get mad at myself. Th. Sometimes that feels like the only option. Just a guess here...but wondering if that feeling is familiar? Pt. Oh man, where do I start? B. I had a young woman come to me following the death of her father, 6 months earlier. She was concerned because she “hadn’t cried” and thought that was “weird.” We continued working for several months together; sometimes she would bring him up, other times she would talk about a relationship she was in that felt unfulfilling. She would tear up at times, but never about her father’s death specifically. One day she walked in, sat in silence for a moment, then looked up at me and told me the story of the day her father died, start to finish, detail for detail, moment for moment, all of the helplessness and fear and pain and trauma. I listened, without interruption. She broke down. I couldn’t help but tear up myself; this is someone I care about deeply. When she finished, she looked up at me and said, “how did you know it was time for me to talk about it?” I said, “I didn’t. But you did.”

Is there ever a time when you would encourage me to leave or graduate? Or how do I know when it's time to end or move on, or time to stay and explore more?

Of course. I have many colleagues that probably disagree with me, but I am always encouraging clients who express a desire to end the work or even press pause to do so. I’ll explore what brings them to that point for sure, but I think it is empowering to have that conversation and exercise self-governance. To me, therapy is an ongoing process and my door is always open, as my clients know.

If I have never been to therapy before, what should I expect? How do I know if I should go, and how do I start?

Well, every therapist is different, and so I would say even if you’ve been in therapy before, you are embarking on a different journey with a different person, so, it can be hard to know what to expect, really. I always answer that question by letting people know that we will create together what feels most useful for them. Some people want to be able to come in and start where they are on any given day, others prefer that I remind them where we left off last session, and both are totally fine. I’ll typically start by gathering a history (what brings you in, family history, etc.) No matter how you begin or what comes up in any given session, all roads ultimately point to some pretty primary stuff, I find. “How do I know if I should go” I think gets answered when you do.

How will our relationship be different than relationships I have with friends/loved ones?

Ahhh I love this question. In so many ways, the therapeutic relationship has the potential to become among the most emotionally intimate in our lives. It is not uncommon for clients and therapists alike to develop very strong bonds and deep connections to each other, born of shared vulnerability and trust. Boundaries and bright lines around what this looks like are critical for the protection of this unique bond. We are not stakeholders in your process and outcomes in the way that friends, family and lovers can be; we are there to observe, reflect, deeply care and ideally help you to heal, but our sole focus is what is best for you regardless of how this might impact us. If we are lucky, our lives are populated with many such people.

How should I prepare for my first session with you?

No need to prepare anything at all. Some people like to think about what they want to bring in, what’s important for them to address initially, and that’s great, but not required at all. We’ll get to all of it in time. I like to tell people if they can to build some time in after the session before they need to be in the next place, be it back to work, home, or otherwise. Some of the most useful things in therapy can come with processing post- session, and it can be helpful to put a buffer between therapy and re-entry to the next task; time for a stroll for several blocks, or grabbing a coffee, or just a moment to gather thoughts in the waiting room before or after sessions.

How participatory are you during sessions?

It varies. For some people, my being more verbal or vocal feels useful, for others, laying back and staying out of the way is so important. And both stances can be useful for the same people over time.

How much do you share about yourself during our time together and why?

I’m not a blank-slate therapist; I do share things about myself if I think it would be helpful to hear. For some people, it’s really comforting to know things about me, for others I can tell that might feel invasive for them, or unhelpful. Finding the balance can be tricky. Most of the time I really do believe that even if I might not share or say something specific, they can tell that I can experientially identify with what they are describing.

How long should I commit to being in therapy, at least in the beginning?

Literally for 45 minutes. Fit is everything in the therapeutic relationship, and I encourage all of my clients to process how they felt in my presence after the first session and decide if they want to continue on together. Assuming they want to move forward, I always encourage my clients to voice what is and what is not working for them as we go, and they know they are in the driver’s seat and it can always be an open conversation.

How do you approach diversity in the room or working with clients who may come from a different background than you?

I bring it up. Too often, differences between us are not acknowledged and explored, and that is a critical aspect of the therapeutic relationship.

How can you tell if I am feeling stuck, unseen, or unheard?

Ooooh another really good one. People will present with this feeling is so many different ways. Sometimes it’s a matter of picking up on something I am feeling with them in the room, and inviting us to explore and process what might be going on. Others will come out and say “I feel stuck!” or, “You didn’t [insert thought or action here] the way I thought you would.” I love when I hear this; obviously not because my client is feeling that way, but because they feel comfortable airing it, particularly for those who struggle with confrontation or advocating for themselves in general. Radical honesty in a safe and trusting environment is powerful stuff. I wish I could bottle it.

How can you tell if I am benefiting from working with you?

Often clients will describe to me changes they have observed, or others’ observations of the same. Sometimes I will notice and then reflect a shift I am seeing, or notice how a response they give, or how an interaction they describe to me went so differently than it may have for them in the past. Some shifts and changes are more measurable than others, to be sure. I had one client who would always come in and sit as far away on the couch as they could, clutched their bag, and would always agree with my interpretations. Many years later, this person now comes in, flops on the couch, kicks off their shoes and often will poke fun at me for some reason or another, and I love it. They are comfortable in their own skin. I don’t have a word for how that fills me up to see.

From your perspective, what is therapy?

Big question. I would probably give a slightly different answer on any given day, but what would always be included would be: An opportunity to be in the presence of a trusted other, who has no agenda or purpose other than to truly and authentically hear and help you process your truths, as you see them. Some can be re-written, others, better understood and assimilated. It’s an opportunity to experience, in vivo, your relational dynamics. Ok, what does that mean. To me, it means noticing expectations we bring into the relationship with our therapist based on past experiences (how someone will react, what they might think of us) and the profound opportunity, through noticing and unpacking that, to have greater mindfulness, and therefore greater governance, over how we move through the world. Sometimes, if I’m honest, I really think there is profound value in therapy simply being 45 minutes in your week that is completely and totally about YOU.

Do you have experience (5-10 years+) working with any types of obstacles or people in particular?

I have worked with many different people of all ages and presenting issues, though have found over time that I have always had a critical mass of 20-30 something clients who are addressing life transitions, eating disorders, depression and anxiety, and grief and loss. As I’ve mentioned, I always leave room in my practice for adolescents who are struggling and in need of mental health support.

Do you assign homework, activities, or readings for me to do between sessions? Why or why not?

On occasion. If someone is looking for tools (particularly my younger clients but certainly others) I’m happy to offer suggestions if that feels helpful to them. Sometimes I’ll think of a book or article that I think would really resonate for someone, but it’s never an “assignment.”

Are there any philosophies or values that inform your work that I should know about?

Really, it all boils down to one simple thing: All people (and creatures of all sorts) are born into this world with the inherent right to be seen, heard, accepted, and loved. Full stop.